I love Salt & Vinegar chips, page-turner novels and binge-watching Netflix with my husband. :) I host The Living Easy Podcast, where I talk about the things that most people don't discuss - with a focus on faith and relationships! Follow along on IG and Pinterest for mom-hacks, recipes & life tips!
Bonding Over Frustrations: What Gossip Says About You
A few months ago, I was enjoying some alone time at a coffee shop (the best, right?!) and I overheard two girls talking at the table next to me. One girl interrupted their study to say, “I know this isn’t my place and I’m not trying to gossip or anything, but so-and-so seems like she’s become really [insert criticism here]…”
It turned into a 20-minute gossip fest about their friend’s clothing decisions, attitude and relationships. They discussed their frustrations with each and every one of their friends, and all the while, justified it as venting.
That conversation bothered me to my core. It was still on my mind an hour later when I left and got into my car.
Why couldn’t I get over it?
Because they sounded a whole lot like me.
Those girls struck a cord in my heart. Although I wouldn’t consider myself a “gossip” now (high school was a different story), I can be incredibly guilty of sharing my frustrations with others to my husband or another close friend when I’m facing difficulties.
If I allow myself to be careless with my words, “I’m not trying to gossip” actually means, “I totally intend to gossip, but please excuse it since I said I’m just venting.”
Isn’t that how we make ourselves feel better? We justify our words (or even go so far to say that we’re seeking counsel), even if we know full well that we’re just using that time to speak poorly about other people. And we’re attempting to gain a companion while we’re at it.
Ever since this day at the coffee shop, I have been analyzing why gossip says more about us than the people we’re talking about:
1. We bond with our friends over anger, frustration and hatred. It makes us feel as if our friendship is somehow stronger when that friend dislikes the same person we dislike. Or when they see the same flaws in others that we also see. Is that really a foundation that we want to rely upon and take pride in? It’s a little twisted, isn’t it?
2. When we talk about other people, we add fuel to the already burning fire. We ignite our anger and separate the friendship even further. Rather than lifting up our frustrations in prayer and asking God to work in our hearts and relationships, we are motivating ourselves and others to slander another person’s character, destroy a reputation or become even more bitter than we were before the conversation began.
3. When someone is willing to talk to us about another person, they are very likely just as willing to talk to another person about us. Our gossip causes others to be more cautious in what they share with us and the amount of trust they have in who we are.
4. It makes our own insecurities much, much more evident. When someone is constantly encouraging, loving and uplifting their friends, my immediate thought is that they are confident, joyful and content in their life. However, if someone always has a negative word to say about another, I begin to think that they have a long list of insecurities that they are projecting onto others.
There are over 30 verses in scripture about the damage caused by gossip and slander. Why do we take it so lightly? We should be thinking before we speak, in all circumstances.
Is what you’re about to say Truthful? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?
If the answer is ‘no’ to even one of these categories, we should always, always hold our tongues.
Guys, neither our husbands, friends, pastors nor family members should have to bear the burden when we are dealing with hard relationships, unless we are seeking their opinion on how to handle the issues going on in our hearts (and names aren’t named.) The rest should be left up to prayer (lots of it) and a conversation between us and the person that we have an issue with.
I recently went to a funeral where a friend spoke compassionately about the woman who had passed. He gave her one of the most amazing compliments; one that I was challenged by and personally aspire to hear one day.
He shared, “I never once heard her speak poorly about anyone. She always only had very good things to say and only wanted the best things for every single person she met.”
Can this be said of your character today?
If you liked this article, please make sure to Subscribe Here so that you don’t miss out on any future posts!
Oh man. ? Literally nailed me right in the heart. Really guilty of this and this blog post is so challenging to me. I feel like it’s to late to have something like that to be said about me but I would love to live out a challenge like that after reading this! Thanks for your posts! Keep it up ??
Awe! Thank you Tynish. It’s definitely NOT too late! I actually thought the same thing as I was writing this post, but realized that we will build many new relationships along the way. We will have so many opportunities to display that heart of unconditional love and always thinking the best of others! You love people SO well and with so much kindness – I admire that about you! Thank you for reading! Love you!
Such an encouragement! I think this hits most females right in the heart! Trying to stay pure in this area is definitely a struggle, but it’s also a challenge that I am willing to take!! Thanks for the kind and honest words Linds ?
Yes, definitely! Thank you for reading! 🙂
Thank you for another great, convicting post L! You hit the nail right on the head in that so often I too catch myself gossiping (really, that’s what it is) but vouching it with more honorable sounding verbiage. I want to be someone who everyone feels comfortable around, and not worried I might say something critical of them too to another friend – because if you gossip about one, you gossip about all!
Thank you so much for reading, Ashley! I appreciate it so much! Isn’t it funny how we still try and make it seem like an ‘honorable’ thing? lol I’m so guilty of that as well! Thanks so much for your encouraging words!
I love this post! I am also guilty of being a gossip in high school, and recently during a friendsgiving there were a lot of people I hadn’t seen since those years. It’s interesting how much the conversations with my BFF regressed so much back to those days leading up to friendsgiving and after. I honestly felt sick to my stomach and it was a good wake up call not to fold into old habits when stuff from my past comes around.
Rachel | The Confused Millennial
Oh girl – I can relate wayyyy more than you know right now! Thank you so much for sharing that and letting me know I’m not alone. It sucks how quickly we can get dragged back into that stuff. But all we can do is repent, change and remember that grace is always poured out! Thanks for reading sweet friend!
This is such a nice post. Gossip tells a ton about a person. I try to avoid it as much as possible but sometimes it tough!
Yes, it can definitely be difficult! Especially when we surround ourselves with people who pull us into it. But it’s encouraging to remember that we don’t have to allow ourselves to go down that path! Thanks so much for reading!
Great, great post. Absolutely refreshing
You are so sweet, Molly. Thank you so much!
Oh Lindsay… THIS! All of it. We get so caught up in toxic conversations, where we lose the essence of ourselves. Such a good reminder, friend. Thank you xx
Thank you so, so much for reading! I completely agree in ‘losing the essence of ourselves.’ Thanks so much for your encouragement!
Wow this is so incredibly convincing but something that God has really been challenging me on! Thank you so much for Sharing this!!
This is a habit that I am trying to break. I have seen first hand how gossip can really hurt a person and it is not a good thing to taint or destroy someone else’s name. Thank you for sharing this.
Thank you for this – It’s so easy to speak negatively of another person… a person new to me just tried to “bond” with me by disparaging another person. Although their criticism was semi-valid, it was unkind, and so I said something positive about them. This effectively shut down that line of conversation without a confrontation. I realized that I did this last week with 2 other friends as well. I do need to start watching what I say, as gossip has created a lot of division within my family rather than bringing us together.