Recently a friend and I were catching up, and we were talking about the major and minor characters in our lives. Who is doing what, why they’re doing it and when they had it done. Then halfway, we stopped. Why? We told ourselves we were gossiping, and gossip is bad. Or is it? 

Growing up, you may have heard several reasons why you shouldn’t gossip. That gossip tarnishes people’s names and ruins lives. But that’s because the kind of gossip you were introduced to isn’t the ethical kind. Anything done unethically can ruin someone’s life and gossip isn’t different. So, let’s change that; even while we’re having fun trading stories, gossiping can be fun and non-damaging, and here’s what we’re trying to teach you: how to gossip ethically.  

Confront all parties mentioned

If you hear gossip, you have to gather information from all parties involved. Your job is to piece all the gossip together to form one cohesive story. Any true gossip knows that’s the best way to gather information. It also gives you an edge when you hear further gossip, and people will respect you more. 

If new information is gathered, always add it to further gossip circles

A characteristic of good gossip is being well-rounded. Update the gossip by adding new information that may alter the perception of the gossip. Give people a chance to form an opinion on this person based on all the information available. 

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Never reveal your sources 

No matter what is going on, whoever you’re gossiping with must never know where and how you got the information. It not only protects you, but the network you gossip with. It’s gossip not a thesis. No need to cite sources, please. Plus, if word gets around that you tell people how your information is gotten, nobody will gossip with you again. 

If you are not sure, always include a disclaimer

If the information you’re sharing has not been confirmed, better tell the network you’re passing that information across to. You want people to know they’re working with unverified information.  

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Take gossip from biased parties with a pinch of salt 

If the person you’re receiving the information from has been slighted by the party they’re gossiping about, be sure to not swallow every word uttered. They might be speaking based on malice, and you don’t want to help them spread their agenda. Better don’t be an accessory to malicious gossip. 

Information requires information  

Every gossip gotten should be returned with gossip worth just as much as what was offered. If someone tells you something not a lot of people know, you have to tell them exclusive gossip in return. It’s like payment for a service. 

For more on what’s inside this life, click here


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