Gossip is defined as a trifling, an often groundless
rumor, usually of a personal, sensational, or intimate
nature, or just plain idle talk that casts aspersions upon the character
of another person.
We all engage in gossip. Some of us gossip more than others,
but the truth is we have all delighted in gossip at one time or another.
It brings us a certain adolescent gladness to be in the know.
Our egos are inflated and our pride elevated when we are able to
tell someone something we know that they don’t know, but want
Gossip may begin with facts, but usually is carried away very
quickly by speculation into the realm of imagination. Through our
speculations—or, even worse, our deceit—we can effortlessly cause
enormous harm to other people.
Gossipmongers are cowards and are never true friends. A true
friend is interested in helping other people become the-best-versions-
of-themselves, but gossip doesn’t help anyone become a-better-
version-of-himself. Far from it; gossip reduces the character
of those who spread it, damages the character of those who listen
to it, and often does irreparable damage to the reputation of the
person being gossiped about.
Never speak in such a way as to induce your listener to think
less of any person. Only open your mouth when it will help people
to think better of others. Speak only when your words will help
someone become the-best-version-of-themselves. Otherwise remain
silent and recollected.
Each of these four maxims requires enormous restraint and
discipline. But if you allow them to guide your speech and social
interactions, all men and women of goodwill will hold you in the
From The Seven Levels of Intimacy
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