I believe gossip occurs whenever a person talks about another person in a negative manner that they would not want to say directly to that person. No matter how hard we as human beings try to be positive, it seems that sooner or later a negative comment will slide out without us realizing it or maybe it is said on purpose. We may make excuses as to why we said something and thus justify our comment and feel it was an acceptable act.
It would be nice to use a gossip detection machine to evaluate if what is about to be said or has been said can stand up to the following test:
- If a comment is made directly to the person that was being talked about, would it have a constructive outcome.
- Would the person speaking about the other person want to hide what is said from the person they are talking about. That is usually a clear indication that it should not have been said in the first place.
- Is a judgment made without getting all the facts by not looking at each side of an issue.