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Gossiping - How To Gossip Without Getting Caught

Updated on February 8, 2012

You Should Be More Subtle than These Ladies

Gossips in the Altstadt in Sindelfingen, Germany. Photo by Rebecca Kennison, Wikimedia Commons.
Gossips in the Altstadt in Sindelfingen, Germany. Photo by Rebecca Kennison, Wikimedia Commons.

The Danger of the Dicey Conversation

Have you found yourself deep in a dicey conversation with a friend about someone else, when all of a sudden the someone else appears, perhaps from around a corner? If you have, you know what happens next...your face goes red, your tongue stops wagging, your jaw drops, and dumb words like "Oh, hi." fall out of your mouth.

You've been gossiping and you know it's not a nice thing to do. Your body language now speaks more volumes than your gossip ever could. You just got caught! After the awkward "Oh, hi," deep silence follows.

But it doesn't have to be that way. You can save face if you know how to gossip the right way. You don't have to give off that tell-tale blush, finding yourself speechless in the process. You can enjoy the dicey conversation, the gossip, with confidence, if you know how to gossip without getting caught in the act.

You just need to follow Aunt Katie's advice.

Aunt Katie To the Rescue

My Aunt Katie has a sure-fire method for saving your face. You can use her method at the watercooler, in the hallway, on the street, and just about anywhere else, just about any time.

Preparedness Is the Key

Take four easy steps to prepare yourself for a successful save:

  1. Tell your gossip partner about Aunt Katie's method before you start your session.
  2. Keep your voices at low-normal volume during the gossip session and face each other, so your dicey words don't travel.
  3. Keep objects away from your mouth, so you don't look like you are gossiping.
  4. Keep an eye out for the subject of your gossip by tuning your peripheral vision to a high pitch.

Hone Your Gossiping Skills

Act Quickly with Aunt Katie's Save

At the moment you sense the unexpected presence of your subject, turn up the volume on your voice, and say clearly to your partner while expressing profound amazement:

Oh, really? Butter? I fry mine in lard!

Aunt Katie's Guarantee

Aunt Katie guarantees this method will save your skin every time, but only if you:

  • Never use it anywhere near running water.
  • Share it only with your most valued gossip partner.

Aunt Katie's method was thoroughly tested in her tiny hometown over the course of three generations. It can't be used there any more.

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    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Marcy, no need to explore any more than you have to, although I know what you mean. This is just a gem and I'm so glad its sparkle touched you and your memories.

      The running water thing, it's a play on "I can't hear you when the water's running."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Know_I_Can't_Hear...

      It's a joke my daughter and I have been playing against each other for years, but also a theme from my life growing through the 50s and 60s.

      Running water being the huge distraction everyone has in their lives.

      I hope this hub is useful...when you get caught in a nasty gossip, you can save yourself. :)

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      6 years ago from Planet Earth

      Are we related or something? Sure sounds like some of my family! Really cute & hilarious hub. I must be dense - or super tired - not getting the running water line just yet. I'll reread the hub & comments. Maybe it will hit me.

      Voted up, and, um . . . useful?

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Sunshine, go for it when you need it! :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Useful information if I ever should need it!:)

      Thank you for sharing!

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thanks, FP. This Hub is actually one of my favorites, and that may be because I love my aunt Katie so much!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      9 years ago

      Butter and lard? Hehe...delightful advice!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      9 years ago from St. Louis

      No, but my mom did, tricked into it by my dad when they were courtin'. She loved to tell that story.

      A bigger fan, you will never know.

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 

      9 years ago

      LOL LOL @ Chris! too funny!!!

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      I exist only to make fun of you. 

      Have you never dined on rocky mountain oysters, while of course not knowing their origin, and so having been taken by surprise?

      Your fan, always, S.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      9 years ago from St. Louis

      Ok. Now you're making fun of me. I should have said "Bulls", since "cows" only refers to females. I spent several summers working in a charming little country town called Arrow Rock, and one of the locals who had become a friend invited me to a "ball fry." I didn't know what he was talking about. He explained to me they all get together on a farm, castrate all the bulls, and toss the testicles on the grill and eat them. I declined. He then asked if I wanted him to bring me a "ball sandwich," which I also declined. No testicles--bovine or otherwise--have ever touched these lips.

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Christoph, you are such a breath of fresh air! I am delighted to no end knowing that you think I'm funny. Years ago, a very dear friend of mine, after attentively listening to one of my funny stories, smiled at me and said, "Dear, I think you better keep your day job." Well, YOU just made my day.

      Lard does have a bad rep, doesn't it? Like most anything else, it's fine for you in moderation, plus, there are some things that just don't taste the same without it. I mean, if you're going to make up some good old fashioned pan-fried chops, you can't beat lard for coating the pan. Not to mention pie crust.

      I think the lard line would work OK with guys, if they are chefs gossiping about chefs. :) I didn't know cows had testicles, so I guess that fly-by WOULD grab their attention.

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comments.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      9 years ago from St. Louis

      Very Funny! Everyone should have an Aunt Katie to pass down the wisdom of the ages, the important stuff, like how not to get caught gossiping! Very funny. You know, the "Lard" part is perfect, because it is...well...lard. People tend to poo-poo lard (Ok, poor choice of words) as being so unhealthy in these modern times. I would think that would tend to set the "gossipee" immediately thinking in the wrong direction.

      I think a male might have to "man it up" a little. Something like "Oh, man, you gotta try them. Fried cow testicles taste great."

      Glad I came looking for a Sally fix and chose this one. A total delight. I expect nothing less and I am never disappointed. Tip of the hat!

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      LOL is right. I'm laughing with you. Who says there isn't gossiping on HP? LOL again. Unfortunately, Aunt Katie's method doesn't work as well in print as it does in person. Thanks for sharing about your crime partnership. :)

    • sheenarobins profile image

      sheenarobins 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      it sounded like a cool advice of to me. It brings me memories of my late mother in-law. the only way i can get her to like me was to engage in gossip with her. that made me her partner in crime. I don't do gossips now, I'm too busy with HP. lol

      hehehhehe

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Why thank you, gwendymom, for your thoughtful and generous gift. I would try to think up something equally *appealing* for you, but I have absolutely no talent for choosing gifts others like. Or maybe that's to my advantage in this case? Here's another ROTFLMAO for you!

    • gwendymom profile image

      gwendymom 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma

      Sally, I mentioned your name in a hub I did. I hope you don't mind. You can check it out here.

      https://hubpages.com/holidays/Fun-new-products

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      OK, gwendymom, you will be the first to know about it. And I'll autograph it to your specifications. :) Thanks so much for this cool exchange.

    • gwendymom profile image

      gwendymom 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma

      That would be a great book Sally, I would buy it!

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Gwendymom, thanks so much for reading and commenting. I swear, every word of this story is true! One day I'll have to start writing more about Aunt Katie's advice and adventures. She is a very wise, earthy lady!

    • gwendymom profile image

      gwendymom 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma

      Sally, this is great. It's so funny and has some great tips. Everyone needs this information.

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      funnebone, I don't know what the "this" is that you don't find productive. The gossiping, the comments to the hub, or the hub? Please let us know your thoughts. :)

    • funnebone profile image

      funnebone 

      10 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

      now i dont find this to be productive!

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Ditto, marisue, in every way!

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 

      10 years ago from USA

      You are right...soooo many nice, articulate, and just downright "smart" people on here...  I'm really enjoying reading to my heart's content.   It's like being in an intellectual cafe..  and I don't mean that in a snobby way at all...I'm not necessarily talking about degrees tho' that's part of it...I'm learning from everyone and enjoying them all...=)  Marisue

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      marisue, enjoy! It's a great community out here. And your tongue can slip all it wants. :)

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 

      10 years ago from USA

      Oh Sally's trove, I wasn't claiming credit for your hub...haha I mean stopping by my comments...see another slip of the tongue haha

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 

      10 years ago from USA

      hahaha I've had egg on my face plenty of times and have learned to ask for forgiveness for the tongue... yet, we are all human and I think we get too wrapped up in a few verbal oopsies... Now -- I don't advocate anything racial or discriminating...we need to be caring speakers...yet...I do think as a society we are way over-sensitive. No self-deprecating humor anymore is allowed...we just take everything so seriously. Our poor candidates (hard to sympathize with them in a way, tho...ha) are afraid to open their mouths and then they get criticized for not being truthful...can't WIN, for losin.' tiring, yes?

      thanks to all of you for stoppin' by my HUB. You're appreciated!! Marisue

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      "Just goes to show we all make a major faux-pas every once in a while!"

      You are so right, Sapristi! No one is immune. The expression "foot in mouth" comes to mind.

      Marisue, thank you for your willingness to step on Mrs. L's toes. I got your back, too.

    • Sapristi! profile image

      Sapristi! 

      10 years ago

      marisue's comments about impulsively speaking without thinking made me think of a story my friend Jess told me once. Jess is a loud, outgoing, exuberant person who certainly would never mean to offend anyone. One day she managed to sprain her ankle. Later that evening she and a friend were waiting in line at the movies and she impusively blurted out "Come on, can't they let the crippled person go first!" - referring to herself, of course. Our friend's jaw fell open. Much to Jess' dismay, she turned around to see a young man in a wheelchair in line just behind them. Just goes to show we all make a major faux-pas every once in a while! ;)

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 

      10 years ago from USA

      You know, I just now realized I can rate pages....so I gave you a thumbs up..I keep forgetting about that part...always learning. Marisue

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 

      10 years ago from USA

      When I was a young girl...I spoke impulsively most of the time.  At the time, I didn't know that I had a very high IQ -- not braggin' about that honestly..cuz it caused me more grief than I would have wanted...but my parents had kept the fact that my tests at school were highly scored and they wanted to pass me on...so instead I thought I was kinda different. 

      I tried really hard to fit in and pretended to be dumber than I was -- you know, in the 60's it wasn't good to be a smart girl.

      Anywho,  I was a really social person as well...wanting friends, etc.  and was popular enough...but was a bit too quick on my feet with thinking and replying to things.

      I learned to accept the quickness of thought and in my later years it served me well....but, I still suffer from memories of speaking quickly about any given situation.  ah  Having said all that,  my point is that while I was teaching grade school, my background led me into having many behavorially challenged children in my classroom as the principal thought I could handle it.  Gee, thanks.  I spent many weeks and weeks teaching kids to sit down, listen, tolerate differences respectfully, and be productive community members in the classroom environment.  I was appalled by other teachers who were in my book just downright "mean." 

      I was fortunate to meet enough good ones to keep the faith -- I can just see, however, your teacher who did that and your face from having it done....

      makes me want to step on her toes myself.  hee hee   ahhh  memories.

      thanks again for making my day.    Marisue

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Marisue, I really wish I had you as a teacher many years ago when I stepped on my teacher's foot while leaving the classroom. She was an old school girl, made us line up to go everywhere, and made sure everyone in the line passed within inches of where she stood. So, leaving the classroom one day, I stepped on her foot by accident and was too embarrassed to stop and say, "I'm sorry." I just kept going. Well, she reached over, yanked me by my hair, pulled me out of line, and in front of all the kids said to me, "How dare you be so rude. Now you apologize right now." Needless to say, I am terrified of her to this day.

      The cool thing about gossiping is that you are probably not doing it with one of your students, so you don't have to worry about the parent standing behind you!

      Always love your comments, marisue!

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      LOL WeddingConsultant. If I put that tip in there, there would have been no purpose to the hub!

      As always, thanks for stopping by.

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 

      10 years ago from USA

      quick thinking and I like the pre=meditated part...When in college and preparing for student teaching...a wise professor told our class...."When you are speaking to a student...always speak as though their parent was stanging behind you ...because one day they will be."

      And, it happened to me.  A young boy in a wheel chair in my classroom had a habit of rolling right up to whoever he wanted to talk with or pass between, and run right over our feet.  It was a painful and annoying experience.  One day, I took him to the hall and said something like "Rudy...when you roll over someone's feet, it is just like a walking person stepping on a person's toes, only worse.  Your wheel chair is heavy and has the power to really hurt someone.  You being in the wheel chair does not give you a right to be first, or pushy.  I want you to stop it and you can sit out here for the next 5 minutes and think about it.  When I come back you can tell me what you've decided to do." 

      I turned around to go back into the classroom and there was his mother with her mouth wide open.  oops.  However,  I meant what I had said -- yet she might have felt protective...I had no idea how she was going to respond. 

      She smiled and said  "You know, we have been working with him for a long time, on that one habit.  I hope he listens to you." 

      Saved by the grace of a wise mother.  The trouble with wagging tongues is there's always someone listening, recording, or tattle-ing.  eeek.  I'm going to remember the "butter?"  advice, though.  hee hee   

      Thanks, Sally,  haven't see u in a few days....been gone?    Marisue

    • WeddingConsultant profile image

      WeddingConsultant 

      10 years ago from DC Metro Area

      You forget the best tip to avoid getting caught gossipping:

      Don't gossip!

      haha entertaining hub, though.

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      I'm so glad you got a good laugh! This hub was fun to write because my Aunt Katie is such a seat-of-the-pants person with fabulous wit and sense of humor. I guarantee, not only will her method work, but you'll have fun with it, too.

      Thanks for the good words!

    • Sapristi! profile image

      Sapristi! 

      10 years ago

      LOL, this post made me literally laugh out loud. I will be sure to use these tips. I've been caught in the act enough awkward times...

    • Rhym O'Reison profile image

      Rhym O'Reison 

      10 years ago from Crowley, Tx

      Such a simple answer. My imagination had taken me all kinds of places except the obvious. Now I can get some rest. Thank you.

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      What a cool question, Rhym...

      One of my favorite things to shout to my kid when she's in another room and asks me a question in a voice that she would use if my ear were right next to her mouth is, "You know I can't hear you when the water's running." (I'll bet you've heard that line a few times.)

      So, if you and your gossip partner are near running water, you'll never hear the subject of your gossip approaching.

      Shucks, you already figured that out!

      Thanks for the good words. It's a real compliment that you stayed. That's what every writer wants a reader to do!

    • Rhym O'Reison profile image

      Rhym O'Reison 

      10 years ago from Crowley, Tx

      Really liked the title and subtitles...That's what draws me in, but the content makes me stay. I have to know....What happens if you use Aunt Katie's method near running water? It's driving me crazy!

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri 

      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      What I really tell people who tell me not to tell is, if you tell me you can be sure I'll tell. That's why nobody tells me very much. Thanks for the nice comment!

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 

      10 years ago from California

      Too cute! I enjoyed the gossip advice, although I really try to avoid it altogether. If I have to tell someone a secret, I make sure and tell them not to tell, and if they must tell, tell the person they tell not to tell too!

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