Watch your words

While gossiping can seem fun, it’s not exactly right

All right, I’ll admit it: There are times I catch myself getting caught up in the gossip world. I’m not proud of it, but I do.

I’m sure you are familiar with the phrase, “People who gossip with you will gossip about you.” There is a shred of truth to those words. I’m guilty of sitting down with some friends, conversing about other people’s daily lives.

We all know gossip is not the best form of conversation. While a little gossip here and there can be relatively harmless, some gossip will get you in hot water.

Take the example of four women who were town employees in Hooksett, N.H., who were fired for gossiping about rumors regarding an inappropriate relationship between the town administrator and another employee. ABC News reported the story back in 2007, but the lesson is there.

It is unprofessional to gossip about your co-workers, and it is unkind to gossip about your relatives and your friends. Unfortunately, we are only human and it happens. However, there’s a fine line between being a gossip king or queen or just getting caught up in the rumor mill.

Gossip has become very acceptable in western culture. Just log onto or glance at People magazine on the stands while waiting in line – it’s gossip central. Look at all of the gossip, rumors and scandals that come along with politics, not just celebrities. It’s everywhere.

When I catch myself talking about someone else in a not-so-nice manner, I often feel a twinge of guilt. It is probably my overbearing conscience or just simple maturity – most likely it’s a combination of both.

I believe one of the biggest reasons we get caught up in snide or mean gossip is we are feeling down about ourselves. We get the false notion that if we tear another person down, we can build ourselves back up. That type of behavior gives us pseudo-confidence.

So, the next time you catch yourself spewing out vicious words about someone else, take a look at yourself and think about what you’re saying. You’re only human, but so is the person you’re gossiping about.