How to Be Happier – Avoid Gossip

Gossip is everywhere. We love it. But does it really make you happy. No If you want to be happier - avoid gossip. Here are 15 ways to help you...

Gossip is anything said about someone to someone that isn’t loving and kind and that you wouldn’t say directly to the person about whom you’re talking . . . you are gossiping. 

Gossip hurts. If you’ve ever been the victim of gossip you know it hurts.

Why people gossip –

  • Pride
  • Envy
  • Insecurity
  • Resentment

Gossip is a problem in the church! The “excused” sin . . . cloaked as a “prayer need” but motivated by pride and judgment.

Gossip destroys relationships and damages the body of believers.

That doesn’t sound like happiness to me. If you want to be happier – avoid gossip!

Gossip is everywhere. We love it. But does it really make you happy. No? If you want to be happier - avoid gossip. Here are 15 ways to help you...

15 Ways to Avoid Gossip

1. Resolve that gossip is a sin. 

Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. Romans 1:29

2. Respect everyone’s right to privacy. 

Ignore celebrity gossip and personal gossip. It is never helpful or beneficial. Ever.

3. Mind your own business. 

“The key to a drama free life is to stay humble and mind your own business.” ~ Author Unknown

4. Encourage a gossiper to talk directly to the person about the situation.

Ask if they have started with Matthew 18 –“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.” v. 15

5. Remember it is never helpful to share details of someone else’s life.

“One who is kind is sympathetic and gentle with others. He is considerate of others’ feelings and courteous in his behavior. He has a helpful nature. Kindness pardons others’ weaknesses and faults. Kindness is extended to all – to the aged and the young, to animals, to those low of station as well as the high.” ~Ezra Taft Benson

6. You won’t repeat what you don’t know. Ask to not know.

7. Go into conversations with potential subject changers. Be prepared.

“I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody.” ~Benjamin Franklin

8. Be positive and kind . . . known as the person who talks well of others.

They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Titus 3:2

9. Anticipate the potential fallout of shared gossip.

“We always feel the brunt of the blow dealt to us, but hardly ever do we feel the impact we have on others. Why is that?” ~Richelle E. Goodrich

10. Picture yourself in the other person’s life . . .  all of it, not just this tidbit.

When you haven’t lived their life it’s impossible to understand their decisions. Offer them the same grace and mercy you would like them to give you.

Gossip is a problem in the church! It is often the excused sin . . . cloaked as a prayer need motivated by pride and judgment...

11. Ask yourself the benefit of sharing this information.

“There are two good rules which ought to be written on every heart; never to believe anything bad about anybody unless you positively know it to be true; and never to tell that unless you feel that it is absolutely necessary, and that God is listening while you tell it.” ~Henry VanDyke

12. Resolve that every bit of gossip ends with you. Never speak negatively about anyone ever.

“How would your life be different if…You walked away from gossip and verbal defamation? Let today be the day…You speak only the good you know of other people and encourage others to do the same.” ~Steve Maraboli

13. Prayers don’t need details.

God knows the need even when the people praying do not. It is possible to pray for each other publicly without revealing secrets or sharing personal problems.

14. Ask yourself why you’re willing to harm this person? Then pray for them instead. 

Notice, we never pray for folks we gossip about, and we never gossip about the folk for whom we pray! For prayer is a great deterrent. ~Leonard Ravenhill

15. Picture Jesus present at every conversation.

“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Bonus: ASK yourself before you speak . . . Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?

If it’s not – keep your mouth shut.

My Name is Gossip ~Author Unknown

My name is Gossip.
I have no respect for justice.
I maim without killing.
I break hearts and ruin lives.
I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.

The more I am quoted the more I am believed.
I flourish at every level of society.
My victims are helpless.
They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and no face.

To track me down is impossible.
The harder you try, the more elusive I become.
I am nobody’s friend.
Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same.
I topple governments and ruin marriages.
I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartache and indigestion.
I spawn suspicion and generate grief.

I make innocent people cry in their pillows.
Even my name hisses.

I AM CALLED GOSSIP.

Are you ready to join me? To be happier and avoid gossip?

22 comments

  1. Martha Orlando
    Twitter:
    says:

    “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” I heard those questions a while back, Deb, and thought them to be so wise to ask ourselves should we be tempted to say something about another person. Gossip is malicious as you have deftly pointed out here, and if we hear any, that information should stop with us, never to be repeated.
    Blessings, my friend!

  2. Debbie Wilson
    Twitter:
    says:

    Deb, great article. I liked the quote: “never to tell that unless you feel that it is absolutely necessary, and that God is listening while you tell it.” We went through something where a church leader was slandering us. Concerned people wanted to tell us what he was saying. I kept saying, “Please don’t tell me. I don’t want to hear it.” Hearing lies and distortions benefits not one.
    Debbie Wilson recently posted..Please Take My 2015 Reader SurveyMy Profile

  3. bluecottonmemory says:

    Good words, Deb! Especially on the prayer request masked as gossip! It’s been interesting growing up with a house of boys. They have all shunned gossip – don’t do it! Don’t like it! It’s made me wonder if it’s more of a girl thing.

  4. Bonnie
    Twitter:
    says:

    Love the fact that you put I about gossip being covered as a prayer request. That really destroyed a relationship I had with a friend. She shared something one time about someone else and I stopped telling her my because I was wondering who all she was telling what was going on with me.
    Thanks for stopping by #Bonbon’n’CoffeeLink-Up

  5. Rachel Britton
    Twitter:
    says:

    It’s disturbing how a person’s negative talk about someone else stays in your mind and colors your view of them. A good reason to steer the conversation in a different direction, and a lesson not to talk badly about someone else, but to build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Thanks Deb

  6. Jennifer Clarke
    Twitter:
    says:

    This is a much-needed post, friend. #14 is particularly critical, I think, because this is where we can get to the root of our gossip problem. Gossip is a “fruit” sin that is difficult to kill without addressing the root causes. Roots like pride, lack of love, bitterness, and jealousy are all potential contributors. Thank you for sharing this wisdom with us at Grace & Truth!
    Jennifer Clarke recently posted..The Problem With PeopleMy Profile

  7. Courtney says:

    We were just talking about this at dinner the other night. Sometimes we’ll be diligent in avoiding it, and then other times it’s so easy to excuse it because it’s “just us.” I’m sharing this with our women’s group. Thank you so much!

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