Gossiping or sharing information….where to draw the line?
In some of the courses I take and with some people I chat with, I have what I call, ‘the Vegas Rule’. What happens in class and during discussion stays there in those walls not to be repeated.
Of course we all gossip and share information with each other. It is a natural normal thing to do. Personally some of my friends and I can spend hours over coffee chatting away about anything and everything.
But do you ever go to say something and pause and think should I be telling this person this information? Or if you hear something, do you think do I or don’t I tell?
Where do you draw the line?
Sharing information can be anything, from shows, news, your life, your feelings, events that happened, random facts about your week and so on.
Gossiping is defined as:
- idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others:the endless gossip about Hollywood stars.
- light, familiar talk or writing.
- Also, gossiper, gossipper. a person given to tattling or idle talk.
Sometimes I can get caught up in the conversation and ‘overshare’ information that was not mine to tell. I have actually lost a good friend to this. The information I shared was true, however was not my story to tell to someone else. I have learned my lesson the hard way.
In the classroom, I often ask the students and teach them the difference between ‘telling’ and ‘tattletelling’. Telling is sharing information, tattletelling is when you tell on someone to get them in trouble or just to share personal information about them that is not your business.
Children, adults, young and old, we all learn and relearn the lesson, sometimes the hard way on what to share with others and when.
Now, I try to pause and ask myself, ‘will this information hurt the person I am telling?’, ‘Do they need to know that someone said something not nice about them?’ ‘is this my story to tell?’
Did you see his tattoo?
Just because you can tell some juicy gossip you heard, does it mean you should? Yes, people are listening to you in the moment, they are also possibly thinking, ‘wow if she is saying this about that person, I wonder what she says about me?’ making people not want to open up to you.
There are of course sometimes where you need to make the hard decision and tell someone something because it will help them. Maybe you saw your best friend boyfriend cheating, and you tell. Be careful your best friend might not be as appreciative as you think.
Stop, pause and ask yourself why you are sharing before you share. Could save you a lot of hurt later on.
Have you overshared? Have you been in a situation where you had to decide to tell or not tell? Share your story here.