How do I make a conscious effort to stay away from gossiping without making others feel condemned?
Well, aren’t you glad you came across this post as I’m going to be discussing some key ways in which one can try to do this.
The workplace can be a central hub for spreading information, sometimes the information is relevant to your work and other times it can be a hinderance. You know, those chats that start off with someone just sharing what they know and then it can suddenly turn into a withering plant of degrading words and the spreading of rumours. As Christians, it’s so vital that we are set apart from the rest of the world and that we are not consumed by the things that our flesh would so very much like to feed on.
It can be tempting to sit there and bask in all of the things that you could potentially find out if you just listen. I mean you don’t even need to add your own viewpoints do you? It’s only listening, surely that’s not being part of the conversation? Argh, if only. By staying, you are part of the conversation and you’re basically helping to water the gossiping tree. This is especially the case in the staffroom during lunch time. It’s like a breeding ground for story sharing but there is always the option to step away.
I’m by no means fantastic at walking away, let me not even sit here and present myself as someone who never ever sits in on the conversations. But we are all a work in progress and progression in the right direction is a good thing.
One way to steer clear of gossiping is to use the ‘just popping out’ excuse. Even if you have nowhere in particular to be, it always works when you say ‘Oop, I’ll be right back,’ (except don’t say ‘Oop’ out loud as you might look a bit weird). Then, disappear for a good few minutes knowing that by the time you come back the conversation should be finished.
Another thing you can do is try to strategically change the conversation and steer it in a completely different direction to the one it is going. Sometimes this means randomly talking about something that has nothing to do with the topic at hand but it is still a topic that ignites interest from the group you are with. It means that everyone is now distracted by the new topic and the conversation has gone from gossiping to people sharing their views on something or laughing around. The ability to do this is literally an art form in itself but if you can do it then why not.
Another tip is to try not to fuel or even start the conversation yourself. This is where wisdom in the things you have say come in handy. The moment you feel yourself about to start a conversation that could lead to gossiping – don’t. We all know the conversation starters that could lead to it and so we all know how to avoid saying them.
Hopefully that helps, I hope you’re having a good time doing the ‘Speak Love Only’ challenge for the month of December!