For many women gossiping comes as natural as periods and is as essential as water. Watching drama (typically when we’re not involved) play out is like going to the movies. It’s entertaining and keeps conversation flowing. We gasp in surprise at the ending or to be continued scenario, and share the story with other people we think will tune in. But when we gossip it does something to us.
It’s like lions preying on food. We’re secretly tearing someone apart for a ten minute thrilling conversation. We easily analyze a situation without fully knowing the details, and most of the time without fully knowing a person involved. Yet we have all the conclusion/ending story answers and predictions. We solidify it with “that’s probably why she/he” for a unison agreement among our fellow gossipers. While it may seem harmless, gossip points directly to our own insecurities. Does her fake butt ruffle your feathers because you cant see in front of her in line at a concert or because you’d like a bigger tush yourself?
Before we start to gossip, we should ask ourselves three things:
- How does this situation affect me personally? Is it any of my damn business?
- Is it possible that by sharing this news, i’m improving the life of someone involved or affected?
- Am I talking about this person secretly out of jealousy/hate?
We usually will find that the situation has nothing to do with us, and that there was something else we surely could’ve reflected on at that time- like ourselves.
I know, it’s hard not to indulge in juicy news. So what can we do to fill that gap of gossiping?
Find a tv show series to watch or book to read with friends
And not just the Real Housewives of every city, but fictional shows that don’t delve into people’s personal matters. Grey’s Anatomy is a great substitute, but if that doesn’t work for you, simply find a show that does. If you find that your gossiping about the real live actors and not just the tv characters, then form a book club. Reading a book alone can spark self reflection to your reality, and create a bigger, deeper dialogue during group discussions.
Start a challenge
Around thanksgiving time, there are daily gratitude challenges that provide a schedule with daily tasks to show your gratitude. Jovian Zayne created the International Day of Purpose with several challenges das before the actual day, designed to push participants into finding their purpose. And I’m sure if you google 30 day challenge on google you’ll find several things that promote positivity. When you place positivity in your daily life, you’ll begin to feel bad about doing not so bad positive things. The energy around you will change, and you won’t want to put negativity in the forefront.
Play a game
Word with friends, charades, heads up and hangman are all phone and non-phone friendly games you can play to get excitement going. Get your blood pumping in a good way that leads to no rumors and emotional casualties.
What if it were you?
Stop and think about how you would react to hearing people talk about you or if you were in the same situation as the person you are talking about. Does even thinking about it cause you to feel angry? Sad? Disappointed? Stressed? Empathize with the person being talked about. When you personalize a situation, the reality of how it can happen to anyone, you included, makes it not so fun to discuss anymore.
So the next time you head to brunch or dinner with friends and know gossip can be on the table for discussion, propose these ideas and watch the change in convo unravel.