On the way home from the grocery store Sunday, I noticed something on the sign outside the middle school near my house. I pass this school dozens of times each week and since I no longer have school-age children, I usually ignore it. This time this caught my eye.
Stand in the grocery store line and you’ll see a row of magazines that cover “celebrity gossip”. The “mean girl” epidemic is one based on gossip. One of the most popular TV shows among teen/young adult girls is Gossip Girl. People like Perez Hilton, who make a living off celebrity gossip, are celebrities themselves. Spreading gossip about others is a common way for people to feel better about themselves.
What happened to “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? A recent study even says that gossip may be good for us. Really? I don’t buy it.
Lets look at the definition of gossip – “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.” Here are a few synonyms: hearsay, slander, defamation.
Frankly, I don’t think we can eliminate gossip altogether but if we are going to share some buzz, news or chatter (also synonyms for gossip) why not make it positive? Keep the sour grapes, speculation and back-biting out of it. Susie got a promotion. Share it and how you think she deserved it and worked hard for it. A friend tells you Janie broke up with her boyfriend, say “Wow that is hard. That’s happened to me too. I’m going to call her and take her to lunch.” Just refuse to wallow in the mud with your friend and spread a little kindness.
Dishing dirt on other people may make you feel like the “better” person, but it won’t make you a better person. Practice Positive Gossip