Watch the video above and talk about it with a group or mentor. Learn more.

Can you go without saying something negative about another person for one whole day? Would it matter?

Key Points:

  • We all acknowledge that it’s not okay to tell lies about others, but when it comes to telling unflattering truths (gossipping) we tend not to have a problem with it at all.
  • All of us would be negatively impacted if certain embarrassing things about us became public knowledge, yet we often have no problem gossipping about others.
  • What tends to be most interesting or memorable about people is what is not so nice about them. We tend to remember the bad.
  • If someone couldn’t go a day without drinking, we’d call them an alcoholic. And if you can’t go a day without bad-mouthing others, you’re probably a gossip-aholic.
  • Gaining control of your tongue will be hard, but it will bring comfort, admiration, and trust from the people in your life.
  • Before you share something negative or gossipy, ask yourself these questions: (1) does the person you’re gossipping to need to know this information? (2) Is what I’m saying fair? (3) Why am I saying it?

Quote This:

Even good people don’t like to read novels about good people. -Isaac Bashevis Singer

See Also: Communication, Relationships, Workplace

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Has anyone ever found out something about you that you didn’t want others to know, or have you experienced a public embarrassment? How did you feel about it? Explain.
  3. Why do you think people are so interested in juicy gossip and embarrassing stories about others?
  4. Do you think you could go twenty-four hours without saying anything unkind about anyone? Why or why not?
  5. Have you ever known someone who is a real gossip? What was your opinion of this person?
  6. Think about the three questions posed above when it comes to talking about someone else negatively. Apply them to the last situation in which you talked about someone else behind their back. How would you answer the questions for that situation?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.