The following was in this week’s parish bulletin :
Be Positive – When a person talks about the moral failings of another person, think of something positive to say about that person.
Look before you leap – Carefully consider your words before you speak.
Avoid idle banter – Ask yourself, “What are we accomplishing by this conversation?” and don’t chime in.
Beware of the “news flash” – Don’t let juicy news eat you up. Just bite your lip and prayerfully challenge yourself to be strong in resisting the temptation to gossip.
Question the source – When you hear something that sounds unreasonable, say so.
Change the subject – Find a reasonable way to steer the conversation to something edifying.
Avoid gossips – If you know a person has a propensity to gossip, avoid that person or suggest he or she thinks about the harm he or she is causing others.
Give people the benefit of the doubt – Go out of your way to think the best of others.
Turn to prayer – Suggest that those gossiping about someone turn their attention to praying for the other person, rather than just talking about them.
The buck stops here – When you hear gossip, make a commitment not to spread it.