In our tips on how to maintain positive impressions during communication, here is the fourth and the final tip.
Let’s go ahead to the fourth and final tip.
4. INSTEAD OF GOSSIP, TELL STORIES
Although gossip sounds like telling stories, it is simply an unconstrained conversation that aims at reporting about other people involving details that are necessarily confirmed as true or meant for the consumption of a third party. Always consider gossip more dangerous than poisons! Whatever someone will not want you to share with others or whatever you can’t say about someone in his or her presence, why use it in a conversation with someone else? Remember, gossiping about people don’t change them, it doesn’t right their wrongs and of course, it doesn’t make you better! Wise people will always never entertain someone who gossips about others and therefore it would be dangerous if you are using gossips to build up a conversation.
It is better to end a conversation if it will only take gossip to keep flowing! In the Bible, one of the wise sayings is
“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”
– Proverbs 16:28
Sometimes gossip isn’t what happen between two noisy people who talk too much, it may also be what happens between professionals and learned people who gossip in a way that even makes it sound like they are concerned about the fellow they are talking about. No matter how concerned you are about someone, don’t gossip about them, especially to someone you are kicking off a conversation with. Sometimes, we find ourselves gossiping about a mutual friend, our siblings, a business colleague and so on. It may even sound gentle in this manner “I truly appreciate John, but he is a womanizer. It is giving me concern. Don’t tell anyone about this… I heard three women have had an abortion for him. I am just concerned.” As caring as this sounds, it is dangerous.
- Gossip will never earn you a single trust and nobody will want to have anything to do with someone who will likely discuss them with another person in a bad light. When you gossip about Mr A to Mrs B, Mrs B will always believe you’ll likely discuss her with Mr C and therefore Mrs B may never want to meet you next time.
- Gossiping about someone will always make you appear worse no matter how you try to make yourself appear good. Although the person you are talking to may appear to be paying keen attention to you, they are already considering you a potential threat. It is always obvious that people who talk about other people’s mistakes are simply using it to cover up their own worse behaviours.
- Instead of talking about someone perhaps in a bid to communicate a lesson or make a point, consider making up your own stories with your characters without leaving any clue whatsoever that will link it to someone. You don’t even have to say “I will tell you about someone you know too well but don’t ask me who she is…”
- Don’t entertain gossips yourself. You don’t have to be calm about it or pretend you are cool with it. When someone you are starting a conversation with begins to gossip someone else, be sincere enough to tell them how you don’t like talking about other people. You don’t have to sound judgmental but you have to be serious! When you entertain gossips, you’ll eventually talk about others but when you avoid it, you are also setting a good example for whom you are just meeting and they would likely give you credits for that later.
- When you realize a discussion is swiftly taking a turn into gossip, try to change the topic immediately. There are lots of things to discuss that shouldn’t be about gossiping people.
- When you are asked a question about someone, consider answering it in the best way it protects that person’s interest! If what they are saying is true, it doesn’t matter, it is still gossip! Defend who they are talking about and when it is not true point out the lies.
These few tips are usually overlooked when we want to leave good impressions during conversations. They weren’t what you were expecting right? But I hope you find it worth your time! Let’s get your own opinion on the comment box.