Once my co-workers and I had a serious awkward moment at the clothing store where we work. We had been watching a particular customer and had noticed some irresponsible behavior…breaking an item in the store and leaving it on the ground instead of bringing it to us. Later, believing the customer had left, we alluded to the item and spoke with frustration about irresponsible customers. Little did we know that the customer was standing behind a table and had overheard us. She accused us of talking bad about her. The awkward thing was that we didn’t say that the item had been broken; we had merely mentioned the item. We felt bad and awkward that she had heard our conversation, but by confronting us, she was actually acknowledging her guilt.
I was the victim of another awkward moment. When much younger, I took classes for three to four years at a dance studio. Wanting to become the best dancer I could be, I was really dedicated and attentive to my teacher, to the extent that some of my classmates considered me the “teachers pet.” One day when I was assisting my teacher with a younger dance class, she asked me to get something from her office. On my way to get what she needed, I overheard a couple of girls - they had earlier given me the impression that their were my friends - making jokes and slandering me with “teacher’s pet” comments. Undaunted, I stood there listening to everything they had to say. Once they noticed me, it was they, not I, who felt awkward.
Awkward moments aren’t always funny; sometimes they can be awful or depressing. If you want to avoid being a lead spokesperson in a gossiping ring, try out these tips:
· When your emotions are getting the best of you, isolate yourself. This enables you to clear your mind of negativity, or, if you enjoy writing, gives you time to write your thoughts down instead of sharing them out loud with someone else.
o Sharing negative emotions about others to friends or peers can cause them to feel negatively towards others before they are able to meet and get to know them.
· Confront people you have problems with in a manner that shows you want to understand their perspective. Whether they choose to share their own perspective or ignore you completely is up to them. It depends on how much they value your friendship.
· Most importantly, consider what the Bible says about gossip and ask God to help you refrain from engaging in it.
o Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
o Proverbs 16:28 says, “A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.”
o For more verses on gossiping, check out 43 Bible verses about gossip
What are some totesawk situations that you have encountered regarding gossip?