Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith 

I’m Faith

Lois 

And I’m Lois.

Faith

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois 

What fun to be back together.

Faith

It’s always fun to be back together. We laugh a lot. We have a good time.

Lois 

No matter what kind of transitions we’re facing, the scary ones and the ones that we just kind of go really? By the way, if you know of someone who might be affected by seasonal affective disorder, that was our podcast last week and we would love it if you would share that with them because it identifies some of the signs and symptoms. So you might be able to say, ah, that’s what I’m feeling. And then we offer some ways to manage it, whether it’s things you can do yourself or places you can go for therapeutic treatment. And you know, I was just reminded of just how often triggers can send us down a spiral. So more than anything, this past week I have been observing those things which will get under my skin. And for me, I know what my solution is. I need to write. Oh and when I write, it takes the sting out of whatever is bugging me.

Faith

There you go.

Lois

More than anything else I do. I can always feel better when I write. And here’s the weird part, phase. I forget.

Faith

You forget what you wrote.

Lois

I forget to write. I’ll never forget to write. I’ll be in the middle of something and I’ll be bothered by it. And then suddenly something will say to me, Lois, just write it down and then when I write it down I suddenly look at it on paper and I go, really? Is that what I was upset at?

Faith

We call it purging on paper.

Lois

Yeah. It’s not that you share it. Exactly. Hey, please share this podcast after you’re done listening. We would just love it and we would love to hear your comments. If you want to engage with us in any way we would.

Faith

Oh definitely. Cause we want to know what you’re thinking and what you’re experiencing and whether or not any of these podcasts are really helping you. We’re hearing good things back from many people.

Lois

And we love that. If you’d like to get our free weekly newsletter. By the way, you can do that by going online to www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com and just sign up. There are places all over our website where you can sign up for it. So we’d love to have you get that once a week. So our podcast today is one that we’ve all been hit by and sometimes we add to the pile ourselves. It is episode 91 Transition: The impact of Gossip.

Faith

Oh Lois, do I have something to tell you!

Lois

Oh, let’s do that now. My, my mind, yeah, it comes up so easily, doesn’t it? I mean, and even as we joke about it, we know how real it is because that’s how easily it just comes up.

Faith

I know that it happens. Yeah. If we have something juicy or something that we know and we think somebody else doesn’t know, oh man, it just kind of burns a hole and until it gets it off our tongue out into the air waves so that people can hear it.

Lois

You know, gossip technically is defined as idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others. Some people call it tattling or dishing. You know, there are plenty of ways to look at it, but that’s really what gossiping is about in the technical sense. But it’s no fun to be in the aftermath of gossip, Faith. I mean, how do you manage gossip when it hits you or is around you?

Faith

Fortunately, I’m so thankful. Many of the people that are my friends and things do not gossip, which is such a, just a haven of respect to have that. But of course we’re going to run into those times where there’s people that will start to do it and I don’t know, there’s an atmosphere change when it turns to gossip. You can kind of feel, Ooh, this is changing a little bit. That’s the first clue I’ve learned to listen to what am I experiencing? What am I feeling and do I really want to hear this?

Lois

Hmm. I remember a time where I was the gossiper and the result that happened, and I remember this so clearly. I mean, it’s funny when this came up when we decided to talk about this – it was a number of years ago, but it was in the workplace and I had learned something about someone that everybody else didn’t know. And for whatever reason I chose to share it. It wasn’t not true, but it was private information that didn’t have to be disseminated. And when I was called out by the person whom I had gossiped about, about sharing this information, I realized that I was no longer the center of attention as I was for those few moments where I could share this private information. But instead it damaged the relationship I had with this person for many years to come. And it’s so easy for us to slip into this and not realize that what we can do at that moment is hurt a relationship even if we think what? Well, it’s true. Well, I can say that and there’s lots of things that are true that we need to keep to ourselves, but it was a good reminder to me that even though I felt I wasn’t doing a disservice by lying about somebody, I took a truth that didn’t need to be shared and I compromised a relationship for a number of years.

Faith

Oh, that’s the impact of gossip of how it does damage, and it really did damage to you as well. It wasn’t just to the other person. You felt the impact. And that’s what gossip will do. Once it is out there, it will piggyback onto, it’s kind of like a wave that comes backwards at you and you get hit by it as well.

Lois

You know, unless you live on a deserted island, Ireland, Ireland, Ireland, unless you live on a deserted island, you’re going to be impacted by gossip because things will happen. Even in a passing phone conversation with even the people who have the best of intentions for us, something will slip out. So what do we do about that? One Yale University researcher says, we spend 60% of our adult conversations talking about people who aren’t with us. I hope that’s not true, but it might be true. But here’s the, here’s the deal. Talking about others isn’t always gossip. Sometimes you’re just sharing a story because there’s no malice intended and it’s not, you’re not telling a truth that somebody doesn’t have to know. You’re just sharing things. That’s one thing. We all know when gossip takes place because there’s a negative twist.

Faith 

Right? Exactly. The, you can feel that sting. That’s the atmosphere that I’m talking about. The changes, something in the room doesn’t quite feel right. We need to listen to that and, and people can do it in such subtle ways, like even a faith-based can say, um, oh, I’m going to share this prayer request with you. And that’s like, but you know, it’s this between us. Whoa, that’s a red flag. You don’t need that information. It’s like, no, no, no, no. We don’t do that. You can package it however you like with a nice pretty bow on it and it can feel right and it can feel like the correct approach. It’s still gossip and we need to be careful that we have the permission from other people to share what we are going to share. That’s the difference. And so when someone shares something with you, it’s really important to say, can I share this? Is this, is this okay? If I share this with somebody, I’ll be careful who I share it with. But you know, can I share that so you can have more support or whatever it might be. We don’t ask that question.

Lois

No we don’t. Because we like keeping a secret. I know. So if you’re faced with this where somebody is sharing something with you and you’re not sure, we have some ideas on what to do and, and probably number one rule is don’t pass it along, right? I mean if you hear something, maybe that’s the best thing. If you hear it and it’s too late, you didn’t get a chance to run away from the situation or stop the person from saying it. What can you do to make sure that it goes no further?

Faith

And so that’s a perfect example of saying, stop. Do I have permission to share this? Yes or no. If it or I don’t know. And if you don’t know, go back to the person. If the answer is no, you know you don’t have permission to share it, then you know right there it stops. Or if they said, yeah, you can share, you do have permission, then that’s not gossip.

Lois

That’s right. That’s right. And so you will know the difference. So the first thing is don’t spread it. If you can, if you can stop it right there. Second thing is don’t believe everything you hear. I mean, if we could really take some things that people tell us with a grain of salt more often and not take it as Gospel truth because somebody said this about someone else, that would ease our lives in many ways.

Faith

Did you ever play that game as a kid? Where you whisper into a person’s ear something and then there’s like, you know, 30 people in the room and then you hear what it is at the end is completely different than what it started to be because what we hear gets distorted and then we pass it on and by the time it gets to the end, it’s not what it was at all.

Lois

Right? Because sometimes it’s just a rumor and when somebody is sharing something with you, it’s not even based in complete truth. You know there’s that one that you want to tell somebody a secret about somebody and then there’s another where you really are making something up – or giving just a little piece of that truth that isn’t really true. So then it just gets out of, it gets blown out of proportion and that’s where the pain comes into because of the pain that happens to the person about whom we are sharing this thing that’s not true.

Faith

And then keeping the secrets. If someone asks you something in confidence and you agree to keep that confidence, oh boy, you better do it. You better do it. That is some of the most sacred space that someone has opened up to you. If they have shared something that’s on their heart or on their mind and it’s personal and they don’t want you to share it in that moment, they’re trusting you. If you share it, you have betrayed their trust. That’s where the pain starts happening. So don’t share it without their permission. Not only will you break the trust, as I just said, your reputation will suffer as someone who cannot be trusted.

Lois

You know, I’ve met people who will tell me I don’t keep secrets. Yes, so don’t, don’t tell me them. And I think that’s a really fair thing too. Because it is true. There are some people who just, you know, they love to share, they love to Blab and I have watched them and that’s just who they are. So we know these kinds of personalities and they’ll say, don’t tell me anything that you don’t want anybody else to know because I’m not sure if I can keep it. So then we have to be wise enough to say, all right, they just warned me.

Faith

Am I going to do this or not?

Lois

Yeah. But I do love that. But if we do decide to keep a secret, and I think in our professions, both you and I faith, we know that when people speak with us, those, those things are held in confidence. And so it’s not even said as a secret. So we know what confidence is mean, but it is so important. If someone feels they really need to share something because they’re going through something really difficult and then we decide to just go ahead and tell someone else that is so unfair.

Faith

It is unfair. And one of the things I will say to somebody that says, I need you to keep this secret or I need for you not to talk about it or tell anybody. I will say to them, I need to have your permission to have the discernment to know whether this is in your best interest for me to keep it a secret. Because you don’t know really what they’re going to say and you don’t know if it could do them more harm or good. So part of that is I want to know that I have their permission and their insight to say, I need to have the discernment to know whether or not this is in your best interest or not. And so then they can make the choice.

Lois

In other words, secrets are very dangerous. They are. So just know that when you hear that word secret, and I think a lot of us have just thrown this off like, oh, it’s not a big deal. Oh, it’s not. And we’re realizing how painful this is in a situation. So secrets are dangerous. So just know that. Be careful. Our podcast today is sponsored by a Stepping Stone.

Faith

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Lois

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Faith

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Lois

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Faith

They’re open from nine to five and weekend and after hours by appointment. Call them right now at (303) 942-0512.

Lois

Or go online and check out all their services at www.steppingstone now.com discover how you can start this life changing process today. We are so glad you’re with us on our podcast. This is More to Life with Faith and Lois and we are on Episode 91 Transition:The impact of Gossip.

Faith

Continuing on. Don’t start rumors yourself. Oh boy. Word to the wise, pull it in. Remember anytime that you say something unkind or flattering about someone else, you carry the risk of it turning into a rumor. So keep your thoughts to yourself.

Lois

I mean, this is how we accidentally find ourselves in gossip. And it’s funny, you know, you’ll see somebody wearing something you think is whatever. You don’t like the color or you think it’s inappropriate and, and you have to start something on it and then it just grows. And that’s the problem with gossip, isn’t it Faith? That it just doesn’t stay in this little small state. Right?

Faith

It’s very sinister. It has a life of its own. And so avoid having a conversation that includes gossip.

Lois

Yes. I mean you said this before, but if you have a friend or anyone in your life who starts a conversation with this is just between us warning, warning. I know, right? Pretty certain that gossip is going to follow because why would you have to say it that way if that wasn’t the case? Now you can’t always avoid that because you’re in a situation, you’re on the phone or you’re having lunch with somebody and they say that. But what you can do if you can’t physically remove yourself, if you don’t feel like hanging up, you can change the subject and there are artful ways to do that, right?

Faith

And if you’re the person who is saying, I need to share something with you but don’t share it, there’s a better way to say that. If you’re at a place right now and you’re with a friend, you can say to them, I’m going to share something with you right now that I’m not ready to share with other people and I want to be responsible for sharing it when I’m ready. So I’d like to tell you first, that’s a whole different situation. You can say I am in it with you. Yes, go ahead, tell me. But you can tell kind of again that, um, that feel of is this really healthy or is this going to go south?

Lois

The drone, once again, atmosphere.

Faith

Yes. I mean it is set and be discerning about that. Listen to that.

Lois

And I think one of the reasons we get caught up in gossip so easily is because it’s so easy and we’re not paying attention. Right. And if we pause long enough to say, is this coming from the heart of something they really want to share about themselves or is it going to turn into, you know, another pounding of their spouse that I don’t need to listen to one more time, then maybe that’s a way to, and it’s not that I don’t need to listen to you, I didn’t mean it that way, but it’s not going to be productive in the way in which that message is being delivered. That’s a way to kind of try to reframe or change the subject if you possibly can.

Faith

You can flip that gossip too. If you know something, somebody tells you something bad about another person. It’s how you respond, you know, and you might even share something like, I hope you’re willing to go back to them and share what’s on your mind, what you’re thinking. Have you thought about going and talking to them directly? When do you expect to go and tell it to them? Because they need to hear this. I mean you can help redirect that information so it doesn’t become gossip by sending it back to where does it need to really land. Maybe it doesn’t need to land with you.

Lois

And see that didn’t come by beating somebody over the head. That’s just asking a question. Well, have you shared this with that person. That in and of itself is a question and I love that Faith because by flipping it you kind of disarm the whole situation and you put it back in their court and then they’ll really let you know. No, no, I don’t really want to say.

Faith

Well then don’t tell me.

Lois

There you go. One more way to disarm the situation. I love it. I mean it although requires being awake and aware, which is something we’ve been talking about in our podcast recently.

Faith

And if something really is burning inside of you or that other person and you can tell it really is problematic, like maybe it’s a tension in a relationship and so they’re doing a lot of talking about it. Really encourage them to seek some professional help. Go to HR if they need to. If it’s in the workplace and if it’s outside of the workplace, say, have you thought about going to your pastor or have you thought about going to a therapist just to do a few weeks of brief counseling as to how to do the relationship better work on it. Don’t talk about it.

Lois

So far in this episode on gossip, which is Episode 91 the Impact of gossip. We’ve been talking about you being influenced by gossip or somebody being around you sharing a story, but what if the gossip is about you and it hurts and you discover this painful truth? There are a number of ways you can choose to deal with that and one of the first ways is confront the source of the rumor directly if at all possible and find out who started it and maybe what was going on. Why did they choose to share this and let them know the pain of the words.

Faith

That is important. I mean if you can track it that way. Confronting and asking good questions. How did this get started? Why did you think this? Are you aware that this was hurtful when I heard it that way? You’re asking questions to the person or persons involved and you can oftentimes dissolve it at that place. But the other one is to ignore it and I’m currently in a situation where I am ignoring it and I know right because it’s come back to me some things that some people have said and have done and you know, it’s not real small. It’s kind of a big thing and I’m looking at the source. I know it’s not true. I know that who I am cannot be impacted by them unless I allow it. And so I spent a lot of time thinking is it wise for me to go to them or is it wise for me right now to ignore it and just if they need to do that, let them do it. But my confidence is knowing, I know it’s true. I know it’s true about me so I’m not going to buy what somebody else’s needing to say at this point. That’s more about them.

Lois

It is more about them. And you just hit on a point that’s so important to know yourself and when you can listen to what this rumor is that’s being circulated about you and asked that question, is it true? Hmm, nope. He said absolutely true. No, it really isn’t true. Then you can make that choice. Sometimes you want to confront, sometimes you can’t. Sometimes it’s not in anybody’s best interest to bring that up. So ignoring by knowing who you are and standing in that is so critical. And we hope that in some of these podcasts that you’re listening to in More to Life with Faith and Lois, that we’re giving you some tools in terms of your identity and who you are and how you respond to things can really resonate with you so that you don’t feel badly about it. I mean, I’m watching your body language, sorry, whoever’s saying this is about Faith. It’s not bugging her at all, but you know, I mean it’s how you carry yourself. It’s like whatever. What, okay, yeah, move on. Just move on. And sometimes though if it’s in a workplace and you feel you have to deal with it, you mentioned it before, go to HR, tell a supervisor if there’s a rumor that is impacting how you do your job or your ability to succeed in your work, then maybe there is a place to bring this out into the light.

Faith

And in the workplace especially, it can get ugly in, it can grow in a confessor and then jobs are impacted. So really if it is in the workplace and it isn’t getting resolved, go to the next level to deal with it.

Lois

We both deal with people who are the victims of some gossip that’s been really detrimental. And one of the things I know we both share in different ways is that so often those who are really perpetuating a lot of the gossip, they have a lack of self worth and they’re feeling, they feel like they don’t know what else to say. So when they talk with you, the way they can feel more empowered is to speak ill of somebody else or to make fun of someone else because then they raise themselves up. So it’s helped me when I watch someone who is continually spinning the truth in all sorts of directions to remember that that may be a place that they’re coming from.

Faith

And there’s such a, a better way to encourage that person to say, this is not who you really are. I know you and this is, and give some positives so this is who I know you to really be. You’re not worthless. You don’t need to do this.

Lois

I love that because if we can be the ones to enforce the fact that they are special, maybe it will slow them down. Some of the stories they feel, they must tell.

Faith

Facing gossip at work or at home is not easy. If at all possible, combat the atmosphere by being the person who has something nice to say.

Lois

Avoid Situations where you know gossip will crop up. Sometimes it’s just a way for people to feel time and you really don’t need that.

Faith

And if you can’t avoid or deflect, walk away, change the subject or hang up.

Lois

And join us next week for Transition: The Impact of Taking Risks.

Faith

Get the latest news on our social media platforms and on our website and please subscribe.

Lois

More to Life with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know there is more to life.

Lois

We’ll be back next week.