I feel like all my friends and I do at school is gossip, and I’m sick of it. How can I stop once we head back this fall?
Although gossiping seems like a harmless activity that you do with your friends, the ol’ “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” isn’t always true. Words can absolutely hurt people’s feelings and cause lots of pain and embarrassment (think Gossip Girl!), so make it a habit of stopping the gossip before it gets too out of hand.
Turn the convo from negative to positive
If you hear a friend say something mean like, “Ewww, those shoes she wore last night were hideous!” about somebody else, quickly reevaluate the conversation. Even if you might agree that those shoes weren’t exactly your cup of tea, don’t continue the gossip. Instead try to stop it. You can change the entire tone of the convo just by saying something positive, like, “I love how her hair looked! I’m gonna ask her how she did it.” Tossing in a positive comment will stop the gossip right in its tracks.
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes
It’s easy for gossip to get out of hand. Just think about how out of control the rumors got with Emma Stone’s character in Easy A. Once the gossip started, it was hard to stop. In times like these, pause and think, “How would I feel if someone was saying these things behind my back?” If the answer is “Not so good,” then it’s time to end the gossip and find something else to do.
It’s hard to break a habit of gossiping when you and your BFFs have made it a standard homeroom, study hall and cafeteria activity, but you’ll soon realize how much better stopping it will make you feel about yourself. It’ll also show your friends how confident you are since you don’t feel the need to diss other people. What’s better than that?
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