Here are five tips to help identify, address and cope with gossip from our very special Coffee Talk guest, Marion Balla - a registered therapist with the Adlerian Group of Ottawa.
1. Recognize our biases and beliefs about gossip. Both men and women gossip, and this method of social interaction has probably been around as long as we have.
2. Understand that gossip has both positive and negative uses. Sharing stories can build connections, bridge divides and express solidarity - but it can also shame, isolate and demean others.
3. Understand what's causing and fuelling gossip. Ask yourself, why you are sharing a particular story – what is your true goal? Is it to make a connection? To give a warning? To debrief a difficult experience or emotion? Or to lash out at or humiliate someone you don’t like?
4. If you are uncomfortable ‘receiving’ gossip, try to offer feedback or additional information to clarify, reframe or redirect the conversation.
5. Choose how you want to participate in social interactions to ensure inclusion and respect of self and others.
We are so fortunate to have had the chance to talk to Marion Balla about such an important issue in society - let us know your thoughts!