Thursday, April 12, 2012


Ok I have been thinking a lot about gossip lately. Like last 6 months lately. I want your opinions!!! I think I have come far enough that I am pretty much over petty superficial gossip. I don't like speaking bad about people and I REALLY try to avoid it. My questions are not about petty gossip, but about 'venting'. And not just venting to anyone and everyone. But maybe venting to the 1-3 people in your life who you know you can go to with anything. You know the people-- your spouse is one of them, and you have 1 or 2 other friends that you can tell all your dreams, wishes, and hopes to. The people you call or go to when you feel  Stressed to the max. You call them and you vent. Sometimes the venting is about other people. Is this okay, or wrong? Is it the way you say it that makes it okay? Is it not okay ever? Is it okay no matter what because you know these people will help you feel better, and won't spread what you are saying? Mostly I vent to my husband. He hears mostly everything. Does that make it okay since he is my husband and I should tell him everything? Or is it still wrong? I don't like gossip, and I usually try to shut down gossip before it starts by interjecting a compliment about whoever is being mentioned. Part of me thinks that maybe it isn't ever okay. I do NOT say bad things about Jacob to anyone (even venting), because I wouldn't want to damage our relationship in any way, and if I have an issue with him that I need to talk about, I just go to him. Thinking about that makes me think that maybe it isn't okay to vent about anyone, because it could damage your relationship with them. But what do you do when you are so stressed out and just need to talk and get things off your chest? What if someone has hurt you deeply and you just want to tell your spouse about it? Is it the way you say things when speaking to those you are closest to? When 'venting' I try to keep bitterness and judgements out of the picture and don't insult others.   Does that make it okay? I don't know. I am not trying to justify my actions in 'venting' but looking for honest opinions! So-- What do you think?
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mwoodall said...

I think it's okay to let people know when something happens that made you hurt, sad, or angry. Just talking about the situation that happened and how it made you feel as opposed to just talking about that person. Talking to people about situations and how I felt from those situations often help me process them just by talking out loud. And those friends I talk to give me a better idea of how I should be reacting by how they react when I tell them about it. I agree about never venting about your spouse 100%. You're a smart and kind lady Nicole and I love you!

Heather Jones said...

I definitely think venting can often be just a kinder word for gossiping. I love how you said you would never vent about your husband because you don't want to damage your relationship. I think that should set a guideline. That being said, it is healthy to speak about your feelings and how others make you feel. Many years ago I went to a counselor and he asked me about the relationships in my life. He didn't ask me to gossip or talk ill of my family and friends, he asked how peoples actions made me feel and helped me accept understand and grow from the people around me. No, you shouldn't go to a counselor. That's the beauty of having a husband. They are there to listen. It's healthy to open up and explain, not exactly vent. And most importantly if they were there would they be hurt by what you were saying or enlightened? Hope that helps! I need to be better about gossip and venting.

Angela B said...

I think one of the reasons we are counseled not to gossip because it not only hurts us, but hurts and tears down the person that listens to it. Is it okay to discuss feelings and problems? Yes. But if it is hurting or bringing down the person you are talking to, then it's not okay.

Nathan & Marlese Seaver said...

This was inspired that you wrote this, I think. I totally know exactly where you are coming from.i have been thinking a lot about this very subject myself. Here are some of my thoughts... If you are saying something about someone to another person to make them look bad, that is wrong. If you turn to someone in confidence I think is all about how you approch them. Obviously if who you were talking about could stay annonimus that would be the best, however, being able to say who it is makes them understand certain frusrations better.i think the ultimate point is to NOT since (like you said it could damage your relationship) also I a, a believer that if you think it it that is one thing but remember that thoughts lead to words which lead to actions ( here is where mosiah 4:30 really comes in ( if you haven't read it recently) :) ).hinestly the fact that you are even thinking about this really does show the kind of person that you are. Most wouldnt even think twice. But you are taking a bigger step and wonder what you can do to be even more Christ-like... Tha t is amazing! I really do believe that when you turn something in to words you are just asking something to happen weather good or bad. If you started to speak negatively about your husband(for example) I think that deep down you start believing what you are saying and en start to focus on the negative more and more, instead of building him up and being the spouse you should.... Now these are just my thoughts you can take or leave them haha :) ....I need to be better about what I do and don't say and I appreciate is post that helped remind me of what I want :)

Denning's said...

This is my opinion- you can tell me what you think. The best way for me to try and explain myself is by a made up scenario. Let's say you have a neighbor who has kids your age. You get together with her and other moms in the neighborhood so your kids can have play dates. Well when she's there it really bothers you because she yells constantly at her kids and says things like "I wish they were all grown up and out of the house, then I'd be happy". She says these things in front of her kids. It makes you so sad and her negative attitude towards her kids is really getting to you. Well what to do you? Continue letting it eat you up inside? You would "vent" to your husband. He would listen to you and then give you suggestions and ways to help the situation get better. You would be "gossiping" if you "vented" to the other moms on a day when she isn't there. Chances are if I got to talking about her to other women it would turn nasty. I personally think that I have my husband for a reason. He is very non-judgemental and when I have vented to him in the past he is able to help me see that maybe it's not so bad after all. He helps me see the good in others and helps me be a better person. Isn't that what a marriage is all about? Helping your mate become a better and more Christlike person? We both have our frustrations with work and other things and it's nice that we can share those things with each other and work on them to become better. It will most likely be the same when your kids get older. They will come home upset by someone and it will be a great time for you to hear them out and help them respond in a Christlike way. Also you will be able to teach them early on that gossiping is not okay and if they have a problem with someone bring it home to you and that's it. I don't know what do you think? Am I so far off base? This is such a hard thing for women and it's so nice that you are thinking about it. I do have a lot to work on when it comes to this issue, but lucky for me I do not get together with women that often and if I do it's usually with my hubby and their husbands. I like that you mentioned you never talk about your husband to others. My mom taught me this at a young age. She warned me that when you get involved with other women talking poorly of their husbands you start to think that maybe your husband is pretty crappy too. It just doesn't help the family! I always try and brag about my husband becasue it makes me feel good and also changes the mood of the other ladies pretty fast. Anyway, that was long enough! Hope it made sense!

Jade said...

I kind of have a different opinion here as you may have guessed. I am an extrovert raising two little extroverts. What does this mean and why is it relevant? Extroverts are such because they process information vocally. In other words: We think out loud. Why don't you just train yourself to think quietly so everyone else can be left in peace? That would be like asking someone who is right handed to write with their left hand. Usually they can't, but it gets easier for people to switch as they get older. This means we have to deal with consequences of venting or gossiping often.

But I have found the solution, it is controversial and difficult to follow through sometimes. Many days it takes bravery that I have to fake having, and pretend to be nonchalant about situations I care about quite deeply.

I do not say anything about someone that I would not say to their face. This does not mean that I seek them out before or after saying it. It does mean that if they heard about it I could confidently explain the comments in question. Most times people are not brave enough to confront anyone about this kind of thing and get passive-aggressively angry. That is out of my control. But I know without a doubt that I have said nothing that should offend. Sometimes the truth hurts. What can I say? You shouldn't be offended by your own actions. I have accepted blame and apologized for things of that nature and in the end have remained close friends with people whom I have offended. In fact some of my closest friendships bloomed from some kind of crazy unedited thing I said that upset the other person. Even if I didn't mean to. And I never mean to. I'm often bewildered by reactions others have. Weird? Yes, I know.

Heavenly Father knows our hearts. I can say I never mean any harm, but through the grapevine it sometimes comes out the opposite way. Yes, I'm learning how to stay quiet about things that may seem controversial, but first I had to accept myself for who I was, an extrovert. I had to understand that it's not a bad thing at all, just most people don't really know what that means. Mistaking it for bubbly and gregarious, which we usually are as well. Now that I'm cool with me and understand it I can tweak it.

I'm grateful that I can guide my children through these struggles. I hope that they will learn how to not speak earlier than I. However, if they don't I can show them how to be socially brave.

Sharon said...

Tough question. I tend to keep everything inside and that isn't healthy. But in my observations, I have found that what you say, even in confidence, will prejudice your loved ones. Because they love you so much, they will want to side with you. You may move on and forget the injury, but then you also have to remember that the people you confided in will not forget. They may forget on the surface, but a prejudice is often there. The best person you can vent to is the Lord. He knows the other person's heart and he can see both sides clearly. You can leave your burdens at his feet.