gossipGossip (n) : rumor or talk of a personal, sensational or intimate nature

Gossiping continues to be an epidemic among teenagers. Gossiping has the power to humiliate, ruin one’s reputation, and destroy relationships.  When gossiping, there are three people involved: the gossiper, the listener, and the victim.  At Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls there are daily announcements to remind students not gossip. “We can’t expect everyone to just stop gossiping forever, even though we all know that words hurt,” Ms. Renov, a 17 year old attending the school said, “(the goal is) to change how we treat each other, and it really motivates us to speak with respect.”

The negative effects of gossiping are severe and impact many people.  Malicious gossip destroys friendships, causes mistrust, and lowers self-esteem. Gossiping not only affects the victim, but the gossiper as well.  The victim is humiliated when private or untrue information is exposed.  The gossiper loses friends and develops a reputation. Gossiping starts when there is social pressure among friends.  People gossip because they are insecure therefore they point out faults in another person.  People gossip when they are envious, feel threatened, and deny the impact.  In order to stop gossiping, one must look for the good in everyone.  Also, have the courage to refuse to be a listener to gossip. Everyone is prone to gossip, but evidently no one comes out a winner.  Next time you are about to gossip, ask yourself what is your motive in repeating the information to another person. Even if the news is true, from your point of view, it doesn’t justify a need to portray another person in a negative light, or worse, to tear down their character. What you say cannot be taken back.

Remember these words, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”