Have you found yourself in situations where people are talking about others and not known what to do? A friend of mine shared with me that she is really trying very hard to stop gossiping. She said it seems like every where she goes someone is doing it and it is hard to know what to do. I too have found myself in this situation and here is what I have learned. The same old rules apply with this as with anything else. The more we try to stop something the more dominant it becomes in our lives. Sometimes the best thing to do is to confirm the person who is doing the gossiping by getting to the root of what it is that is really bothering them. For example, maybe someone makes a comment about another person being rude or unfriendly. You might say something like, “I can see that you really felt bad,” or “ You really took that to heart and it hurt you personally.” By confirming their upset it takes the focus off the person they are upset with and puts in onto themselves, which is where the really problem is. You can use the same tactic when the gossip becomes more malicious. Suppose someone says, “ I hate her new hair do,” or “She really thinks she looks good in that dress.’ In this situation you might try saying, “ I bet that isn’t something you would wear,” or “That hair style wouldn’t be for you.” In this way you have brought the focus back onto them and the hope is that they may realize that they are thinking about what they want and what they like instead of allowing someone else to be who they are. Sometimes there are those situations where something more needs to be done. Perhaps the gossip is directed at someone you are very close to and now you are taking it personally. I found myself in this situation and felt very awkward and needed to say something to let them know I was not part of this and it wasn’t ok with me. I use these four little words and I can promise you they have a huge impact. Those words are, I don’t like that. By using this statement you are letting them know that you don’t like what is happening. You aren’t telling them they can’t do it, that they are wrong, that they need to stop, you are only stating your truth. you don’t like it. They can’t make you like it, what are they going to say to that? It stops them dead in their tracks and I have never seen gossip end so quickly in all my life. I hope this helps you when you are stuck in the middle of someone gossiping and that you remember the best way to end something is to allow it. Everyone has a right to live and do things the way they choose and if we choose to not be a part of something we can’t automatically bully someone else into choosing the same thing even if we think it is right.