Wendy “How you doin’” Williams gets paid to gossip on TV about celebrity scandals. But whether there is a
monetary reward or not, for most people, there is an intrinsic payoff.
Gossiping makes the gossiper feel better according to a 2012 University of California, Berkeley study, but if you
ever get wind of a covert tongue-bashing of which you are the subject, it doesn’t feel so great.
No one likes to be the topic of gossip and yet, it is impossible to avoid run-ins with what 2 Thessalonians 3:11
calls “busybodies”—people who like meddling in the affairs of others.
The whispers about the unfortunate valleys in your life, embarrassing hang-ups, even hatred over the peaks,
and sometimes outright lies, can make it difficult to hold your head up high.
The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology study which explored gossip trends was based on four
different experiments and findings from hundreds of volunteers, and it revealed some interesting facts.
"Spreading information about the person whom they had seen behave badly tended to make people feel better,
quieting the frustration that drove their gossip,” reported the study’s co-author and social psychologist, Robb
Sadly, even if the behind-your-back talking is based on false rumors, conjecture or big old whoppers, knowing
that people are talking about you hurts.
So how do you deal with it when you become the subject of ridicule?
Here are five ways to handle gossip.
|Don’t Dignify it with a Response. You can’t force someone to only speak well of you, neither can they |
|force you to respond to their less-than-kind words. Often, the wisest way to handle gossip is to ignore it. |
Eventually, it will die down and those who have started the slanderous rumor-mill to turning will lose
|Say Something. I know this may seem to contradict the previous suggestion, but hold on. Let me |
|explain. Addressing the allegation is not wise in every case. However, there are such times when |
accusations are very serious. As a result, they cause others to lose confidence in your character, leading
to lost professional and ministry opportunities, and maybe even some valuable relationships. In moments
like this, it may be necessary to formally respond, deny the allegations and then move forward. Ask God
for wisdom to know when it is appropriate to speak up.
|Pray for the Gossiper. Proverbs 6:6-19 names 7 things God hates. One of them is false witnesses who |
|spread lies. You likely hate this too, but you can’t despise the person. Forgive and pray for them. After |
all, individuals who tear others down regularly are simply not happy with themselves. In many cases, they
have way too much time on their hands and are either too idle to find anything better to do, or too
envious to see the good in another person’s success, joy, or well-being. These individuals need prayer
because they are hurting inside. As a result, they lash out at others. As the saying goes, misery loves
company. And lest you become miserable, refuse to hold onto the offense and ask God to help them
|Have a Good Laugh. People can be very creative at times and come up with some pretty far-out |
|foolishness to say about you, can’t they? I’ve heard some interesting things in my day! When you |
stumble across insensitive, but harmless craziness, learn how to enjoy a good laugh, dust your shoulders
off and keep it moving. Everything is not that serious. Lighten up a bit and refuse to let the mindless
chatter of gossipers ruin your day.
|Rise Above It. In a nutshell, be the bigger person. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Great minds |
|discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." When small-minded people |
try to diminish you, don’t get involved in pettiness and start chasing down “he said-she said” drama.
Otherwise, you run the risk of lowering yourself to the level of the gossiper. Rise above all that. You won’t
get dirt on you if you refuse to roll around in the mud.
When it all comes down to it, ultimately, let God handle gossipers. Psalm 101:5 ESVa says, “Whoever slanders
his neighbor secretly I will destroy.”
Gossip is a destructive cycle that leads to the undoing of the person spreading it. So hold your head up high. If
there isn’t any truth to it, it will go away. If what the chatterers are saying is true, if God has forgiven you and
you have moved on, there is no need to feel guilt or shame.
Folks Gossiping About You? 5 Healthy Ways to Handle the
Busybodies In Your Life
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JUNE 12, 2014
PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY I Article By Ericka Daniels