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How to deal with gossip?


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How have you dealt with gossip and lies coming from religious friends and family?

Ouch. I’m having trouble ignoring it.

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I personally haven't heard any about myself, though I am quite certain my once fellow church members whisper in the shadows.

 

My advice. Fuck 'em and Ignore it.

 

You should practice IDGAF. In my gaming group we would say In DSA games are fun. In other words I don't give a fuck! Sometimes that is the best attitude to take.

 

Nothing you'll do can change the mind of somebody intent on being an malicious gossiper. True friends, the people you should spend energy on, will come to you if they have concerns and will be genuinely interested in what you have to say. Everyone else give a one fingered salute... metaphorically speaking.

 

 

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There is nothing one can do about gossip. People often make up shit to serve their own agenda, and denials just keep it going. It's hard, but ignoring it is the only course of action here aside from moving away from the toxic environment and people. Of course, that's an option that should be considered.

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I cut communication with some family for a while. I would let them know how I feel about it and base next steps on their reactions.

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Second the IDGAF response. Bonus points if you can get to a place where you actually give zero fucks. It takes time, but you can get there.

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I don't really care about what people think or say about me. They can talk about me all they want, or even make shit up, I don't care. 

 

As long as the villagers ain't comin' after me with torches and pitchforks, I'm fine!

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On 6/25/2019 at 8:08 PM, LogicalFallacy said:

Nothing you'll do can change the mind of somebody intent on being an malicious gossiper.

 

Many aren't intent on being malicious gossipers, though. They just have a biased viewpoint that their conversations are filtered through. Many mean well, but they can't think outside their little box.

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19 hours ago, Citsonga said:

 

Many aren't intent on being malicious gossipers, though. They just have a biased viewpoint that their conversations are filtered through. Many mean well, but they can't think outside their little box.

I swear I read that as "litter box."

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On 6/28/2019 at 4:59 AM, Citsonga said:

 

Many aren't intent on being malicious gossipers, though. They just have a biased viewpoint that their conversations are filtered through. Many mean well, but they can't think outside their little box.

 

I was focusing here on those who are out to be malicious, and believe me there are many. Those ones you can't change their minds. 

 

For everyone else I agree with your statement. 

 

I do think there is a difference between having a conversation about someone and gossiping. I've always vewied gossiping as talking about and spreading ideas about people that you don't know is true.... Did you know that LF left the church because he had an affair? That sort of shit. And I say that spreading stuff about people that you don't know is true is malicious. IMHO

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Thanks for your responses, I am feeling less hurt and angry now. Who knows, maybe I will even reach a state where I give zero fucks.

 

I realised that the “You’re either with us or against us” mindset of many christians allows them to justify spreading gossip about ex-christians. 

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Christians with good intentions will ask other Christians to pray for us out of concern for our eternal destinations.The larger problem that I faced was the spreading of nefarious speculations regarding what they thought that I must have done in order to reach a point of what they saw as denial or unrighteous defiance. 

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20 minutes ago, TrueFreedom said:

Christians with good intentions will ask other Christians to pray for us out of concern for our eternal destinations.The larger problem that I faced was the spreading of nefarious speculations regarding what they thought that I must have done in order to reach a point of what they saw as denial or unrighteous defiance. 

 

Exactly. Erroneous assumptions abound in Christianity because they always have the need to impose intentions on us that serve to prop up their Christian preconceptions. 

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Gossip is a way of "othering" you. If you're concerned about gossip about yourself just keep that in mind. It only serves the purpose of them separating themselves from you and somehow feeling superior or more correct in their beliefs etc. It's a reinforcement practice for that. After all if they started getting too familiar with the black sheep they could stand to be labeled as one themselves. This is doubly true of fundamentalists.  Practice the IDGAF mindset and if necessary cut ties. I did that with some chronic gossipers in my own family. Yes they might be hurt etc, but guess what, IDGAF. Healthy boundaries are necessary. 

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On 6/25/2019 at 9:36 PM, LostinParis said:

How have you dealt with gossip and lies coming from religious friends and family?

Ouch. I’m having trouble ignoring it.

 

I've had a problem in that I've lived a lot of my life making decisions based on what other people thought I should do, or what I thought was expected of me, or even what I imagined other people might think when in all likelihood they weren't thinking about me at all! At some point I began to realize that I'm really out-of-sight-out-of-mind, and that other people are not likely to have any sort of opinion about me because I'm not, after all, the center of their lives.

Then I found out that some people actually have  been discussing me because they're fearful for my "soul". Fuckety fuck fuck.

 

The curse of being social beings (which humans are) is that even though it's illogical, even though thoughts are just thoughts and nobody's touching me ("Mom! Sister's looking at me!"), we are wired to respond to other people, and what other people say and do, even though there's nothing "touching" us, we're still stressed out by those things (and stress is physical).

 

I guess if we couldn't feel that, we also wouldn't be able to feel all warm-and-fuzzy when somebody smiles at us or says something nice. But gossip sucks.

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On 7/1/2019 at 4:30 PM, TruthSeeker0 said:

Gossip is a way of "othering" you. If you're concerned about gossip about yourself just keep that in mind. It only serves the purpose of them separating themselves from you and somehow feeling superior or more correct in their beliefs etc. It's a reinforcement practice for that. After all if they started getting too familiar with the black sheep they could stand to be labeled as one themselves. This is doubly true of fundamentalists.  Practice the IDGAF mindset and if necessary cut ties. I did that with some chronic gossipers in my own family. Yes they might be hurt etc, but guess what, IDGAF. Healthy boundaries are necessary. 

Beautifully put. I especially like the sentence "Gossip is a way of "othering" you " I once worked in the Bible belt and saw sooo many "otherings" that it was sometimes hard to tell the good folks from the so called bad folks.

 

The common denominator seemed to be Jesus. Each gossip group was more linked to Jesus (so they claimed) than the other which of course served to make their petty talk more valid than those who didn't believe the exact same way. I think it is a human trait to validate ones self by aliening with the main one in charge ie Jesus. 

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On 7/1/2019 at 4:30 PM, TruthSeeker0 said:

Practice the IDGAF mindset and if necessary cut ties. I did that with some chronic gossipers in my own family. Yes they might be hurt etc, but guess what, IDGAF. Healthy boundaries are necessary. 

 

^  ^  ^

 

To answer your question of how to deal with it, TruthSeeker has the answer. Refuse to participate.  Refuse to listen, repeat, defend, or partake in any way whatsoever. As TS writes, set your personal boundaries and enforce them, even if that means having to physically leave, hang up, unfollow, unfriend, or whatever.

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