Friday, March 13, 2015

Gossip (Psst!)

What is it?
I mean, what is it really?

One definition is "casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true."

Another is "idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others."

So, gossip is first, about someone else. Second, gossip is generally speculation. And third, gossip is often about another person's private affairs.

I have been the victim of vicious gossip.
And i have been the deliverer of gossip.
I have also been an unwilling participant of gossip, trying to get away or encourage the deliverer to stop gossiping.

Here's what i know:
- gossip is talking about something that isn't your business.
- gossip is talking about someone who isn't present.
- gossip is passing on someone else's problems disguised as a "prayer request."
- gossip isn't necessarily based on any facts.

Here's what i've ultimately come to see about what gossip isn't:
Gossip isn't telling a friend about your personal experience with someone. But that line gets fuzzy, so it's okay to err on the side of caution there.

Gossip isn't asking questions about something that involves you in some way so that you have a better understanding of what is happening, what will happen, or what you can expect going forward. But it is wise to keep those questions to the facts and centered around your area of interest or influence.

Gossip isn't confiding in a prayer partner about a problem you are personally having, even if it involves another person. But a trusted prayer partner who can keep your confidence is essential when speaking of delicate situations involving others, to be sure.

Am i The Gossip Guru? Heavens, no. But i have experienced the good, bad, and ugly of gossip and seen all of the confusion that comes with that word. And i figured it's worth talking about.

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