It seems like such a simple question. We hear that something happened—somewhere, to someone—and we ask, “What happened?” We want to know the details. We want them to retell whatever it is so we can know. Whether it happened to them or to someone else, we want the info.
Our reasons vary. Sometimes we want to pray for whatever it is and be able to pray specifically. But sometimes—sometimes—it’s just for our own interest. Just because we want to know.
Psst—that’s called gossip.
Whether you’re on the telling end or the receiving end, gossip is gossip. I’m not going to lie—I struggle with both parts sometimes. Surprisingly, I’m a little better at not telling information than not receiving it.
When someone knows something and I don’t, it—it just burns in my chest, you know? It may be part of my desire to control, and I love to control information. I have to know everything. I’m a trivia queen. I know lots of stupid stuff (and a few useful things, too). I know facts about things you didn’t even know had facts. And I retain facts incredibly well. Indefinitely, even. To the point of annoyance.
Annoyance to others, that is.
This is why gossip is so hard for me to avoid. Not that I get a lot of it, mind you. I have super great friends who are very unwilling to partake in gossip. And I try not to ask for it—I try not to pry, not to ask for more information than I need. I also have to try not to share more information than is necessary. But this is actually easier, since I don't get any information from my friends.
Seriously. They're like Fort Knox.
Gossip can be hurtful. It can ruin friendships and families. While the sharing of information can bring people closer, in some situations it can drive them apart.
Do you struggle with gossip? What do you do if you find yourself in the middle of sharing it (or hearing it)? I want to know!
But, you know, I don't need to know...