52 Weeks of Neighboring - Week 22

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Neighboring 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 amongst neighbors is common. This negative talk can chip away at neighborhood trust 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, we challenge you to search for a positive aspect and offer that instead. Not only does a positive comment train your mind and mouth in a better direction but also it has the power to transform an entire conversation.

Not the one starting the gossip but somehow managing to get sucked in? We get it. Negativity is a lot easier to participate in when someone else starts it. But again, we challenge you to 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 one another. 

In previous neighboring tips, we’ve mentioned how it’s a natural habit to see the negative in our neighborhoods. Seeing beauty can take intentionality and imagination, and this same concept applies to speaking positively.

Happy neighboring!