How To Avoid Spreading Gossip in 5 Easy Steps

What’s up, Gossip Folks? Since the school year is almost over, there is a small piece old-lady wisdom I am going to give you as a graduation present. The rumors? The whispering behind the back? It never stops (sorry – not the Prius you were hoping for). Unfortunately, the older you get, and the more adventurous you become, the more crap people are going to say about you. I know, I know, it sounds terrible. But, listen, there is a way we can make this a little easier for everyone. I’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of 5 things you can do to help you avoid becoming another factory worker in the rumor mill. They are hella À la carte, so pick and choose as you please.

Step 1: Don’t be that person who listens to smack about others.
Simple as that. It’s going to be really hard when that one girl is all, “did you hear what happened to so-and-so?”, and you want tune into the big juicy news, but we will all be better off if you keep your ears shut. Hearing the gossip will make it even harder for you when you’re bored and want to cause a little social excitement, so instead of saying “No, I didn’t hear about it, what happened?” Try: “No, and I kind of don’t want to? Sorry…”

Step 2: Ask yourself why you are spreading rumors.
Look, this isn’t the ’70s and you are not Stevie Nicks. Causing drama isn’t going to make you a better artist, writer, partner, or friend. In fact, when people find out you are Gossip Girl, they are going to be pretty upset (remember what happened to Serena?) Playing dirty is not as glamorous as it seems, so before you go telling tales, ask yourself – what is the purpose of this? Am I trying to make myself look better than someone else? Then step back and be like, “Whoa, that is not how my Momma raised me.”

Step 3: Remember what it feels like.
I was bullied a lot while I was growing up. There was a pack of mean girls who taunted me with rumors they had invented, like lies about my family and the boys I liked. It totally sucked. I think about that experience a lot when I am out in the real world, trying to be an adult woman. I’m not perfect about it all the time, and yeah, sometimes stuff slips from my mouth when I am not paying attention, but I try to remember little Caitlin’s feelings before I say something mean about anyone else.

Step 4: Be indifferent to gossip about yourself.
Angelina Jolie is always like, “I don’t read the tabloids”, and all the bloggers I love swear they don’t read the mean comments people sometimes leave them. There is a very good reason for this. Spending time focusing on the negative things people say about you will totally damage your focus and leave you questioning yourself. In order to forge ahead and stay true to you, you have to not care about other people’s opinions of you or your work. This can be really challenging at times, but trust me, it totally pays off in the end. On the other hand, sometimes listening to constructive criticism is very important. You’re a smart person though, so I have no doubt that you can tell the difference.

Step 5: Focus on the positive.
This is the hardest one for most of us. It’s really easy to compare ourselves to others, especially people we are jealous of, and then find reasons to tear them down. It’s sometimes fun to say a little nasty joke behind someone’s back, or use a personal piece of information in a power play. It’s easy to hate on people’s clothes, hair, careers, talent, choices, and/or emotional state. But you know what? Just because things are fun and easy doesn’t mean we should do them. In fact, it is usually quite the opposite. Eating loads of fast food is fun and easy, but we know better than to do it all the time. Challenge yourself by taking the high road, or at the very least, start off slow and wean yourself off the gossip at a pace you can keep up with. Just do your best to be a better person, and there will be more good people in the world. And at the very least, if you want to give people something to talk about, do it it Bonnie Raitt style.