How To Deal With Gossip

Socrates´ triple filter test refers to a great life lesson that can help us deal with gossip and rumors.

"This story tells that, one day, one of Socrates’ disciples was quite agitated. He told Socrates that he had met one of Socrates’ friends and that he had spoken badly of him.
Socrates asked the man to calm down. After thinking for a moment, he asked him to wait a minute. Before listening to what he had to say, the message had to go through a triple filter test. If the message didn’t pass the test, it wasn’t worthy of being heard.

As he always did, the Greek philosopher asked his anxious disciple a question:
Are you absolutely sure that what you’re going to tell me is true?” The disciple thought for a moment. In fact, he couldn’t be sure if what his friend had told him was actually malicious. It was a matter of perspective.
So you do not know if everything he said about me is true or not,” said the philosopher. The disciple had to admit that he didn’t.

Then, Socrates asked him a second question:
“Is what you’re going to tell me good or not?” The disciple replied that, evidently, it wasn’t good at all. In fact, it was quite the opposite. He believed that what he was going to share with the philosopher would cause him discomfort and distress. Thus, Socrates said to him: “You’re going to tell me something bad, but you’re not completely sure it’s true”. The disciple admitted that this was the case.

Then, Socrates asked the third and final question:
Is what you have to say about my friend going to help me?” The disciple hesitated. He really didn’t know if that information was useful or not. Maybe it would distance him from his friend, but considering that he wasn’t sure whether it was true or not, maybe it wasn’t useful at all.
In the end, the philosopher refused to listen to what his disciple wanted to tell him. “If what you want to tell me isn’t true, isn’t good, and isn’t even useful, why would I want to hear it?” he finally told his disciple."

Truth, goodness, and usefulness
"In everyday life, it’s not easy to define the true, the good, and the necessary. These are abstract concepts that are sometimes difficult to apply. That’s why there are also some additional questions that can help you when it comes to applying the triple filter test:

- Regarding the truth: Do I know for a fact that this information is true? Can I bet on it? Will I be able to prove it to anyone? Am I willing to compromise my reputation over this?

- Regarding the good: Does it benefit me or the other person? Will it make them or me a better person and evoke positive emotions? Will the situation of those involved improve?

- Regarding the necessary or useful: By knowing this message, will that person’s life or my life improve? Can that person take any practical action regarding this information or message? In what way does not knowing this information hurt or affect the other person? "

(extract from the internet quotes of wisdom)

Have you ever been in a similar situation where you had to listen to a story (gossip, rumour) about somebody, without knowing the authenticity of it, remembering that there are always two, or three sides to a story: mine, his/hers, and the Truth.

And, even so, was it beneficial for you to know about it?
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Comments (32)

there's an even easier, more straight forward way.

listening plays a big part. the second is actually pondering and organizing what you've just heard. sometimes we don't have a choice under certain circumstances. just don't spread it around.

the third can be difficult with out the better approach. you don't have to reveal sources but you can tactfully address and ask the person about the topic directly.

what if what the disciple heard about socrates was true but socrates didn't want it widely known because maybe had many things he wanted kept quiet before he became a "philosopher". he had quite a bit of time to think up a "net" to help keep secrets in case others that knew him differently should cross paths later in life.
truth is, for me at least, most things i have the misfortune or fortune to hear, go unsaid, literally never given a though to.

occasionally, something is of reasonable virtue and might need to be addressed.
Hi Dragon..
Your explanation is a bit long winded, is it not? dunno
That sounds like a reasonable way of thinking
far from it. how quickly the mind works under reasonable control, far outweighs what a typed draft takes.
besides, if socretes DID have dire secrets, the "net" worked at least two fold. the secret wasn't spread and he didn't have to kill any one to keep it.grin
i do hope more join to discuss potential ways to deal with gossip.

as for me, i have limited time to enjoy a few hours of the day before sleep and work tonight. i hope you and any others that choose to read and answer your blog, have a great day.bouquet
Don't feed it confused

Don't dismiss it dunno

Maybe be open and honest and leave them to deal with TRUTH instead roll eyes
Or maybe not.
That's right!
Well thanks D.
Don't work too hard teddybear
There's two equation on gossip, at least that's how I feel. The bringer of the gossip and the supposedly gossiper.

First of all, I don't listen nor give a damn about gossip. Second it's not my judgment to know if it's true or not. This is where a true friends come in. The bringer of the gossip if he or she knows you then he would have stopped the gossiper by saying that's not true and I don't condone you or anybody else telling lies about my friend.

If. Yes if, all of us treat all gosdipers and gossip this way then there's no more lies.

End of story.
Hello Itchy girl...
Sorry, I don't quite understand what you mean?
Hello Lindsy,.
I'm afraid you've lost me a bit here? confused

Anyway, thanks for your input
Hi Dan, Well, in my world Gossip is a sin, so like every other would be sin I avoid such.....

There's a good reason God calls it a sin:

* it's malicious in nature

* it's hurtful to the victim

* it's usually wrapped around lies (9th Commandment)

unlike a rumor, where you're being forwarded as to the validity, gossip is the opposite, plain destructive.....
that's being forewarned

Hello Seaman
Thanks for enlightening me here !
I agree with the points you made.

So, do you think Socrates was right by asking the three questions?
Sorry my darling. All I'm saying is, don't ever ever entertain gossip. I shut the one who tells ma anything about others when I know it's a lie which is all what gossip is. Socrates had a lot of time probing the lies to be brought to him, but the truth is, I'd have said, don't want to hear it. Period. cheers
Agree wholeheartedly Sea. Gossip is for malicious intent.
<“Are you absolutely sure that what you’re going to tell me is true?”>

Truth is in the eyes of the beholder

And I do admit it's harder and harder to discern between truth and psyops anymore. That's why I've been praying lately for more absolute truths.......
Oh ok
But, how do you know it is gossip?
Someone might have some important information to convey? dunno

Going back to Socrates, I think it is wise to ask the questions he asked
It is but when I am informed about other people's information about me, right off the bat I know when it's malicious. For some reason I have the intuitive ability of knowing what's going to be said.
Yes, I agree the questions are wise and this is where Spiritual Discernment comes into play for's pretty favorable in my eyes.....

If the words spoke come off in a negative, hateful sense then discernment is to run..
Gor purposes of discussion, we all know gossip is not a joy bringer. And yes intuition is important.

Thanks Sea.
I agree, truth is very difficult to discern these days!
Ok that's good!
wave Dani
hadn't time to read your opening post, so I just quickly replied to the title instead.

my opinion of Socrates, no such person exists.
sounding all goodie two shoes is one thing, but being it, is quiet another.
Yes, I agree about the "spiritual discernment".
So you think Socrates didn't exist?
Or ...he never said that?
I'm sure a Socrate exist somewhere and G'luck to anyone trying to find him.....
I'm sure it will be like trying to find a needle in a haystack uh oh

If someone were talking/gossiping about me, I'd sure like to know....
wouldn't loose sleep over it if I didn't but nor either would I wake in the morning wondering how am I to torture whom ever today till he/she tells, what it is I want to know devil

Oh la la Itchy

So, you wouldn't do the filter test?

And ...would you use your voodoo doll?
Why waste a perfectly good voodoo doll Dani, and no I wouldn't bother with the test simply because if gossip/talk really bothered me that much, chances are I would not be here and I certainly would not be coming out with half the stuff I come out with here giggle wink
Oh well....we wouldn't want that to happen, would we, Itchy girly?

I mean I enjoy you here, and this place is certainly not the same without you.
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