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How To Stop Gossip

I've a christian friend that's a divorced/widowed Mom with son 21 that has kidney problems. Her whole life is absorbed with her son and work. She talks about everybody. I'm to the point where I want to say something but am afraid I'll really hurt her. She lives her life through gossiping. Any ideas?

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 ---Curious_To_Know on 9/17/05
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Pray with your friend: in prayer, lead your friend to Christ. After she gets saved and Christ is living in her heart, then the worthless gossiping will stop.
---Eloy on 4/26/12

when someone starts talking about someone else I just say I don't want to talk about that. works everytime
---shira4368 on 4/26/12

Hello,had friends who really were constant gossip's & love,no I am not perfect,but now living with my own infirmities negative stuff hurts my,I had told'em change "talk"...none,,I changed my # and do not talk to nobody! I see them out 'n the barrio,"hello!"....quick on my way to church. Nobody bothers too much now!
---ELENA on 4/26/12

Good answer Reba. That approach usually works,however there are times when you may have to just flat out tell them to stop gossiping. After all, I'm sure we've all been guilty of gossip before.
---fay on 6/16/10

The best way I've found to stop the gossiping to me is try to think of some way to defend the one or ones being gossiped about. Whether you know them or not makes no difference. EXAMPLE: "Can you believe how awful Jane Doe looked at the party last night?" ANSWER: Well I'm sure it couldn't have been any worse than I look most of the time. We all have our off days." When I do this it kinda rains on their parade & they don't enjoy talking to me about others. Try it next time. See if it'll work for you too.
---Reba on 6/15/10

No, thanks donna..
If catherine is saved, God will work on her heart and hopefully get her reading His Word, guiding her toward His will.
If she is not saved, then I must conclude that those voices can only be satanic forces appearing as angels of light.
Whatever the case may be, I do not believe her to be a prophet because the multitude of errors between her word and God's.
The best we can do is pray for her salvation and the strengthening of her faith in the One True God.
---micha9344 on 6/15/10

fay>>>sometimes I feel like am.
---catherine on 6/15/10

Catherine, are you all alone?
---fay on 6/15/10

micha9344-- I see the irony. I tried pointing out such "irony" once before. You want to try this time?
---Donna66 on 6/15/10

'including Nancy Grace are nothing more than back-stabbers' 'What right does any human being to point fingers at others? What right? You wicked people'--catherine

Does anyone else see irony written all over this?
---micha9344 on 6/15/10

Catherine-- Your example of the Nancy Grace Show is good. But an even more important point is, that if people quit WATCHING Nancy Grace, the show would quickly go off the air.

This priciple applies to individuals as well as TV shows. Show a gossip that you are not interested in the "dirt" they spread around and they will quit bothering you with it.
Unfortunately, as long as others are interested, they will continue to gossip.
---Donna66 on 6/15/10

God absolutely hates back-stabbers. And many TV programs, including Nancy Grace are nothing more than back-stabbers. If we could only see man the way God sees man. You would through up all over yourselves. Yah, ha. ha. ha. What right does any human being to point fingers at others? What right? You wicked people. Yak. My answer to you would be "That's hear say". MY GOD SAID!
---catherine on 6/15/10

I heard about the same, this Lady & her gossip. If this story is true or not I don't know.
The Lady came in service & while the service was in session she got up & went to the alter.
The pastor bent over & asked her, Mam, what do you need? She replied to say, I gossip & say things about others that I should not say. She went on to say, I need to lay my tounge on the alter. The pastor said to her, Mam, you'l need to go to another place of worship & she asked why? The pastor said to her, if you need to lay your tounge on an alter, this alter is not long enough.
---Lawrence on 6/15/10

You called her Christian? First mistake! Yes by all means confront her. Not to is weak and equal to her conduct. Listening to or speaking gossip are almost the same. I simple dispise self-proclaimed christians who are this way. Grow-some!
---roy on 6/14/10

One of my pastor's once said, "when someone wants to share gossip with you, ask them if they had their permission to share it with you. If you get the right opportunity, tell her their are six verses in the New Testament concerning gossip and the damage it does within the church and to those individuals involved.
---Bob on 1/27/10

Curious, If you really love this person the way God wants you to love your neighbor, you cannot hurt this person. True love does not demand anything in return. This sister has had it very hard and is bitter at everyone. Some people take tragety in their lives very hard. Others don't. No amount of advice can change how she feels. If you really love her, pray that God will make a miracle in her life. Oh, I know what many say, that you have to do something, but whatever you do, it will come from you. What comes from God is always perfect.
---MarkV. on 1/23/10

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Since she is your friend and your contemporary, after praying on the move you are about to take, go to her, read Gal.6:1 & Matt.18:15-17 together with her. After reading these verses tell her that you do not want to be avoiding her & you want your conscience to remain clear anytime you are with her. Tell her that you are also not perfect & if she sees you in any fault she should also tell you. Then tell her what you have observed in her and ask her to pray so that she can improve. The Lord will help you, it shall be well.
---Adetunji on 1/23/10

Just tell her that you are trying to cut out certain bad habits from your life, so you would like her to help you filter gossiping from your life. You can even ask her if she would like to join you on your new quest.
---Julie on 1/21/10

I would gently communicate your feelings and give her scriptural guidance. If you are not comfortable doing so, you need to depart from her. And even if you do instruct her and she refuses to change, you need to disassociate from her. The Word says that bad associations corrupt good morals. And I have learned that we can be spiritually contaminated by associating with sinful people. Let God guide you about whether or not you are to remain in this friendship. If she refuses to come out of it, I personally would separate. I've known too many people who have become influenced by being around sinful people. If we are around anyone very much, we will always be influenced by them.
---Alena on 9/5/09

If you and her are good friends,then that mens she will listen to you if you really want to help her. Tell her what you have shared with us on this blog. Tell her with love and concern not in a fault-finding and accusatory way. Let her know,if this is true,that you do care about her and her son and is genuinely concerned about her gossiping. Or you can choose to just break off the friendship and simply,move on.
You and her are still friends because there is something there that keeps you going back to listen to her and her gossip. This is about you ,also. Gods blessings to you. I hope you can work this out with your friend.
---Robyn on 9/2/09

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Back-stabbing is as destructive as wars, disease, famine.
---catherine on 8/31/09

In Proverbs it talks about how it is better to cut someone with the truth, than to give false flattery - my translation. The truth sometimes hurts, but if you are a true friend, and you care about her, you will speak Biblical truth on the subject to her, even if it cuts - in the end, it will benefit her. If you try to spare her feelings, you will not benefit her, and she will be worse off for it.
---Leslie on 8/29/09

Dont participate in, but rebuke, gossiping. The Jews have a useful term called 'loshon hora', or the evil tongue. While telling lies, presenting rumours for evidence, or violations of Matthew 7:1-5 / Luke 6:41-42 (hypocritical and censorious judgment) are not permitted, neither is telling the truth without a good reason such as to bring correction, nor is it necessary to tell people who would have no legitimate interest at hand. 1Corinthians 2:15, 5:3, 11-13, 6:2-4, 11:31 instruct us to judge, and God tells us to correct anyone who calls himself a brother and sins, 2Thesalonians 3:6, 11, 2John 1:9-11.
Leviticus 19:16-17, Proverbs 10:19, 1Corinthians 6:10, 1Timothy 5:13-14, James 4:11, 1Peter 3:17, 4:15, Revelations 21:8, 22:15.
---Glenn on 8/29/09

how do you call someone a friend who is gossiping about others non-stop regardless of religious affiliation ...if she is always gossiping who is at scene of accident? it is you - you allow her to talk gossip and LISTEN ...remove yourself from her when she gossips ...she will either move on to someone who will LISTEN or ask why you are not available to talk ...if she ever asks why you can't talk anymore let her know you are purging gossip out of your life and no longer LISTEN to any ...if she values herself and you she will ask for help

take action by action of living without gossip and not LISTENING ...removing her ability to communicate gossip to you NOT confronting her and attempting to change her

---Rhonda on 8/28/09

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I love the suggestions of inviting her to join you in prayer for the person. A most EXCELLENT idea!

Another is to gently interrupt her when she begins and ask if the information she is about to share is something the person would want you to know or is it information you need to know in order to help the person. If the answer to either is 'no', change the subject by saying, "Okay, then let's not waste time on it, Let me tell you..." and begin a new positive topic. If you do this without skipping a beat it's less embarrassing to her, but sends a strong message that you prefer to keep your conversations positive. After 1 or 2 times, she'll get the message.
---AlwaysOn on 8/28/09

---Doug is correct!!!! He's suggestion is unbelievably effective. When you make the suggestion about praying to the gossip monger say it in a quiet voice bow you're head and start praying. You will be amazed at how this works!!
---mima on 8/28/09

The best method i have had used on me, is to interrupt her, saying lets pray for that person.
Then begin to pray for Gods mercy toward them, and that God might even use your friend to minister His love and forgiveness toward them.
---Doug on 8/27/09

If it's on the telephone, try changing the subject. Actually, you might could do that in her presence, too. You need to try something. Being rude is not a good idea, especially if you do it on purpose, which so many do. If it persists, then, you might need to tell her that you don't like gossip. And if that doesn't work then the only alternative left is to avoid her. We must be careful who we hang around with, Because this wickedness can sure get off on you and inside of you. Always strive to please God.
---catherine on 7/4/09

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You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous wicked." Some May Feel, gossip is a small sin in God's Eyes! This is a deception of the enemy! For there is no greater or lesser sin in God's Eyes!
---mia_stubbs on 7/4/09

Does participation in gossip please God, or partner with the enemy, hater and excuser of mankind! God's word says repeatly to not participate in gossip! God is not a Man that He should lie, neither the Son of Man that He should repent... God does not gossip! He does not speak negatively against one of His children to another of His children! He is our Example!
---mia_stubbs on 7/4/09

There is an effective, instant, and easy cure for gossip. Anything that doesn't result in prayer is gossip. Gossip is negative communication that doesn't result in prayer.

The next time this person approaches you with gossip... tell them "let's pray about this right now." Take their hand and lead them in a prayer for the subject of the gossip.

Either you will have lost a gossiper or gained a prayer partner...either way you win!
---Richard on 3/7/09

I personally think it is so wrong to gossip in my opion if you got somethng to say about somebody say it to their face because when you talk behind their back that just means your scared of them and thats stupid you should be honest with your friends dont lie to them you want to have trust in your relationship so you can always be there for your friend when they need you or you might need them and might not have them because all you want to do is gossip about them yea its wrong and most likely its untrustworthy
---courtney on 3/6/09

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this is crazy
---Chris on 9/30/08

My friend suddenly decided to be mean to me andmow is spreading rumors and I know that if somebody gossips about you,you think that you should gossip about them but you actually just have to tell them to stop.
---Abbey on 2/5/08

When you get these people together bring it up to the person who was gossiping about the other person, I can tell you they will be mad at you. But who cares if you want to help that person you have to nip it in the bud. I know I did it recently. I hope it caused a dialogue because the person being gossiped about could not see it. Oh yes I am now on their nasty list, but life is not about every one being in love with you because of your patronizing their tackiness.
---Frances on 12/25/07

I was always told that if you Listen to gossip you are as guility as if you Gossip. I have now did the Barney Fife thing and nipped it in the bud. I kindly tell them I am not intrested and I defend my brothers and sisters in Christ. Most of time if you shut them down and not listen that shuts the door. You can speak kind words and God will help you not to offend. It has to be done because God is not pleased with sowing discord.
---Charlene on 8/12/07

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Most human being like to gossip, including Christians, but WE know it is wrong. We should try to curb the urge in ourselves and when others gossip to us we should gently remove ourselves from it. This can be done by saying "Sorry that is none of my business, I don't want to get involved in this discussion" or something similar. We should also not be offended when someone else says something similar to us when we stray into the realm of gossipping.
---m.p.a. on 4/5/07

Pray for her.
---Helen_5378 on 4/5/07

I usually change the subject gently steering it away from conversation's centered on the lives of others unless it affects me directly. I'll say, oh thats their business, I'm glad it does not involve me.
I also imagine the person doing the talking might also include me in their conversation when talking with others, so I don't do it, I don't entertain others who do, and I thank God fo helping me keep this at bay.
It's too easy to to get caught up in it.
---lynet on 4/4/07

Well,in the first place, I don't believe this question. if she is really a true Christian, I don't see how God let her get away with it.
---catherine on 4/4/07

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Spend time with her and get her interested in other topics.
Mention to her "Ye that Judge ye shall also be Judged"
---Gladys on 4/4/07

we have this guy at work, now "this guy" is sneaky and loves when people get into arguements, he starts them up and starts laughing during them. He will also go out of his way to run up to you or someone else and start saying something bad, when the other person says something he will run over to the person that he just bad mouthed and tell him what this other dude said. How can you stop someone like this. Because of "this guy" I am highly stressed and have alot of anxiety now. Help!
---David on 1/13/07

When your friend begins talking about others, in a Godly manner explain to her that what she is doing is wrong. That gossip only hurts, my the tongue is a wicked thing. Tell her the truth about how you feel, ask her to respect your feelings and discontinue talking about others behind their backs. Tell you that you want to enjoy time with her and you can't as long as she's backstabbing people. Pray for her to stop. Prayer always works!
---Nellah on 12/5/05

Just remember that a gossiper needs your attention. Provide it to her but as Christians, you are to "reorient' her attention to God and not to senseless gossip.
---bebet3754 on 11/1/05

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The person who has to "put down" someone else
is usually not very secure about themselves. You also have the situation that they have too much time on their hands. The best way to handle it is not be a part of it. Just tell the person who is going the gossip, (the next time it's done,) you don't appreciate it and don't want to hear anymore and it is not proper Christain behavoir. The only thing that comes from gossip is trouble. (Romans 1:29, Proverbs 26:22)
---WIVV on 10/18/05

"For lack of wood the fire goes out" Refuse to recieve it. Gossipers speak to anyone who will listen. Gently say "sorry, i just don't want to hear anything bad about anyone" Ask God to give you the grace to do this.
---Tsuanne on 10/11/05

I am with Allan, Sally. I don't think we are doing gossip in here because with all honesty, YOU and I DON'T KNOW "Curious". And BOTH OF US, don't know personally "WHO IS SO AND SO" being mentioned here. Gossip works when I personally know you, Allan, Curious,and the lady "Curious" mentioned. The pieces of advice given here are for Curious to help the Lady she mentioned.
---Linda65546 on 9/27/05

Sally ... you are I think too critical.

The personal things about that lady could go a long way to help us understand why she is such a gossip, and help Curious to know how to help the lady .

Gossip hurts, but none of us know this lady, and the talk about her cannot help her, or spread infoormation about her among those who know her.
---alan8869_of_UK on 9/27/05

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It seems to me that if this question were only being asked as to how to stop a person from gossiping, all the personal information would have been left out. There was no need to talk about marital status, medical problems, self-absorption in son and work, etc. See what I mean? We are now in on the gossip.
---Sally on 9/27/05

Great minds talk about ideas
Average minds talk about events
Small minds talk about other people.
---Eloia_N_KS on 9/26/05

You hit the mark, Allan!. We are only "sharing ideas and possible solutions" to stop gossip and help the gossiper stop this bad habit!
---bebet3754 on 9/22/05

Barbara ... I don't think we are gossiping about that lady. Gossiping is when you discuss someone you know behind their backs, with others that also know him/her. Thar's not the case here.
---alan8869_of_UK on 9/22/05

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A BIG Amen to Rebecca's suggestion!That is a great way to help the gossip-E and the gossip-ER! God bless them all!
---missy on 9/22/05

Barbara67,we have to understand though that gossipers need "attention" because they need (or in need of) something. Let's be understanding to them. Let's us keep to ourselves what they shared with us (if possible under lock and key), and then let us PRAY for them. Rebecca's suggestion is good!
---bebet3754 on 9/20/05

Bebet - thank you for your thoughts. I guess only God can see behind the masks and heal any hurts that cause us to shelter ourselves. I am glad God knows what we don't want to share with anyone. Rebecca's let's pray is probably what we need more of.
---barbara67 on 9/20/05

The next time she or anyone else starts gossping, you say, "Well let's just pray for that person now, shall we"? the person that is doing the gossping will shut up and put her/them in their place real quick. I have done this and it works. Or I will say to them if you can't say something nice and true, then shut up, cause I don't want to heart it. Maybe rude, but I don't take to kindly to gossipers.
---Rebecca_D on 9/19/05

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Barbara67, Is your reaction closer to "Look now, we are gossiping about you and your friend"? I wish to say that we are not gossiping about them because even if we know the issue that confronts them, and we tried to suggests solutions to go about the problem, still they remained UNKNOWN TO US. The "masks" that all of us have, is a security that prevents us from gossiping.
---bebet3574 on 9/19/05

Say something!!!!!!

But what? because we are now talking about her!!!!!and you!!!!
---barbara67 on 9/19/05

A person that will gossip to you will also gossip about you. When someone wants to gossip about a third party, insist on calling that party immediately. The gossip will never bother you again.
---Jerry on 9/18/05

I use to struggle over what was gossip when visiting with a friend. Then I noticed she only said wonderful flowering things about her family....but loved the dirt on others. I thought about this and came to the conclusion it was gossip if she wouldn't tell it about her own family members. Consequently I have greatly curbed my visits with this person and happier for it. I now ask myself..."Would I tell this if it were about my daughter?" and that helps me judge if it bears repeating.
---gossip? on 9/18/05

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WIVV: I know you're trying to help this person, and action#2 might work, but your action#1 is *still gossip*! Just because you know something for sure doesn't mean it isn't gossip! What if a church secretary gave me a copy of all the notes made by a counselor whom you were seeing? Great documentation, but why should I have access to it?! GOSSIP is talking about anyone to someone else when there's no Biblical reason to do so; even if it's truthful.
---Daniel on 9/18/05

I have found that when someone starts to gossip to me, if I just keep quiet, and say absolutely nothing to that person, they will soon get the message. If that doesn't help, and they are your friend, why don't you just tell them you don't want to hear gossip?
---Sally on 9/18/05

Everytime she gossips, change the subject.
---Eloy on 9/18/05

There are at least two actions you can take:

1. Ask her for documentation of what she says. If it can't be documented from a reliable source, (not, "I heard ....") than tell her in a nice way this is gossip and you aren't interested.

2. Find some activity that will will occupy her mind and keep her too busy and she won't have time or interest in gossip.
---WIVV on 9/18/05

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tell her you are her friend, but you refuse to listen to gossip anymore, rather, talk about something positive. gossip has a way of growing and changing with every repeat. Someone always gets hurt with gossip. People who gossip will give an account some day. SOON
---shira_5965 on 9/18/05

Firstly I think you might have to learn distraction tactics. When you visit make sure you have plenty of wholesome things you can discuss with her. When she starts her gossip don't give the subject chance to take off, begin to tell her something really interesting. It's hard work doing this so persevere. She can only gossip with those prepared to listen and/or join in.
---Xanthi on 9/18/05

iam alady and i know the true effects of really hurts relationships and it destroys trust- if you trully care for this lady tell her the truth and ask God to give you wisdom as you talk to her in love, we are all in a journey to heaven and gossip is a load that will only make yr freind un- effective worker it will destroy her(i hope i not too technical) but be encouraged to know that by correcting her you show GOD's love to her.(God discplines those he loves)
---sara on 9/18/05

(Cont.#4)She might not realize that what she is doing is REAL BAD from the Christian's point of view. Curious, very slowly make her "see the situation" where she would be the center of all the gossips and ask her what would she "be feeling"? I ended that "Tsismis" song by saying "Let us forgive the shortcomings of our brothers and sisters because just like us, they too are just humans!" I hope you can share that thought to your friend.
---Bebet3754 on 9/18/05

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(Cont.#3) But once their ownselves became the focus of gossips, they would react just the way their victims reacted. They way I look at your friend, she had problems too big for her to handle: her marriage and her son's sickness. She might be making gossiping as a way to be "in" to the in crowd and she might not know that the "information" she is passing from one person to another is already a form of gossips.
---bebet3754 on 9/18/05

(Cont.#2)Would it give happiness to people who makes gossip a past time? Is gossiping a form of social illness? Or is it just man's device to have some form of release from tension and stress? In gossiping, your whole attention is focused on the person where the story revolves. The ones who indulged in gossips forget their own shortcomings, failures, and sins as they tear their brothers and sisters in Christ to pieces. But
---bebet3754 on 9/18/05

Tell her exactly what is on your mind but kindly, making it clear that you only want to help her give up a practice that Jesus does not approve of.
Until you do talk to her you too are engaged in mod. gossiping yourself, so hurry talk with her today or tomorrow at the latest!
---Pierr7958 on 9/18/05

Dear Curious, A long time ago I wrote a song "Tsismis" that revolves around gossiping. In that song, I asked why people indulged in gossips. How is gossip done? It starts when you share your observation(whether right or wrong) about someone to some "friends" that would feast on it. The nastier the observation, the beautiful story can be woven out of it! (TBC)
---bebet3754 on 9/18/05

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Sometimes when we are trying help some one we
hurt them instead .So pray for her and put it in the hands of the Lord to show what she is doing this
---Betty on 9/18/05

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