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Discussion Starter #1
Ugh - I've been dragged into the family gossip scenario. You know, someone spreads your business for you without you knowing until someone else comes to ask if its true or starts talking to you about said business like its common public knowledge. :thud:

We try to avoid situations like these. When we're told things that were told to others 'in confidence', we either cut it off so we don't hear it or if we're forced to hear it, we just keep it to ourselves and it stops with us. Wasted effort on the gossip's part.

Do you 'out' the blabber mouth? Confront them? Get even and spread their business in retaliation? Or just let it go and pray it doesn't continue on?

How do you deal with a family gossip?
 

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I have a hard and fast rule about no family gossip. DO NOT tell me anything bad about another family member. I refuse to listen. If someone comes to me to ask if something about ME is true (I can't imagine since I have nothing I'd say to anyone in confidence), the first thing I'd ask is, "Have you been listening to gossip?" Obviously, yes. My answer is always, "Then I'm not talking about it."

I really adore my ex-son-in-law's new wife. She and I get along famously and we have a lot in common. Well, one time she wanted to dish on her husband's ex-wife which is MY daughter. I shut down the conversation immediately and she got confused. My ex-son-in-law stepped in and said, "She doesn't gossip about family. Don't even go there." Poor thing. I told her that I could validate that she had a lot to get off her chest but I wasn't the person to talk to about it.
 

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I do listen because it's my way of finding out if someone is in trouble and/or might need a hand :)

I also operate the rule of what gets said under my roof stays under my roof - Nothing said to me gets passed on (have avoided many messy situations with that one). I don't confront or out or retaliate, I just adjust my dealings with them...

I would do a live and learn scenario. If anything got back to me about something I told in confidence, then I figure out who it was & never tell them anything important again. I don't mind listening but I will point out any sillyness so I've found that I don't get told that much as I'm very quick with things like:
Well I seem to remember you did something similar when etc.
There are two sides to every story & the truth is in the middle.
Or I'll just flat out not agree:)
I also make a point of whatever I say about someone is always something I'm prepare to say to their face (more often I've said it already to them).

My Aunt was giving out about my cousin recently ( there was a few family members there). I had to pipe up with "I think you're phrasing this badly, I think what you mean to say is that you're worried about this person and you'd like to see her getting healthy in a safer manner". Straight away she calmed down a bit and agreed.
 

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I find that people who gossip have very little going on in their own lives or just want to feel better about themselves by crapping on others. I have no issue putting a "gum flapper" in their place. :)
 

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I don't have to deal with family gossip but I hate ugly gossip in general. I've been burned and I know I've burned others in the past. Now, my attitude is generally if I can't say something nice and can't hear something nice, I won't participate.

I've had to deal with workplace gossip and that can be a killer. I've learned...I just keep my mouth shut completely and if others start gossiping, I try to change the subject and if all else fails, I get up and leave.
 

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Just to clarify, what does everyone here call gossip?

I do discuss other family member's (in a positive way) but that is still gossip right?

I also discuss other people again in a postive way - A neighbour died this morning, left 4 small kids behind so I was in a group of people talking about this and what we could do to help - Again Gossip?

Hearing that someone beats his wife, is something I want to know before I send my kids to their kids parties - Again Gossip?

Hearing that my neighbours horses got out up the road, means that I can close my gate to keep them out - Again Gossip?

I got thinking about this and I really do think that gossip has a place :) I once missed the funeral of a neighbour because no-one had told me! His nieces came down to mine to collect Holy Water and when I found out what they wanted it for I nearly fell over.
 

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We arent really that way. However,Dmom is 84. And I never tell her anything that is a "secret" as it goes in her ear,circles her brain and runs back out her mouth. She isnt being mean just unfiltered. She gets her feelings hurts if i call her on it. I just generally don't tell her private things.
 

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Rona, my take on "gossip" is anything negative that doesn't involve me or that is spread out of sheer meanness or vindictiveness. Certainly, few of us object to "good" gossip. If you wanted to tell someone you saw me at the store and I looked great I would love hearing that. If you told someone I looked old and haggard, well, that might hurt my feelings.
Hearing that someone beats his wife? Ummm...could be but also could be an ugly rumor that could be highly damaging to someone if not true.
I totally agree that certain types of "gossip" has a purpose, but when it's done with malice, it isn't good. And that's what I generally think of when I think of "gossip."
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I guess I would consider 'gossip' to be news that is not yours to share or spread the word regardless if its positive or negative. AND/OR something said with a negative tone or said out of spite/jealousy with speculation.
 

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I guess I would consider 'gossip' to be news that is not yours to share or spread the word regardless if its positive or negative. AND/OR something said with a negative tone or said out of spite/jealousy with speculation.
Yes! Amen.
 

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Is it any of my business? Then yes, it is news. If it isn't any of my business, then it is gossip.

If my daughter's teacher is not at school because her husband just died, I want to know so I can attend the funeral, send flowers, a note or a hot dish. If the daughter's teacher is not at school because her husband was arrested for a DUI - none of my business. If the teacher was arrested, yes, that's news (especially since I'd read about it in the newspaper.) Do I want to compare notes and speculate with the other parents? Not really. That's gossip.

One of my daughter's used to work for my brother. One time he called and told me that she wasn't showing up for work on time and seemed "out of it". He called me because he was concerned about her and wanted to give us a heads up in case she was developing an unhealthy lifestyle. She went ballistic when we tried to talk to her and she was right to. While my brother's intentions were sincere, his problem was a private personnel matter and he shouldn't have been talking about it to me.
 

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If someone comes to me to talk about another family member, I always say,"I would discuss this with you, but I don't like getting into someone else's business." If they are persistent , I keep ignoring and changing the subject. At that point they usually get the hint pretty quickly. If they still persist, I just say,"stop". Just one word. Stops em dead in their tracks.
 

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Our family is too small to be too gossipy, usually...but I did hear a doozy about me lately!

My SIL, who we have not had a relationship with in 2 years due to her lies and manipulations after my MIL's death, has been talking about me being pregnant to family members over in Europe. FIL, who has no relationship with her either for the same general reasons, keeps getting calls from family overseas all excited about his new grandbaby on the way. SIL has been telling the Europe branch of the family I'm pregnant.

The funny thing is- I'm not pregnant, we're not planning to be, my youngest is 4, we've had no 'scare', this is just pure malice on her part. She has one child, almost grown, and has always been VERY jealous I have 3 kids. She's always wanted another but her husband said no.

Our way to deal with it? We asked FIL to let everyone know we're not expecting- with a Caribbean cruise booked for Feb. it would be bad timing! That, and the passage of time, will put this rumor to rest.

It's incredibly stupid, all around, and we could care less, but it made for an awkward phone call with my FIL asking if we were expecting because my SIL is telling everyone we are. I don't miss her a bit! Even cut out of our lives she's working to cause drama. I really wish she'd find a hobby besides being busy being jealous of us.
 
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I hear so much in hubby's family, but he could really truly care less. I don't talk to anyone, because it's not worth all the meanness that generally goes on.
 

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I shut it down ..and change the subject..there is concern and airing them....but usually it slips down that slope fast..so say your part or concern fast and then change the subject...
 

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My MIL is the biggest gossip you could ever meet. She routinely gossips about somebody every time anyone speaks to her. She keeps things going among her 12 kids and is constantly taking sides. She's a mess and I can hardly stand to be around her. Just a couple of weeks ago, my husband (her son) was going through something deep and personal. He didn't want her to know since she would tell EVERYONE. He kept his phone off for about a week, and I just didn't answer her calls. She became so infuriated that we would not call her during this ONE week, that she wrote my husband, again...HER OWN SON, a demeaning and angry letter. I always tried to be polite and respectful to her, but I'm just done now. When I do talk to her, she is getting shut down with a quickness!

With other people and their gossip, I just try to change the subject or else don't really comment. I might say something like, "oh, really? Hmmm...well, you never know." The gossiper will get bored with my non-comments and leave me alone. Now mind you, I'm 40 years old, and I just want peace in my life, but I did my fair share of gossiping back in the day!!!
 

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If I am talking on the phone and it's gossip, my doorbell starts ringing and I have to go....if it is in person I suddenly get a headache and need to lie down.......If I don't know it, they can't say I said it is my motto.....
 

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i always remember thumper's dad- :) 'if you can't say something nice about someone don't say anything'.

now if i'm somewhere and there are known gossips about who wish to 'tell' me I'll listen and about half way through the gossip I'll take out my notepad and pen to take notes making sure I get who's telling me what, when and why. this may be why I have to read about things in te papers... hummmmmm

If I hear something in regards to immediate family then i call and ask- offer my help if needed and advice/opinion but they have to ask for it.

before I became the sweet tactful thing I am today I use to egg on the gossiper with 'oh my, you don't say, really? well I never, are you sure? OH just wait until I tell ______________- what you just told me' and because I was somewhat peckish i have been known to start rumors about myself to see how long it would take to get back to me and how the story would change......

one of my favorite's to tell was 'i'm preggers with the twins from 4 different daddies.' what amazed me was very few actually got it. lol
 
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