What is it every neighborhood or office has that nobody wants? The answer is – you guested it – The Gossip. This is the kind of person who is universally disliked and mistrusted, and who delights in wreaking havoc on the lives of others.
Here’s a message for The Gossip . . .
Most of us have enough sense not to divulge anything about ourselves to you that we don’t want spread to the four winds. We know that once you’ve bad-mouthed or lied about someone, the person you are talking to will be your next victim. Before you hit the send button on a Facebook or My Space exposé about someone you despise, ask yourself “Would I want a tidbit of information about my most personal secrets made public? Even worse, how would I feel about someone sending out utter lies about me that I can’t defend myself against?”
Here’s a lesson for the rest of us . . .
Never, never tell even your best friend things about yourself that you don’t want the entire universe to know. Your best friend today could be your arch rival tomorrow. Don’t feel pressured by The Gossip’s inquiries about your personal life. If you are asked a question about yourself, your family, or personal relationships and you don’t want to share that information, just smile and have a quick answer ready, such as “That’s for me to know and you to find out,” or “Does it matter?”
Vicious gossip, even though it may be true, can have a devastating effect on someone’s life. Don’t participate in a character assassination just because the victim is outside your inner circle. Instead, take the high ground and say something like “Now I’d like to hear her side of the story.” It’s always best to resist the urge to spread information about the personal lives of others. Research shows that less than one percent of the population can keep a secret.
The Gossip is usually the kind of person who leads an empty, unfulfilled life. This person finds pleasure in contaminating the lives of others with a poison tongue. If you share confidences with him or her, those confidences will undoubtedly be betrayed. On the other hand, if you stay away from The Gossip and gravitate toward people you can trust, your friendships will be far more valuable. Trusted friends are hard to find, but their friendships can be rewarding and likely to last a lifetime.