We heard a great saying one time that went like this: “Don’t be like everyone else—even if you’re the only one.” This is especially true when it comes to talking about other people behind their backs.
In the course of life, it will be common to find yourself in situations in which people are gathered and discussing someone who is not present. This is fine, as long as what is being said is positive and nice. Many times, however, this won’t be the case. For some reason, people just love to drift toward the negative and point out everything they think is wrong about another person. This is a terrible, terrible habit and must be avoided by anyone who wants to live a worthy life and have great relationships.
Talking about others behind their back, gossiping about what they did or what they said, is like stealing; it’s stealing a portion of their good reputation. Perhaps people do this because they think that by tearing another person down, they somehow are making themselves look better. But remember: when you throw mud, you will always lose ground.
Instead, be the kind of person that refuses to speak ill of other people when they are not present. Even more so, become the one who defends those who are not present. Throw in a little, “Let’s not talk about Sally when she’s not here,” if things get out of control. You may think people will be slightly offended by you stopping their gossip train in such a way, but actually, deep down inside, they will be making a mental note that you are trustworthy and will likely defend them if anyone ever gossips about them.
Posted by Kristen Seidl, on behalf of Chris Brady.