Tip of the Week – Pay attention for negative talk or gossip amongst neighbors and seek ways to offer positive stories about neighbors or your neighborhood to redirect the conversation.
While this week’s neighboring experiment doesn’t involve physical labor, it can be a tough one to master. It’s easy to fall into the negativity trap, and, unfortunately, gossip among neighbors is common. This negative talk can destroy neighborhood progress and relationships pretty quickly.
In order to help our neighborhoods be healthy environments, it’s important to nip negative talk and gossip in the bud. Instead of offering a negative comment in a conversation, search for a positive aspect and offer that instead. Not only does a positive comment train your mind and mouth in a better direction, it has the power to transform an entire conversation.
Not the one starting the gossip but somehow manage to get sucked in? We get it. Negativity is a lot easier to participate in when someone else starts it. But again, choose the high road and move the conversation in a positive direction.
Sometimes it may be best to encourage a neighbor to talk directly to the person they are talking about. The topic they are gossiping about, may in fact be an issue that needs to be addressed. While those types of direct conversations can be intimidating, it ultimately can strengthen the community when people talk directly with one another rather than talking about each other.
In previous neighboring tips, we’ve mentioned it’s a natural habit to see the negative in our neighborhoods. Seeing beauty can take intentionality and imagination. The same concept applies to our words. On Facebook or Twitter, share with us a positive comment you shared about your neighbor or neighborhood.