Gossip impacts our relationships with each other and divides the Body of Christ. And it can easily become a bad habit and a false way to develop a feeling of “belonging”. So fast from it this Lent.
Gossip is idle, negative talk about another person. It often involves rumor or just putting another person down. It can cause us to feel something positive from another person’s misfortune. It can make us feel bigger or a create a feeling of a common bond at another person’s expense.
So how can we stop it? Here are a few things you can do.
When you feel yourself getting into gossip which is being initiated by someone else, ask that person “Why are you telling me this?” If the other person is heading down the path of gossip, they probably won’t have a good answer and will stop.
Walk away. You can choose to tell the other person that you don’t want to gossip, or you can just make an excuse and leave. In either case, get yourself out of the conversation.
If you do fall into gossip, think about how it makes you feel later. Normally, you will not feel good about it. Something inside of you will tell you it was wrong.
Go to confession right away. Jesus doesn’t expect you to be perfect. But admitting your sin out loud will help you say no next time. And your confessor might be able to offer you some insights on how to resist in the future.