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Gossiping vs. Venting
Old 05-02-2014, 08:44 PM
 
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What would you consider the difference between "gossiping" and "venting"? What kind of conversations are okay to have?

Example: someone is upset about somethings an administrator does (parent, co-worker, friend, spouse, whatever-work related or non work related). Upset, they come talk to you about it-they needed to tell someone.

We've all been there (either has the person upset or the listener), right? Is that gossiping? Or is it venting? How do you distinguish the two? How do you handle your role as the listener, especially when they need your support? What would be responses to say that are not gossiping? Can you share your own experience to make them feel not so alone? Or would that start to turn into gossiping?

This has happened quite a few times to me as the listener. I don't like gossip, but I don't want to be silent when the person is upset, either. I want to be supportive and helpful, yet sometimes, advice isn't what they need at that moment in time either.


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Old 05-02-2014, 11:29 PM
 
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If someone turns to you, a friend, to share her upset feelings about an incident, that is venting. Not gossiping . If you share with her your personal feelings, that is not gossiping either.

If either of you share these comments to others with the intention of shock or to get back at th other person, that would be gossiping.

We have recently had this conversation lately.

To tell someone all the changes in personnel.... Gossip?

To tell someone's secret? Gossip?

To tell others of something that happened with you? Gossip?

We have the habit of sharing news with each other and don't consider it to be gossiping.

We do a lot of speculating:

Did you hear that ms. R is going to apply for he media director's job.
Who do you think will . . . .
Wonder if the administration will . . .
Mrs. T didn't show up for duty.

We are probably a gossipy school in some people's eyes.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:23 AM
 
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I think it's kind of like when we give the tattling vs. telling speech to the kids. It's venting if something happened to you, and you need advice or consolation. It's gossiping if you just want to make the the person you're talking to feel the same way as you do about someone else.

As for responses when you're on the receiving end, I guess just try to keep it about what happened, not about the person who did it?
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:50 AM
 
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It is really hard to distinguish between the two. I have learned to vent to only friends on staff and not to share anything that is not public knowledge - the hard way. I have a habit of being too trusting and naive when talking with colleagues.

In the past it didn't occur to me that people would twist what I said and use it to their benefit. Boy, oh boy! I was hurt and learned the hard way when someone took what I said and incorrectly repeated it- making herself look favorable.

Mum is the word for me now- unless I feel strongly about an issue and am willing to put myself out there.
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:57 AM
 
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I only vent to those I really trust. I was just talking about this the other day when and a friend and I were both venting. I said sometimes I feel bad because I am talking behind someone's back but I do think venting is important in order not to keep things bottled up. I think the PPs gave good ways to make a distinction. Thanks, I'll try to remember them .

I also think gossip is when you share something that you know (that may not be "out there yet" with someone else for no real reason other than to just tell someone else.


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I can talk about myself
Old 05-03-2014, 04:59 AM
 
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I try not to complain (I need to reread http://experiencelife.com/wp-content...Free-World.pdf) but I do need to talk about things that bother me. The yardstick I try to use, if I talk about anyone other than myself is, "Would I say the same thing if the person is listening to what I am saying?" If not, I remind myself to use "I" statements to help process whatever I need to process. If I am problem-solving to come up a solution or a plan of action, I don't consider that gossip.

I agree that gossip is just for entertainment value and serves no useful purpose. But, darn it, it's so interesting sometimes!
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Hard to tell.
Old 05-03-2014, 07:22 AM
 
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Great question. I struggle with this, because I'm not too guarded myself, so I don't always know what others expect is public knowledge, but I've learned to be more closed mouth at school. I work with a person that I feel is very opportunistic, and I do know that several others at school feel she doesn't do her job (doesn't show up for things, constantly forgets appointments, etc...) but we know we already resented her because she was hired as a consultant -- so we knew we had negative feelings about the position. It's hard to differentiate those feelings. If she doesn't show up for a meeting, or doesn't produce the schedule of PD in a timely manner, etc.... we all talk about it. Are we venting or gossiping???? It's tough because we are in a cash-strapped district and she makes a high salary. I do feel badly on one hand, but it's maddening on the other. What do you think?
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Great link.
Old 05-03-2014, 07:48 AM
 
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I'm going to share that link with my friends. It looks very helpful!

VENTING:
We have one co-worker who complains about everything to the point where you can't stand it. We are the point where we just talk talking about something else a lot. We used to listen and just her advice but she doesn't want to stop. She will rant about winning the lottery! I also distance myself from her and cut her short when she is getting hyper. I know some people can vent and then stop and go back to a normal mode. This one is always in crisis mode. It's hard to take.

When it's gossip, I might say, "Oh" and move on or "That's not what I hear" as it's usually just not true. I usually hear a lot of things but I don't repeat them.
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Be Careful
Old 05-03-2014, 04:43 PM
 
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So at my school I was accused of gossiping which I don't do. So now I never talk to anyone. I wasn't even venting: I was talking about a couple things I was overly worried about/having anxiety about to a friendly coworker I trusted and she actually responded with negative words/biased opinion of more than one person. So I got in trouble for causing someone else to gossip/say negative words. I was also warned to stay away from that person.... I didn't even know she was like that. I literally told the staff members who got in a habit of saying unprofessional negative words about people around me(without me provoking it) by telling them to STOP it. I still don't know why I was the one in trouble when I wasn't the person doing the negative behavior.......

Now I don't ever talk to anyone. I keep all to myself no matter what.
But one way I always shut down gossip around me:saying I like the person or not really saying anything back....I've always done that.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:09 PM
 
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Thanks for your post. I have vowed not to talk to anyone anymore, too unless it is purely business. It is hard because my department is very gossipy. But, I learned the hard way, too, not to trust anyone with my personal thoughts. Unfortunately, I still sometimes get sucked into it on rare occasions. So, will use your pat response for now on! Thanks.


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