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WHAT IS IT?
 
Gossip is information about a person, true or false, that gets spread around.
Gossip can work like whispers, the original information can be distorted, changed and even made worse as it is passed on.
Example:
Jane told her friend Jill how proud Mel was because she had won a small modelling competition. Jill told her other friends that Mel thought she was really good because she had won a modelling competition. By the time it got around to everyone else AND back to Mel, a private fact had become idle gossip. The gossip was now, "Mel is so up herself, thinks she's great and reckons she won some huge modelling thing. She thinks she's gorgeous, hasn't she seen the size of her fat ass lately?"
Mel didn't want her news spread around, she only told a few people. Those few people only told a few others. That was enough to start a chain reaction. The outcome? People formed the opinion that Mel is stuck up, and started bitching about all her flaws and this took away any self-confidence she had gained from her small triumph.

Q. What do we learn from this Example?
A.  Gossip Hurts.

Some gossip is forgotten in a week. Other gossip lasts a lifetime. But nearly all gossip is destructive.

WHAT KIND OF NEGATIVE EFFECTS CAN GOSSIP HAVE?
• It can hurt your feelings, and cause you to have a bad self-image.
• It can put pressure on the things you do and the choices you make.
• It can wreck friendships and relationships.
Can you think of any others?

CAN ANY GOOD COME OUT OF GOSSIPING?
• It's hard to think of anything good that can come out of gossiping.
Can you think of anything?

SO, WHY DO WE DO IT?
This is what one young person had to say about gossip:
“Gossip is popular because people like to hear big bad juicy things about other people. It can give someone the feeling of power or popularity if they are being able to join in this discussion (bitching session) about someone who is 'less' than them. “
Do you agree with this opinion?

Some people think that if they keep everyone else busy enough with gossip about others then no-one will gossip about them.
Do you agree with this opinion?

Gossip can also become a habit. Making a bad comment about anything you hear can become second nature. We have all gossiped before in our lives and we will do it again. People often gossip without even realising WHAT they are doing.
Do you agree with this opinion?

THE TWO ENDS OF GOSSIPING: GIVING AND RECEIVING

Receiving
There is no sure-fire plan to end all gossiping that might go around about you, but there are things you can do to lessen the impact.
• Ignore it.
• Correct it, with a nicer version of what is being said.
• When you want to talk about something important – share it with a trusted friend.

Giving
• The thing to keep in mind is that gossip hurts. Try to ignore gossip you hear about others and don't go spreading it further.
• Tell people who are gossiping that you don't want to hear about it.
• Don't join in.
• If you know the truth about what the gossip is about then correct it if you can, and as long as it's not going to have a worse effect.
• And keep quiet if you know something about somebody else.

Just remember this simple rule...
'If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say it at all'