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The line between gossip and talking about others lives when they're not around

FlexpertHamilton

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What do you think of this? I personally detest gossip, but among my close friends I find it very difficult to not talk about mutual friends when they're not around. I'm not shvt talking them and I try to actually defend them and explain why they do the things they do, going as far as to speak as if they were present. Yet I still will point out things about mutual friends that they may be doing wrong and ultimately worry about them. Examples include the state of their marriage/relationship and how it might be effecting them, or poor lifestyle/mindset choices. It comes from a place of caring, but I still hate doing it because it seems cowardly to talk about anyone when they're not present.
 

AmsterdamAssassin

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Gossip is when you say something behind someone's back that you wouldn't say to their face.
 

FlexpertHamilton

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Gossip is when you say something behind someone's back that you wouldn't say to their face.
Well yes, but if you speak of critically of someone who isn't present but is otherwise characterized by tough love and out of a place of concern, is that inherently bad? If not, I don't get why I feel so guilty for it.

The reason I avoid discussing certain things when said individual is around is because I believe that people have to reach the conclusion on their own terms, and if you try to nip it in bud at the wrong time, it will be counter productive.

For instance, if a friend is with a toxic woman, there's probably nothing you can do to get him to see it. Yet when they inevitably break up, I will tell them everything I suspected all along, because in these moments of vulnerability, they are finally honest and open enough to accept what you're saying. It's just very painful to see people making mistakes and know you just have to wait it out.
 
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BaronOfHair

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What do you think of this? I personally detest gossip, but among my close friends I find it very difficult to not talk about mutual friends when they're not around. I'm not shvt talking them and I try to actually defend them and explain why they do the things they do, going as far as to speak as if they were present. Yet I still will point out things about mutual friends that they may be doing wrong and ultimately worry about them. Examples include the state of their marriage/relationship and how it might be effecting them, or poor lifestyle/mindset choices. It comes from a place of caring, but I still hate doing it because it seems cowardly to talk about anyone when they're not present.
There's a big difference between asking "What's Bob or Suzy up to these days?", and slandering or/and endlessly prattling on about what f-ck up you think someone is, whenever they're not around
 

Mike32ct

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You can listen without adding to the gossipy stuff.

Her: “I think Bob is dating Suzy.”

You: “I can’t wait until lunch. I wanna try that new diner that opened.”

This is also useful in the workplace. Somebody tells you something that you wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole. Just don’t add to it. And certainly don’t confirm or agree with it. Just change the subject. You can’t get in trouble for what somebody else said.
 

AmsterdamAssassin

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"Did you hear what Bob did?"
"No, if it's important, I have no doubt Bob would tell me."
 
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