Wow, out of all the virtues, I struggle with this one the most. I don’t even know if I should be writing this post because of how bad I am at this one. Alas, God wants me to share my virtue challenge with y’all so I will write it anyways.
It is so hard for me to not gossip or be rude. My tongue is sharp and I would oftentimes describe myself as vinegar. It’s hard being Catholic because a lot of what we believe is counter-cultural. 99% of the time, I don’t agree with what my non-Catholic friends are saying. This disagreement leads to an argument with my friends in which I tell them the truth, but also mix it with vinegar. It’s hard for me to hold my tongue and just tell them the truth because I’m so angry that they don’t see the truth in the first place. Fortunately, all of this head-butting gives me a lot of opportunities to practice arguing and having difficult conversations with people. I have come a long way from the way I used to argue a year ago, and I’m dedicated to continually improving.
Here are my 3 ways to decrease gossipping and rudeness and the barriers I see to overcome them.
Doesn’t Gossip, Isn’t Rude
|When somebody starts to gossip say “I’d rather not talk about that”||Curiosity|
|If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all||Spite/Anger/Annoyance|
|Try to approach with empathy and understanding||Stubbornness and lack of compassion|
Weeks turned into months….
I started this post about 6 months ago. Usually, I try to actively work on a virtue for 1 or 2 weeks before I post it. However I right when I wrote this, I took a break from my blog because my internship got so intense. This was good and bad. I missed blogging a lot, but this time enabled me to really work on this characteristic a lot.
I still have a ton of room to go, but I think I improved a lot.
It’s interesting being thrown into a new group of people. In high school my friends and I didn’t really talk about each other, which was really nice. We were able to form really close bonds are still in existence today.
In college, however, my friend group and I would all talk about each other constantly. Some of it was good……and some of it was bad. None the less it was constant. I have still have really close bonds with a lot of these people, I just didn’t realize that a lot of our relationship revolved around talking about others until college was over.
Needless to say, gossiping is a problem I have, one that my graduate program has been able to help me with. In my program at graduate school, nobody talks about each other, EVER.
Not talking about anyone really helped me to see the damage that gossiping causes. It’s enabled me to practice holding my urge to gossip and keep things to myself.
I get the urge to say things a lot, but being around these people has helped a lot with that.
I still break and gossip sometimes, but it’s definitely not as bad as before
We’ve had little to no drama in this friend group and I’m sure our lack of gossiping about one another has contributed to that significantly.
The Importance of Not Gossiping
When we gossip, we tarnish the beauty of God’s creation. I’m not talking about the other person. What we say about the other person has nothing to do with them. When we gossip, we tear down ourselves.
We take our tongues, which are to spread light, joy, and truth, and spread evilness and hatefulness.
We add to the evilness of this word with our mouth.
Who would want to add to this evilness? Not me!
Then why do we have such a problem with gossiping.
Gossiping can stem from a lot of things, a lack of trust in God, bitterness, jealousy, impatience, etc.
When we gossip, we are masking the thing that we really need to work on. Whether that be more accepting of other’s flaws or not comparing ourselves to others.
When these thoughts of gossip come to our heads, we should ask ourselves, “What is this coming from?” Why am I feeling the need to talk about another person like this?”
We need to have a conversation with God about what these things are stemming from.
Let’s let our urges to gossip be a good think. Start a conversation with our Lord about them.
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