Is there a difference between gossip and just “catching up”?
I went to have my taxes done at an office where I worked for a brief time. We talked about the people who have left since I worked there. One involved our former boss, who has been having personal problems. The person who prepared my taxes told me a lot of things that were not so good about my former bosses life. When, at the end, I said something like, “Well, it was nice to catch up with you and all the gossip,” I offended her. She’s a Christian, though not Catholic, and said something to the effect that it wasn’t Gossip, just catching up.
Is there ever a difference? Where’s the line? Does it have to do with the intentions, i.e. Gossip seeks to harm, whereas catching up merely informs? Does it have to be that the talk is negative? I mean, can we never share a problem a third person is facing?
What do you think?
As for me, the remark about us gossiping kind of slipped out, and I meant it in a more general sense, but once I said, I felt I’d done it in the theological sense…so, it’s off to confession I go…