Maybe this would have been a timely article for the post-Christmas party period ? Nevertheless, the benefit we can derive from within need not be confined to the festive time of year.
How often do we have to listen to idle gossip, tittle tattle, and general negative talk. Who does it benefit? What good does it do, and actually, why do is?
The answers are easy - it benefits no one, it does no good, and generally, people do it to make themselves feel better by trying to build bonds with others, but that bond building generally results in others being put down.
So, how do we stop it, remove negativity from us, and hopefully, help the person gossiping to reflect on their own actions ? Easy , just use the phrase ...
"Why are you telling me this?"
Bear in mind the potential hurt which gossiping can do, and also bear in mind the impact of words. The old playground phrase of 'Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me' just is not true. Words cause us to think, thinking causes the brain to work, that produces chemicals - so words are effectively chemicals, chemicals which we do not always (or rarely) understand, and certainly not their outcome.
It may not be today, tomorrow or even in 12 months time when these chemicals cause an impact on somebody, but they will, and then who knows what will happen - perhaps the words which turn into chemicals, turn into actions, which do actually cause hurt by sticks and stones, and we may well end up with broken bones, or even worse. Workplace bullying claimed the life of a good pal of mine just over 3 years ago - and that started as 'just words'.
Such a simple line to diffuse gossip is "why are you telling me this?". Try it and see what happens.
People feel a certain thrill when they divulge confidential information about others. There are gossips out there who take pleasure in someone else’s failures or mistakes, comparing themselves to those less fortunate individuals. How can we stop it?