5 Ways to Redirect a Gossiper

One of my pet peeves is a gossiper. Especially one who tries to talk anything negative about one of my friends, a coworker, supervisor, or even family member. I have very few people who will ever come up to me with gossip. No, I don't carry a sign that says, "stand back 500 feet with your gossip" but that would go good on a t-shirt :)

Here are five ways to redirect gossip.

  • Clarify your role. When someone comes up to you with gossip ask them are you there to give your opinion or just to listen. I guarantee this alone will keep gossipers away the next time they try to bring you gossip.

  • Paraphrase for closure. Try to grasp their emotion by repeating back what they say to you. What is their intent on the gossip given?

  • Try to understand. When listening to the gossip separate the facts from the lie. *Side note: there is always a lie within a gossip.

  • Empathize. Not with the gossiper but with whom they are speaking of. This can give you a different perspective.

  • Call them on it. Yup, sometimes you have to call them on it especially if you know they are telling lies and rumors.

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