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Monday, September 13, 2010

Gossiping, Fault-finding, Backbiting, and Slander

The last few articles I have put forth an effort to address healthy communication in our offices, in our schools, at our churches, and amongst “friends.”

When I watch people who grew up in this town together take on new titles politically, in leadership, or in business and those same individuals spew all sorts of hatred about one another privately or expose each others faults, but in public they seem the best of friends, something is wrong.

Have you ever stepped into a room and felt the eerie feeling that someone was talking in a negative way about you? It is as if they have two faces, one for show and another for private.

Someone has been sharing information about you without you present. The same individuals hold small meetings in the office, at lunch, in private to discuss how they really feel about you.

It is as though their true nature and intent is to tear you or someone else you know down while building themselves up.I can’t help but imagine that healthy communication helps business, church, local government, and community.

It is the raw nature of back biting, conniving, ill willed people whom considered every opportunity one that is to be taken to tear down others that destroys community from the inside out.

I was in a group of individuals who had been lead by one individual into a conversation about someone else that wasn’t present. I excused myself because the conversation was building to a point that if the person were with us they might have felt uncomfortable.

I have heard it said that if someone will talk to you about someone else they will also talk to someone else about you.

How does that help? How can we prance around with smiles on our faces while inside we can’t stand each other. I would think it is better to maturely communicate how you feel about someone in a civil way rather than wait until you get a private moment with a co-worker, fellow elder, or colleague, and gossip and express your dislike for someone.

Here are some things I try to put into practice in my own life.

1. Don’t say something about someone to someone else that you can’t say to the
person face to face that is the subject of your conversation.

2. If someone wants to make you their dumping ground for their feelings about
someone else ask them if they would feel comfortable talking directly to the
person they have a problem with instead of you.

3. Make opportunities to be direct. Stop smiling with one part of your face
while whispering out of the other.

Every face has two sides. Be consistent and remember what you say about others may just come back to you in another way. Healthy communication strengthens everything around it.

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