Column: Taking on the gossips with nothing good to say

Well dear readers, this week I've decided to do my own Room 101 (a programme I love) and would like to share with you my twin pet hates:  Gossiping and the Spanish inquisition approach to holding a conversation...

Wednesday, 3rd August 2016, 4:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:49 pm
Columnist Carol Forster has no time for gossips
Columnist Carol Forster has no time for gossips

Unfortunately both seem quite prolific and it’s often the ‘pillars of society’ who indulge and I’m sure this is typical of many towns betraying a small town parochial attitude.Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!!! There’s a fundamental problem with gossiping ... Firstly, imagine person A says to person B ‘Hey did you know that person C has a pet Chihuahua’ by the time it reaches person Z, it has transformed into a ‘Zebra’. Catch my drift? The risk of Chinese whispers is ever present.Secondly there’s the problem with gossips that they believe every tasty morsel they hear, so presumably, like a lemming, if you told them to walk 500 yards straight ahead, they might fall off a cliff...My other bugbear this week is that of the Spanish inquisition form of interaction. I adore people who have the tact and empathy not to bombard with personal questions but might simply say ‘Hello’ in the street and wave, or have an innocuous chat about the weather. I never trust such questioning either as I see it as a precursor to the mighty gossip, trying to collect a few juicy morsels to pass on. Also for those with an insatiable desire to know another’s business, you’ll learn much more by gaining their trust... The tell tale signs of a gossip are the averted eyes of shame or the embarrassed eyes of complicity. You can spot ‘em a mile off! Sadly, the gossip (much like a bully) likes to feel bigger and better than you or anyone else. They don’t have the confidence to just be happy in their own skin and stop competing. Without a worthy cause, the gossip chits and chats, passing distortions and elaborations across a town, which may cause untold damage. They should perhaps take a good long look in the mirror and figure out what their true motivations are.So my tip is, be your own person and keep your own counsel.