Is this a form of gossip?


Is listening to a close friend vent about personal problems a form of gossip if she or he includes the names and actions of other people? What if I ask her if she and so-and-so are good friends? If so, is it gravely sinful?


As long as you never repeat a single word what your friend tells you, you are just having a conversation.


Agreed. She is venting her problems to you, telling you her experiences. It becomes gossip if you take anything she says and pass it on to someone else.


That’s what I’m inclined to think, but I have second thoughts when I consider that those people probably don’t want some things being disclosed to me, and I wonder if I should interrupt my friend.


I think it could be sinful because if she venting about others she is probably telling you uncharitable things about them that you dont need to know…

Heres some links for you to read


There’s also the issue that your personal affairs probably form part of this person’s conversation with others.


Thats a good point !..

If she can talk ( and vent )about others to you…how do you know she isnt talking (and venting ) about you to those same people?

It does happen as ive known people like that and i found personally for me the best way to deal with them was never to tell them anything personal and never talk about others with them as they will tell others what you have said


Short answer. I don’t know. Not saying I know everything but, possibly, kindly ask your friend that you not to say the persons actual name. Also maybe when your friend is venting try and mutter very quietly under your breath for the holy spirit to comfort you and your friend and to give you hope and peace


Thank you all for answering. The links were very helpful. I had already asked to refrain from naming people. Would that be enough, even if unnecessary details come up?


There are times everyone needs to talk with a close confidant about problems with others. But if this is a regular habit, I would let her know that she doesn’t need to name names like you are thinking and she may in return talk to others about you. If she vents like this a lot, I think I would be wary of her and move on to other friends.


I don’t share personal things with her as often as she does, but I’ll keep that in mind, robwar.

Concerning gossip in general, how bad is it to make negative statements about a celebrity’s or politician’s character? e.g. “so-and-so is a power-hungry narcissist”


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit