Is this considered gossiping

Not to go too much into detail about past friendships, but I’ve made a new friend this year who I get along with really well and she likes doing the same things as I do. We have fun together and I enjoy her company. She’s Catholic, but doesn’t go to church much and is not very religious, so in that way we are different. But, she’s still a nice girl. Anyway, my issue is whenever a friend bothers me I like to vent it out to someone else, like a co-worker or another friend, and I usually don’t feel bad if I talk about it with a co-worker or someone that doesn’t know them. I also talk about things they do sometimes, for instance my friend doesn’t have the best judgment when it comes to guys so lets say I’m talking to a co-worker on that topic I’ll bring up my friend.

Is this wrong or a sin??

I wouldn’t say it’s exactly sinful, but I’m no priest, however it definitely sounds uncharitable to me. I try to do as my mother taught me, “If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

Here is your threefold test for gossip:

Is what your saying true? Is it really, really true or merely just a repeat of what someone said? Were you an eyewitness of what you are saying? Even if it is true, it still could be gossip.

Is it necessary? It is necessary that you share this juicy, tidbit of information with the person you are speaking to?

Is your intention to build someone up or tear someone down?

I have heard people Christianize gossip by saying something like, let me “share” something with you or we need to pray for so and so, did you hear that… If we are sharing, we cannot be gossiping or just cloak it in a prayer intention. Now, isn’t that spiritual!:smiley:

Look. Think about if you knew this other person was saying the exact same thing about you to your friend and your friend was nodding in sympathy. Would this hurt you? If it would, it’s gossiping.

Now if you want to vent, you have to make sure that you talk about the situation and not the person involved. Something like, “I just got pushed into oncoming traffic. Can you believe it?” instead of “Sandra is so self-absorbed she pushed me right into the street and didn’t even notice. I hope she learns to watch where she is going.”

Be careful to make sure no one could ever tell who you are talking about and you’re good. That way you’re in the clear.

Also remember: if people know you talk about other people they will guess that you talk about them too. It sort of gets around that way.



Gossip is defined as “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.”

It sound more like you’re committing the sin of detraction. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes (para. 2477), “Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.” A person is guilty of detraction if he or she, “without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them.”

You have no reason to disclose your friend’s faults other then wanting to vent, which is not an objectively valid reason to do so. You have no idea where your words may travel and you can never take them back. I encourage you to stop it.

Modern Catholic Dictionary:

GOSSIP. Idle talk, especially about others. The morality of gossip is determined by the degree to which time is wasted in useless conversation, by the failure in justice or charity committed against others, and by the damage done to people’s reputation by those who gossip.

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