Welcome I don’t care where you work, go to school, or play, if there are a group of women in any given environment, there is going to be gossip! What is it about gossip that women seem to find so appealing, and is it really all that bad? Let’s take a look at these two questions today and have a yummy recipe to talk about, too! Thanks for stopping by!
Food For Thought Gossip is not just for junior high locker gatherings or the back of the team bus. No, it seems girls never quite outgrow their tendency to gossip. This became very evident to me when I took my first teaching job. Have you ever been in a teacher’s lounge? If gossip grew in a petri dish, this would be that incubatory environment! I do realize that there are probably some teachers or school personnel that will read this and may be offended at that description. But I will call it what it is and since this is my personal point of reference, that is where I will begin. I actually believed that gossip ended after high school, except on day time drama shows. I should have known better. After all, I had heard “older” women talking together as I was growing up. I had seen gossip break up adult friendships at church and in my mom’s circle of friends. I have worked in five different school buildings across three different school districts and I’ve never seen anything to prove me wrong. Whether it be about what someone’s wearing, or not wearing, what they posted on social media, how they spend their free time, how they parent or how you think they should be performing their job, it seems everyone has something judgmental or catty to say about someone else. I have known, at best, a half-dozen women that I have never heard partake in the gossip game. I admire them so much! I appreciate their ability to control their tongue and have self-discipline to refrain from participating, especially when it seems like such a natural part of the conversation.
So what is it about “gossip” that is so appealing to us women, especially when we are fully aware of the disastrous outcomes it can lead to? I think most gossip stems from two basic psychological needs. (Remember, I’m no psychologist; these are my personal inferences.) These two needs include the desire to fit in and feel accepted and also the desire to feel better about oneself. Both of these needs relate to our security and self-esteem. Gossip is an avenue that can meet these needs for women. I hate gossip and have no desire to participate, yet I found myself being drawn right into these conversations over and over again. Even in the middle of having the yucky, pull-at-your-gut, I-know-this-is-wrong kind of feelings, I would jump right onto the bandwagon of “Can you believe she…” And I know I was doing it for those two reasons relating to my security, or rather insecurities. Even as an adult I have struggled fitting in with my peers, so if I start talking negatively about that person you’re talking about, maybe you’ll welcome me into your “group.” Maybe if I have a juicy tidbit of gossip to share with you, we’ll feel connected and become friends. And as for my self-esteem, well, it’s always been low. So while we’re talking about what’s “wrong” with someone else, I can feel better about myself, because, hey, at least I didn’t do THAT! Oh, yes, I am very aware at how immature, petty, and embarrassing this all sounds! But it’s the only way I can attempt to rationalize why a bunch of nice, decent, smart women would spend their minutes and hours participating in such ridiculous chatter. It’s the only way I could justify my actions to myself! But here’s the kicker…participating in all this gossip never once made me feel truly better about myself. Do I really want to be accepted only because I choose to speak poorly of others? So the best thing for me to do is simply remove myself from these situations, even if that means eating lunch alone most of the time.
Some of the talk appears harmless on the surface. Maybe that person will never know what was said about them. Maybe what is being said is factual and just being repeated to someone else. Maybe it was intended to sound like fun or a joke, but it didn’t carry over with humor at all. The point is, we have to keep our words truthful, kind, helpful, pure, and seasoned with love. If what I am saying about another person cannot meet all of these criteria, then they are words better left unspoken.
Today’s Prayer My Dear Heavenly Father, I ask today that the words that leave my mouth are uplifting, kind, truthful, helpful and used to encourage and inspire others. Lord, I ask that You help me filter everything I speak by comparing it to Your commands in scripture. I ask for forgiveness for any of my past words that may have caused others pain or sadness or when I spoke with malicious intent. I ask these things in Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.
Today’s Scriptures Early this week I shared some scripture about our word choice in my post Pardon My French. I would like to share a few more passages on this topic today.
Proverbs 11:9 “With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape.”
Proverbs 11:13 “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”
Proverbs 26:20 “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.”
2 Thessalonians 3:11 “We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busy bodies.”
James 3:5-6 “Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
Today’s Recipe There is nothing wrong with getting together with your girlfriends and chatting about life, but be careful when speaking about someone that’ not in the room. The best way to combat this gossip-talk is to have other things to talk about…like recipes and food…like maybe these two dishes you can serve up at your next gathering. I missed Two-for-Tuesday this week, so I’ll offer two selections today. We have a Fried Ravioli that is just for fun and a nice big Garden Goodness Salad for the health-conscious and healthy-wannabe’s. They pair well together for your next girls’ night.
Fried Ravioli (serves about 8, or more if used as an appetizer)
- 2 10-oz pkgs refrigerated ravioli (not frozen; my favorite is spinach-ricotta, but any flavor will do)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup Kraft parmesan
- 2 eggs
- 2 TBS milk
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- Marinara sauce for dipping
In deep sided skillet, heat oil to about 375 degrees (an electric skillet works well for this.) In shallow dish combine flour, panko, and parmesan. In separate bowl whisk together eggs and milk. Deep each ravioli in the egg mixture, followed by the crumb mixture, then drop carefully in hot oil. Repeat with remaining ravioli until skillet is full. By the time all of the skillet if full it should be about time to flip the ravioli. The ravioli take about 3 minutes per side to cook through. Watch carefully and adjust heat as necessary to ravioli don’t burn. Remove to paper towel-lined tray to absorb excess oil. Heat marinara sauce according to directions and serve with hot ravioli.
Garden Goodness Salad (serves 8-12)
- 1 8-oz bag fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 English cucumber
- 6-8 fresh radishes
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup red onion slices
- 1 cup small pitted black olives, drained
- Italian Salad Dressing (bottled or homemade)
Find the largest salad bowl you can! Place spinach leaves and chopped romaine. Slice cucumber, radish, and bell pepper to desired size; add to salad bowl. Add red onion and olives. Toss with salad dressing or serve on the side, as desired.
If you have left-overs of the salad, add some chopped hard-boiled egg and rinsed garbanzo beans for a healthy meatless meal-salad.