One of the best ways to destroy your company, organization, or family is by tolerating gossip.
Do you know of anyone who loves to gossip or are you having a hard time in controlling yourself being a gossip?
If your weakness is being a gossip and your desire is to stop it, let me tell you that you can do it!
Here are my TEN practical steps to totally overcome your struggle in this area.
THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.
Even before you open your mouth to speak, think thoroughly about what you are going to say. Ask yourself, will it be beneficial or harmful to yourself and to others? Will your words bring life or death? Will it build up or destroy someone?
You would not want to regret in the end so be wise.
KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.
If you don’t have anything good to say, might as well just keep your mouth shut. Just keep your thoughts to yourself. Do not be quick to comment just so that you have something to add to the conversation.
If you are not being asked or addressed, it is better to keep quiet. Refrain from voicing your opinions especially when it is not being asked. Be a person of few words. Be someone who speaks less but when you do, it is filled with sense and with much wisdom.
EXAMINE YOUR HEART.
What is the root cause of your drive to gossip about other people? Are you struggling with envy, insecurity, hatred, or unresolved issues? Then it is about time to sit down and evaluate your heart. There is a biblical saying “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Guard your heart from these negative feelings.
PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES.
Try to put yourself in their situation. Would you want to be talked about behind your back? Would you want to be judged? Would you want false stories about you going around? If not, then don’t do it to other people too. If you don’t want to get hurt, then don’t hurt others. Why? Remember, what you sow you will reap. Whatever you do to others, good or bad, will find its way back to you.
KEEP YOURSELF BUSY AND PRODUCTIVE.
Instead of being busy working on the lives of others, spreading rumors, noticing their mistakes or weaknesses, why not just focus on your own life? There are a lot of other things that you can spend your time, doing more valuable and productive things. Gossip will neither benefit your life nor others.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE.
If you are surrounded by gossips, then it is better to stay away from them. You can still interact with them, be their friends, but distance yourself as soon as they begin to talk badly about other people.
Remember the saying, “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.” Be friendly, but choose your circle of friends carefully because these are the people who will influence you.
MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.
Your neighbor’s business is blossoming. Your boss has a mistress. Your officemate is deep in debt. Just shrug it off and let them be. It definitely won’t help them improve their lives if you tell others about them. As a matter of fact, it will just make matters worse.
Now, if you are genuinely concerned about them or if you want to clarify something, then talk to the person concerned.
BE SLOW TO SPEAK AND QUICK TO LISTEN.
Words spoken are like toothpaste. Once it’s out, there is no way you can put it back into the tube. So make every effort to listen well, before speaking. Don’t assume, don’t be quick to judge and don’t get ahead of others. Hear out the side of others and get all your facts straight before you believe and speak.
BE TRUTHFUL AT ALL TIMES AND AT ALL COST.
Pretend you are Pinocchio and when you are not truthful, your nose will grow longer and longer. There is a thin line between gossip and lying. Once you entertain gossip, lying isn’t far behind. When you begin to fabricate stories, you will need to maintain the information so you are going to end up building up on you lies. Make an effort to speak the truth at all times. Yes, it may be hard and hurtful at times, but it is the right thing to do.
PRAY AND ASK GOD FOR HELP.
We cannot do anything without the Lord. Why? We find it is easier to talk about people because they are not with us, so they don’t really hear what we are saying. But God is with us 24 hours a day. If you profess to love God, then you will avoid doing or saying anything to hurt him, right? So this will help us to control our tongue and not to say anything ill against others.
It is not easy to change and it will really take time and a lot of effort. It is difficult to unlearn and break something that is already a habit. This is why we need God’s help. Remember the saying, “if there is a will, there is a way.” If you want to change, you will find ways to do so. If you don’t want to, you will find many reasons not to change.
THINK. REFLECT. APPLY
How do you plan to begin to change? Have you checked your heart lately? Are you surrounded with the right people?