Right, grab your snorkels folks ’cause today we’re going deep.
Something I have really struggled with, especially over the past few months, is where to draw the line when it comes to telling someone a story. At what point does it venture into the territory of gossiping?
Gossiping has always been one of my weaknesses as a christian in high school. When you are a teenager, and especially a teenage girl, gossip can often be at the centre of your social life. It is often the foundation of a friendship, the difference between a make or break, the reason for a friendship beginning and the reason for its end.
Telling others stories is a big part of human communication, whether that be your own story or someone else’s. It’s a way we get to know eachother better, it’s a way to break the ice in a new friendship, and it’s probably at the heart of most conversations.
- Why are you telling this story or event? Is it so you seem funny? Is it to make you look cool in the eyes of those you’re telling it to? Is it because it’s ‘juicy’ so you feel the need to share it – you know the reaction you’ll get will be good? Or is it to help or encourage someone? To motivate or inspire? I have found that if I try and think of my intention for telling someone something, it can really help me decide if it is worth saying or not.
- What would the reaction of the person you’re talking about be if they heard you? Would they be upset or angry? Would they feel betrayed? Would they feel embarrassed? Or would they be OK with it, or happy that people are getting the opportunity to hear? If unsure of the answer to this, why not try putting yourself in the shoes of whoever it is and see how you would feel. The chances are that if you wouldn’t be comfortable with it being told then neither would they.
- What will the reaction be from others? Will they feel a desire to share? Will they find it funny, or think less of the person? Will this affect how they treat certain people? Maybe it will positively affect them – they will feel inspired and motivated?