Do as I say, not as I do

Busy with the ski trip and home improvement projects, I forgot to mention that I gave up something for Lent. Gossiping. I was reminded of it when I saw this card at Sam Flax last week. (Tip: If you have a self-imposed moratorium on shopping at Paper Source, do not go to Sam Flax.)

Another example of my stellar photography skills. 

I got the idea last year after reading Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project. As part of her Happiness Project Challenge, she resolved to stop gossiping. If you have time, watch her "stop gossiping" video. Gossip and judgement go hand in hand. I'm certainly not in a position to judge, so I must cut this out.

According to Gretchen, women and men gossip the same amount, but both prefer to gossip to women because they make a better audience. Shocking I know.

Gretchen cites these 6 dodges for pretending you’re not gossiping when you really are:
  1. “I’m just concerned.”
  2. “I’m thoughtfully analyzing my friend’s character.”
  3. “I’m entitled to my opinion.”
  4. “I’m passing along information that a lot of people already know."
  5.  “I’m just relaying a conversation.”
  6.  “I’m not gossiping, you are.”
Sound familiar?

Gretchen herself admits that gossiping is fun. In that same vein:

"Gossip is what no one claims to like, but everybody enjoys."
--Joseph Conrad 

"Some say our national pastime is baseball. Not me. It's gossip."
--Erma Bombeck

I have heard this many, many times, but never knew who coined the phrase:

“If you haven't got anything good to say about anybody, come sit next to me.”
--Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Sidenote: Alice was a bit of a tramp back in her day and a self-proclaimed hedonist.

All of this said, I know gossiping is unkind. I will try to heed Gretchen's advice. If I wouldn’t want the person who’s the subject of the conversation to overhear what I’m saying, I shouldn’t be saying it.

If your ears are burning, I promise it's not me.


  1. What a thoughtful thing to give up for Lent (and forever). Good for you!

  2. Cool. Let's get tog after Easter.


  3. I am sad to say that I would not succeed. It would be fun to try though. Many studies show that gossip serves a useful purpose in society and may be hardwired into our behavior. Here are two interesting articles from the NYT and Forbes:

    1. Gretchen refers to this research. It is the unkind sort that I'm attempting to rid myself of.


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