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Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ to keep toxic people at bay. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of far more than you realize. Complainers and negative people are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary.

Think of it this way: if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

Successful people know how important it is to live to fight another day, especially when your foe is a toxic individual. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged.

Toxic people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it; their behavior truly goes against reason. Which begs the question, why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix?

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The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. This is the area where most people tend to sell themselves short. They feel like because they work or live with someone, they have no way to control the chaos.

As Matthew 18 shows, the matter should only be escalated when our best efforts at godly reconciliation have been rejected. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Do we also do the very things we wish to confront others about?

Have we judged and slandered the gossipers — or have we obeyed God to forgive and bless them instead? But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Our consciences, however, are hard to test when we are upset.

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit will comfort and guide our hearts when we first seek God through prayer and fasting. Also, see The significance of fasting. It can be humiliating or upsetting when someone gossips about something we prefer to keep private. Let us be comforted by the fact that there is no shame or condemnation before God when we confess those private things to Him.

Jesus has promised that everything that is concealed will be revealed one day anyway. Let us use such circumstances to praise God for His unconditional love and redemption and seek to do what brings Him glory. Our greatest sources of shame can become our greatest testimonies for Jesus. After we have done all things in a God-honouring manner, we can leave it to God to discipline and change the gossipers within our Christian circles.

Hopefully, our humble confrontations and mutual enlightenment will be enough to encourage them to repent before God.

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We are called to admonish and build each other up, not sweep things under the carpet. We may also hear such statements within Christian circles and will need to discern if someone is about to gossip or share a genuine concern for someone. Someone with genuine love for others will:.

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If we know someone is about to gossip, we should stop them in their tracks. Gossipers may not necessarily intend to be malicious but their lack of control over their own tongues will eventually ruin their reputations and relationships. Not everyone we meet in Christian circles reveres God or is submitted to the Holy Spirit.

Those that do will honour others before themselves. Our brain records everything we hear subconsciously. We are all affected by the gossip we hear, even if we have not willingly participated in it. Let us therefore be conscious about what we allow ourselves to listen to and check the condition of our hearts. We can pray and confess our participation in gossip and invite the Holy Spirit to cleanse our conscience and clear our minds of any gossipy garbage.

God tells us not to ignore gossip that damages the lives or reputations of other people. I am the LORD. God is always present with us and He watches everything we do. I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.

I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. Without addressing our heart issues, we may struggle to stop gossiping.

How to Identify and Neutralize Gossip

All of us need some renewing of our minds and hearts. Godly counselling can be helpful in such instances. Did you notice how many times a year they go away? How reckless of them!

Drawing the line in gossip – Teaching Humble Hearts

A family is in crisis. A marriage is on the brink of defeat. Oh, but no. How sad. This kind of talk is wrong. It has no place coming from the mouths of people who profess to follow Christ. So yesterday when I hung up the phone, I looked out the window, this was the immediate picture before me:. Vultures: crowded around a decaying animal carcass — picking it to bits and consuming the rot.

Looking out my window, the analogy hit me instantly. These turkey vultures are nasty creatures. As I stood at my window and watched them in the act, I was taken aback by the morbidity of it all; it really is revolting. I also found it interesting to learn that vultures have very few predators. For the ones they do have, their primary form of defense is — get this : to regurgitate semi-digested meat, because the foul odor is repulsive.

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  8. When we feed off gossip, we become like vultures: we ingest and spew filth. No matter how nicely we pretend to sugar coat our words. Like vultures, people inclined to gossip swoop in to eat of something foul. Just like how vultures have very few predators, I have noticed how tricky it can be to stop gossip in its tracks.

    Engaging with someone whose tongue is loose and hurtful can leave us feeling sick. It can also leave us wondering whether bits and pieces of our own personal story will become their next meal. Let me share a handful of scriptures that speak to this….