Gossip: Why words hurt more than sticks or stones

Got gossip? Don't share it. It's more harmful than you think.

Let’s be honest. When was the last time you gossiped about someone? When was the last time you felt the sting of gossip from others?

Gossiping is a vile act that causes hurt and pain, promotes untrue rumors and destroys relationships, yet it’s so common that we hardly bat an eye when we hear gossip or spread gossip ourselves.

In one “Man on the Street” video, SoulPancake asks individuals why people gossip. Can you relate to any of these harsh realities?

Why do we gossip?

  • There’s nothing better to do.

  • To feel better about ourselves.

  • Comparison — to show other people are just as fallible as we are.

  • It’s “fun” and “interesting.”

  • We focus on what’s outside rather than what’s inside ourselves. “The ego loves drama.”

  • Gossip provides a time when we don’t have to focus on our own flaws. We can say what other people need to improve instead of evaluating ourselves.

The results of gossip are extensive. People are hurt. Relationships are destroyed. Trust is lost on all sides — after all, if a person is gossiping to you, you can be assured that he or she is gossiping about you to someone else. Lying, backstabbing, damaging reputations or airing others’ dirty laundry is never a good idea. Whether information is true or not, if it’s not yours to share, don’t spread it like dandelion seeds in the wind.

Religious leader, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, nailed it when he said, “When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: Stop it!

Remember to remove the beam from your own eye before heading for the mote in someone else’s (see Matthew 7:4-5, King James Version).

Avoid gossip, and teach your children to follow your good example. They need to know why gossip is wrong and how to avoid it. In the end, we could all use a little less drama.

Wendy Jessen

Wendy is a regular contributor for familyshare.com and does media reviews. Website: https://survivorshopeandhealing.wordpress.com/ for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: https://wendyejessen.wordpress.com Twitter: @WendyJessen