Don’t You Love it When Your Friends & Family Gossip?? —NO!!!!!

gossip pic

I live in America, a country where quite often; more time is spent focusing on the evils of public nudity than poverty and homelessness.

Some parents are more fearful of their children engaging in premarital sex (even though 95 % of adults do it before marriage) than they are that little Johnny grows up to be an intolerant a** h****.

And then we come to gossip.

Do your relatives gossip? Mine sure do.

I come from a fundamentalist christian background; by that I mean that my family and fellow church members growing up were/are a bunch of know-it-all’s who never learned the definition of ‘listening’.

The churches I attended spent more time preaching from the pulpit against the evils of sex before marriage, the evils of rock music, the evils of hanging out with non-fundamentalist Christians,the evils of smoking, the evils of….I think you get the idea!

However, I would wager to say that it is gossip that does more harm within families and within churches than nearly any of the social evils my fundamentalist forefathers railed against.

Gossip tears at the very fabric of love that is supposed to bind us together.

I have 9 siblings, 10 if you count the fact that the day after my father’s funeral in 2008 I found a birth certificate for a son he had in Mexico who my dad somehow never told me about

Thus, in a family of 9 siblings you can imagine how much havoc gossip can wreak within a very short time.

My wife only has 2 siblings and yet even in a small family gossip can result in lifelong consequences.

When I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, the emotional scars that gossip has wreaked upon my life are a constant reminder at how awful it is to gossip.

To be honest , I’m still not ready to completely open up publicly and discuss the way in which gossip has harmed my wife and I; I’m still in recovery.

However, I’m moving forward. I’m teaching my children;

to accept others as they are

to love and not condemn

to forgive and not to hold grudges

Maybe the scars of gossip will never heal in my life.

But that is okay.

They are a constant reminder to me to never do the same towards others.

Kenneth Justice

1) Have you felt the sting of people who gossiped about you?

2) Were you the one who did the gossiping?

3) How did you move on and recover from those emotional scars?



Categories: Photography, relationships

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38 replies

  1. I’m with you. Catching wind of what some so-called friends said about me as I went through a divorce essentially ruined the friendships. I’m a “Catholic” but what the Churh-goers seem to continuously forget is Jesus’ Golden Rule. And furthermore: “let he among you who is without sin throw the first stone….”

    • Yup, you nailed a great point; I have seen couples who are going through divorce have the entire experience compounded exponentially because of relatives and friends who are gossiping behind their backs.

      Divorce is already hard enough without loved ones gossiping about the couple…sheesh!

      good thoughts

  2. That’s good advice for your children. The Bible speaks clearly about gossip and the double edge sword that it is. The scars you carry from gossip are only a portion of your fabric. We all carry many battle scars, most not visible. I am sure I am guilty of gossip somewhere along the line – another imperfect human. I remember other kids talking (gossiping) about me behind my back in elementary school, it was painful and I was very shy anyway. Good post.

    • John, I’ve always struggled with the fact that the bible spends so much time talking about the dangers of gossip and how it can literally destroy relationships….yet I’ve seen so many churches/parishes fall apart because gossip drove wedges between people.

  3. There is good gossip and bad gossip. When I gossip, I’d like to keep things on the positive side. But there is always that one slip up. I think gossip is an outlet for human interaction. It makes us (or maybe just me) feel interesting because we know something someone else doesn’t.

    Excellent post!

  4. Amazing post. One of the reason I don’t publicize my blog on facebook is that I am indirectly calling out some of my relatives. If they get the wind of it, they will tear my parents down with malicious gossip. I love the values you are giving your children. They will definitely grow up to be stronger and kinder people.

    • For a long time my Facebook account was deactivated…..it was with a trepidatious click of the mouse that i reactivated it and connected it to WordPress….I relate to you dude.

  5. Gossip tears at the very fabric of love that is supposed to bind us together–deep; profound, in all its meaning!

  6. I am the lucky recipient of sister on sister gossipy, catty, judgemental, know-it-all-ism, and yes, it has torn the whole family apart. My younger sister is just RELENTLESS and part of the reason we moved 300 miles away from family and only return for funerals. Sad but true… in the end that level of gossip alienates everyone.

  7. I love this. Unfortunately I am the one gossiped about. I’m probably going to hell is the last comment I heard. This is my first venture after being publicly humiliated. Gossip does tear you apart because you find your loved ones and those you thought loved you saying the worse things about you and they feel justified. Which has taught me to never judge, and to also build others up. I fight the urge to punch their lights out, actually I’d like to say it doesn’t make me fighting mad but under the anger is a deep hurt, so I allow that energy to be focused on being positive. I’d like to say I always react right but I don’t. Boy your post sure caught my attention. Honestly I had secluded myself and sequestered away to mend but this really was like a sauve’ to a deep wound. Thank you for liking my photo it took all the guts I had to post it. 🙂

  8. I was going to make a comment about the biblical stance on Gossip, but I see that others have done it already. I will say that whatever you want to call it, using words to tear down other people is wrong. Those who engage in it are bullies of a sort. As with all bullying, their power is derived from those who listen and agree, but also through those who stand by and do nothing. I would like to say I’ve never succumbed to the lure of gossip, but as with all things, I am a work in progress and merely strive to do better each day than the day before. Thank you for a very insightful and meaningful post.

  9. Judgment or judging can tear relationships apart so easily and quickly. The jobs not mine. It took me too many years and too many people to figure this out. Looking for splinters when I personally had logs.

  10. Excellent post. I was usually the topic of gossip, mostly during my elementary and high school years, but fortunately as an adult, not so much. I go out of my way to avoid partaking in this type of thing because of my past personal experience, but also because it is unhelpful and generally untrue. Thanks for sharing this.

  11. Yes, my family ( a fact I really didn’t fathom until recently) as well as my husband’s, GOSSIP alot! I hear alot, try not to judge or get caught up in the roar! That’s especially hard when you find out that you are the subject of the gossip. 😦 In the real, world I keep my circle tight for that reason. And in many ways, have built a wall around me. Just easier to stay insulated!

  12. My Golden Rule is to ask myself four questions: Is it TRUE? Is it HELPFUL? Is it KIND? Is it NECESSARY? If the answers are “no”, then it’s certainly gossip.

  13. This was really honestly written and I really liked how clearly you set out your thoughts! As someone who has had issues with gossiping in the past (writing a blog about it acurrently which is another reason this was so good to read) I certainly don’t believe in gossip. However I don’t think it’s a good idea to say its totally wrong because its such a huge and unavoidable factor in society, surely it’s better to teach moderation much like the whole absolutism of your old church group was a bit extreme?

  14. I live in the buckle of the Bible Belt, and it never ceases to amaze me the contradictions that take place. I am a counselor for adolescents in the criminal justice system. Most of them are in a boot school; it’s their last chance before prison. Their parent’s major concerns are that they’re having sex and masturbating. Not the fact that they have 7 possession charges, assault with a deadly weapon, etc. I love what I do, but most of the time, I’m ready to kill the parents. Their gossip about what they think they know is killing their kids.

    • Jenn,

      thank you for the work you do!!

      I have degrees in psychology and counseling and have worked both in the local county jail and in drug rehabilitation centers as a counselor….I couldn’t agree with you more!

      50% of my clients were between the ages of 18-25 and too often the things that clients and their families wanted to focus on were the wrong issues.

    • My degrees are in Psych and Criminal Justice 🙂 I spent several years in rehab facilities (as a WORKER) before doing Child Protective Services, and ended up wanting to be part of the solution and not the problem. Just stumbled upon your blog, and I’m super excited.

  15. Haha… Family gossip. Unfortunately I have been the subject of many rumors when it comes to one side of my family. I try VERY hard to brush it off… but sometimes it does get to me and I end up crying.

  16. My Dad comes from a family of 12 and I swear each is worse than the other. Hardcore Catholics whose father had the same mistress for 23 years act as if they’re saints. I’m with you, family can be cruel; crueler still when you multiply it by 12. Hang in there.

  17. Excellent post, spot on. Ahhh slandorers…one of the seven deadly sins that God Hates. Gossip has elements of cowardice, maliciousness, passive-aggressive retaliation and a sociological appeal to be part of a group. While we all know what it feels like to be on the other end, few of us are able to resist the appeal. The “Secret knowledge” is too enticing. Satan’s weapon for sure. Water coolers should be banned from the workplace 🙂

  18. You know, i am quite tempted to share this on FB page. And husband’s AND a few others.:)

  19. I grew up with some very negative people and I honestly can’t remember them saying a positive thing about anyone, least of all our family. Sure there were some positives, but there was always a big “but” or “except” or something along those lines. Listening to them talk like that was exhausting, and I can only assume they do the same to me, when my back is turned. They do it to everyone else, why would I be immune? I can’t imagine what keeps them going, because it so exhausting and depressing to see only the worst in people. Eventually I learned to tune it out. Do I discuss other people, yes. Do I discuss the flaws of other people, yes, but not maliciously and only with other people who will not take it that way or use it to hurt the other person. Mostly I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.

  20. This is a wonderful commentary! I thought the family was supposed to be where you find safety and protection and sometimes it can harm you more than the real world…

  21. I would like to say that I like your style of writing..its a bit critical about things that often happen in regular life and we can relate to it easily…thanks for sharing ..I enjoy reading your post

  22. When I was growing up, I also found that comparing siblings or good friends with each other (in a negative, over-competitive way) was truly hurtful. Thankfully, it wasn’t by my parents, but hearing snippets from conversations on that topic from other adults in one’s life still scars a young person.

  23. I agree with a lot of what is said here. I work in a religious institution, yet the mainly non-religious group I work with for the main part of the day are so cliquey and critical of others, that many people find it hard to work with them. One is constantly made to feel like an outsider, or that one is not doing well enough. This is not gossip but is undermining and harmful. There is gossip, too, but this ‘exclusive behaviour” is more of a challenge. It’s not very much in the spirit of loving one another. I try to stay positive, but it’s hard. Thanks for bringing up this topic.

  24. hi
    Firstly thank you for the visit. secondly to me as a women i had and will have my share of gossip its a society disease and no there is no cure for it . in my opinion people gossip for 3 reasons 1- your a very nice person 2- your a wicked person 3- your a social vegetable and you bore them .
    i enjoyed your article it was fun to read
    best wishes

  25. I think the world thrives on gossip and it’s rancid tongue. Social media sites certainly don’t help the problem and has me wondering why so many people put their lives out there (Facebook) for others to judge! The saying if you didn’t hear it with your own ears, see it with your own eyes then don’t fabricate it with your own imagination! People can be so vicious and I too see gossip as a form of bullying, that’s why I have always liked to keep myself to myself. Life is a hell of a lot easier this way. Great post!

  26. Great article. My life has been basically ruined by former friends that passed on confidences and gossiping narrow-minded so called christians. I almost think fundamentalist christians are one of the worst for oneupmanship and judging. They are so wrapped up in their small world of fearing the unbelievers. I have had friends in their bible studies praying for people but all it does is broadcast their so-called concern for the sinners – the bible even says to pray alone and to your God. I have lost my faith, trust and will probably never really open up to others ever again because of the pain they have caused me. Moving 300 miles away sounds like a great idea.

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