What to Do When People Start Gossiping

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I’m in the midst of writing a new book called Judgment Detox (preorder now!). Whenever I’m writing a new book, I have the experience of living the practice for two reasons: I want to test-drive every tool and lesson, many of which I’ve used for years and am bringing together in one cohesive method. And second, since I’m writing about it all day, it’s at the forefront of my mind.

As a result of putting myself through the Judgment Detox, I’ve noticed I’ve been very different in the midst of gossip. When I see people talking or judging, or discussing the crazy news stories happening these days, I’m finding myself for the first time in my life being silent. I’m just witnessing and letting people share their opinions without feeling the need to judge them or enforce my own opinion.

This is a miracle. Watch the video below and then read on to learn more.

The Judgment Detox is working on me as I write it. I’m having the experience of being the witness of the judgment that’s around me. Because it’s everywhere. The kindest and most generous people judge because it’s just what we do. It’s what we lean into, what we’ve grown to rely on. Anytime we turn on the news, we’re judging. We judge when we open a magazine or scroll through social media.

We have to be the conscious witness of this judgment. In the midst of other people’s gossip, be silent and witness. Becoming aware of judgment is the first step — it’s just scratching the surface of the lessons in this book. But it will prepare you as this book comes into form.

Start paying attention to the people around you who are judging, gossiping and complaining. And try for a moment to be silent in the midst of that gossip. See the power that comes over you in not saying anything and just being still. Maybe you say a silent prayer for the people who are in judgment, or pray for yourself to let go of the inevitable judgments that come through your mind.

Just create space in your mind where there is no judgment, no agenda — just witness a situation with no agenda whatsoever. This is a practice that happens over time, so begin with being silent. Your silence is powerful, and it is a response.

See what happens when you face gossip with silence and be still in the experience of what other people are saying. I want to hear how this goes for you, so post your comments below! And get ready, because there’s a lot more coming your way with the Judgment Detox.

I can’t wait to share this book with you!

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  1. I often find myself being in situations where gossip is overflowing at work in the break room at work. I’m no saint, I’ve definitly gotten caught up in the work gossip. Usually there is only 2 of us on break together. What can you do when someone is trying to gossip directly to you? If I stay silent, I’ll be ignoring them and I don’t want them to feel like “I’m better than them” If I ask them to not gossip! Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!

    1. There are some different approaches you can take, which involve changing the subject. Here are some options:

      -Change the subject as gracefully as possible
      -Say, “It’s actually my New Year’s resolution not to talk about other people and I’m doing this Judgment Detox thing, so let’s change the subject! How about X?”
      -Give a very basic acknowledgment and then change the subject. If Coworker 1 is gossiping about Coworker 2 you can say, “I hear you. By the way, unrelated, have you seen X movie/tried X restaurant/etc.?”

      1. Gabby Thank you for this advice! I found myself on a date last night and my date often judged other people, some whom he didn’t know, it made me very uncomfortable and I didn’t know what to say. I offered away to see it differently but he didn’t like it. It left me feeling low. If anything like this happens again I will gently change the subject. So simple and powerful! Thanks

  2. This is great! It’s something I’ve been trying to step back and be mindful of in the past couple of months. I can’t wait to read this book and go through the exercises!

  3. Have pre-ordered my copy , really looking forward to this as it is an area that I have been trying to work on for ages. I have use the four agreements but I notice I still judge .. and its the judgement that causes me to “not be so impeccable with my word and for sure not in my thoughts ”
    Looking through the comments I feel that many of us are feeling the same thing and the need to heal .. thank you (-:

  4. I had a recent unpleasant life situation and while I was away from work dealing with this situation, I received a text message stating that it was the talk of my work place. It was completely disheartening but when I returned to work, honestly, I just ignored it and it went away….as far as I know. It certainly made my belief regarding gossip stronger.

    1. We all judge every day! Be gentle with yourself. Becoming aware of it leads to lots of moments like that. My next book will help you detox from judgment and learn how to clear it quickly in everyday life. It’s changed my life and I’m so psyched to share it. Keep an eye out for announcements. 😉

    2. That’s me too , I notice an inner “moral high ground ” part of me that I don’t love. But I guess its about being kind and compassionate with our inner judge and then we may not be such harsh judges of others

      1. Step 1 of my new book (Judgment Detox) is to witness your judgment without more judgment. It is very easy to judge ourselves, both for judging others or for feeling superior in our non-judgment. Judgment is a nasty cycle!! You are not alone in this. Breaking free of that cycle is very liberating.

  5. Hello gabby, I heard you on a podcast today, prior to that 1/2 hour I never knew you existed, but I do now! I went straight to your website and knew instantly I’d found a new friend, this clip is the first I have watched because it’s something I have to deal with everyday at work, I stay silent and have found that then I became the one who was judged, the freak for not watching reality tv or the news. I think my coworkers are confused that I’m not interested in they’re complaining and health issues, I am definitely approached differently and given a wide berth, no one gossips to me, which of course is what I want! It fascinates me that people need to constantly be putting others down in order to feel good. My motto at work is friendly but not friends. If someone gossip to you they are also gossiping about you. So yeah, I stay silent and go about my business and am a much happier person because of it! I’m Looking forward to getting to know you better. Namaste Clare. P.S can’t wait to read the book!

  6. Great topic! Here is a question I have: I have been deeply practice on the path of love and I usually did stay silent or changed subject when there was gossip. But what’s odd is that I had several times now situations where one person started gossiping about me behind my back, with made up stuff. I used to not say anything, forgive, let go. But for some reason lately I felt it fed right into be the nice girl and instead I dared to speak up. Something that was surprising to me and felt healthy, having come from a long history of abuse. Silence was a way to be afraid to stand and speak up. I am also a spiritual activist and I find it’s important to speak up, just without the judgement. What do you say?

    1. If you feel called to speak up with love and respect, listen to your inner guide. My blog on how to tell the truth can guide you further so you are confident you are speaking honestly and compassionately, and without judgment. This one, on being right vs. being happy, will also guide you. Speaking up in the midst of toxic gossip or misinformation can be an important and compassionate act. As spiritual activists, it’s our job to ensure we are acting in alignment with spirit and not the ego. xoxo

  7. What’s interesting for me is the judgement I feel for those judging. Next time I will work on prayer. So looking forward to this book.

  8. So happy I came across this post and cannot wait for this book. This is something I struggle with and have been really trying to be mindful of over the last few months. I know it and recognize it, but it is so hard to overcome when it’s become such a normalcy…no excuse, I know! I am going to practice being silent. Thank you Gabby!

  9. OMG!! Yes!!! Our society so needs this and I am really excited for when your new book comes out. I try to catch myself judging ever since I saw you speak in Melbourne, Aus two years ago. You shared with us the affirmation “I choose again” whenever I go to judge someone. This has stuck with me. I love your tip to not speak during gossip sessions and see what happens, I look forward to trying this one out. Thank you for all your wisdom as always xx

  10. I find it very difficult to not get drawn into gossip. I want to fit in with my work friends and gossiping is one way, I suppose. If I was silent I would feel self-conscious and then feel like they would judge me. How conflicted is my mind

    1. Helen,
      It’s totally OK to not be ready for this. Another approach could be to lovingly change the subject.
      Get quiet and see what feels right for you <3
      big love,

  11. Thanks for sharing this, definitely excited for your book!!! I try to be a very positive person, but sometimes get sucked into negativity and gossip. Will definitely give this a try!

  12. About two weeks ago I had to work a day shift at my job, I haven’t had too for several months, I felt a little anxious. Over the past several months I have had the impression that my coworkers were talking behind my back due to confronting people about putting other coworkers down to me. I hadn’t worked during the day since that time and still felt others were mad since I was no longer getting extra hours. That morning I felt anxious and wanted guidance to help settle my anxiety. I had written a quote down the night from Deeva Mitchell from the Shift Network “There is nothing you must do to make me love you. There is nothing you can do to have me not love you. I simply love you.” I put that in my pouch that has other small sacred items and I keep the pouch in my bra close to my core, my heart. That morning I read the quote and asked for guidance and drew a card from Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards from Doreen Virtue. I drew Mary Magdelene – Unconditional Love. It was what I needed. I let go of the hurt I was feeling about having other’s not accept me and talk about me. I was working that day with one of the women who was talking about me. I was genuinely able to know that everybody was carrying their own pain and needed love anyway. I knew that anyway but I really needed to know and live it that out that day. From that place of acceptance and love, I was able to bridge an understanding of what it really meant to be human and all the hurt and pain that comes with that. I let down my guard and she her’s. We talked like we had never talked before. She opened up about what it was like to live with the murder of her son seven years ago and the suicide of her nephew several weeks ago. I had to bring down some of my walls of being hurt so I could be present to her and witness/support her pain and sadness. I’m thankful for that quote and the oracle card that day to help me see that it really is love and acceptance we all need but we don’t always know the right ways to get it. It’s through staying in that place of nonjudgement, love and not taking everything personally that we can start to heal the world and hold the container for other people to experience their pain and heal.

  13. Perfect timing for this. I was dreading working alone with a co-worker who thrives off gossip. I will be able to test it out. Thanks!

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