Refusing To Gossip Is A Good Social Skill

Writer: Farah Karim

Gossiping. Be it at the workplace, university, among your friends or even at your house with your family — is inevitable and sadly, often in spite of another person. According to researchers, roughly 60% of conversation between adults are about someone who isn’t there. For a lot of people, it’s something not even worth engaging in. However, with social media and news outlets often releasing the “latest scoop”, it’s hard to avoid gossiping even when you try to.

We’re not here to tell you to stop gossiping altogether and that you should look down on people who does. They say birds of a feather flock together and if people can get together and bond over their likes, the same can be said for their dislikes. The thrill that comes with sharing ‘private and confidential’ information is another reason why people like to gossip! It builds social bonds, strengthens friendship and establishes trust; but at the expense of others.

But wait! If it’s good for people, then why refuse? Well, some people just don’t like to gossip. Some people don’t see the benefit in it and this article is will be your guide on how to deal with that.

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1. People won’t take you seriously if you continuously gossip

If all you’re talking about is gossip, no one wants to listen to you. There is nothing substantial in the words that you say, and people eventually don’t find it to be worth their time anymore.

2. Negative feelings evoke negative action

Like we said, gossiping is often done in a negative light. As a result, you’ll start thinking more negatively and before you know it, your actions will mimic your thoughts.

3. Focusing your energy in the wrong place

Instead of gossiping, you could spend your time and energy on something more rewarding. Like the previous point, energy can be transferred to something more positive and happier. Choose a place that’s worth both your time and energy.

4. Don’t engage in conversation

Staying mum is the simplest way to avoid gossiping. By not contributing, you don’t even have to deny anything. The less you participate, the less others will want to talk to you about it.

5. Changing the subject

Changing the subject, when done right, can steer the conversation into something more positive. Perhaps look into why the person is gossiping. Instead of engaging and steering them further into venting, you could say: “I understand how you feel and have you told her about this?” or “Well, what are you going to do about it?”

6. Ultimately, ask “Why are you telling me this?”

This is something that a lot of people stumble on when asked. Most of the time, they don’t have a reason and find it difficult to reply. People have no logical reason to gossip about someone else and if brought up, the question can pose as a challenge to the persons  moral values. This often has them reevaluate what they’re talking about and tackles the underlying reason for why they gossip.

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Gossiping, despite how tempting it is, should be a choice, not an obligation. You won’t die if you choose to stay out of the drama. If you want to gossip, that’s fine because humans are social creatures that loves to socialise. However, remember that if you don’t see the benefit in gossiping, it’s okay to refuse! It should be your choice whether you want to take part in it or not. Besides, knowing how to refrain yourself from gossiping is considered as a good social skill as you won’t risk hurting anyone’s feelings.

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