On Gossip

Gossip is one of the most popular pastimes for women. We love a good gossip fest, whether it’s about other friends, celebrities, or even bloggers we’ve never met. And as light and as innocent as it may seem to “share news,” it can cause real and serious destructions to relationships and the way we perceive ourselves and others.

The root of all gossip is insecurity. We gossip because we want to point at others’ faults and failures to prevent people looking at our’s. It’s a holier than thou perspective, and I think it is creating a culture of shallow, insecure women.

I once heard this saying:

Ouch! Stings a little bit doesn’t it?

Have you ever been hurt by a friend who has talked about you behind your back? If you’re a female older than the age of 12, then the answer is a big fat YES. And the pain we’ve experienced only increases our insecurities and distrust with one another. We tend to play it safe because, gosh I don’t want them talking about me again! 

Of course there are times when you need to share your heart, your frustration, others’ news. But there is a very fine line from moving the conversation about facts and feelings to gossip and slander. I think we need to ask ourselves, If this conversation was recorded, how would I feel if this person listened to it? Do I want people I am gossiping to, to wonder if I’m gossiping about them?

As women it is so easy to turn against each other, and that’s exactly what Satan wants. He hates unity, fellowship, honesty. He thrives on us tearing down each other and in turn creating a sense of insecurity and distrust in each of us.

I am just as guilty as the next girl, and I want to work on this in my heart.

I want to be a girl that friends can come to in confidence that I won’t blab their news to everyone.

I want to protect my thoughts from judging others or coming up with ways that they are inferior, just to make myself better.

I want to take risks without worrying what others may say behind my back.

I want to think more and talk less.

I want to speak words of truth and love.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. – Psalm 19:14

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  • This is a timely post for me. I’m recently struggling after discovering what two “close” friends have been saying/thinking about me in the past year. As I move towards forgiveness and love…I am wondering how trust and if trust can ever be restored. I don’t have the answer, but this morning while I prayed…I felt led to read the last verses in the book of Job where he had to pray for his friends who hurt him. I realized I can’t sit here and struggle with trust if I am not working towards Love and Forgiveness first. It is my excuse to avoid forgiving and loving. In addition, I also had to come face to face with gossip in my own heart and life; I rarely gossip, I avoid it as best as I can, BUT I do it and now that it is on me…I hurt.

    Sorry for my epistle. Your post hit close to home. :)

  • So true. I came across that purple quote above a while back and it really hit home. Gossip is promoted in women’s magazines and reported as being beneficial to networking and information gathering. All good for getting where you want effectively apparently. I’ve even read somewhere that you should take it as a compliment if you’re gossiped about, because surely it’s an indication that you’re not boring!
    It’s difficult to fit into some social situations if you don’t want to gossip and gripe about a celebrity you don’t actually know, or a manager at work etc. It’s a definite challenge, especially where gossip is cloaked in concern for others… “Oh did you hear about…is she ok?” I’ve definitely fallen into that pit before.
    You are right, the need to gossip is tied up with insecurity. I do want to be known to be trustworthy rather than popular though, and to use my words more thoughtfully. We’re in this together :) Thanks for sharing!

  • This is a great post and sadly true. I was shocked several years ago when I discovered that men are even bigger gossips than women are. I work with roughly 300 men and the rumors I’ve heard from them range from ridiculous to criminal. With guys I’ve learned that there is nothing sacred. The difference between the two sexes is that when it comes to gossip, women tend to be malicious about it. For some reason, women know how to make their words cut deep while men just like to spread the latest word.

    I try my best to operate under the rule that I should never say anything about a person that I wouldn’t say right in front of them. I do fail occasionally, but it is definitely something I am working on. I know from personal experience just how devastating rumors can be, true or false.