What the problem is:
Gossiping is the bad habit of talking about people behind their back. People are naturally interested in other people (just look at the magazines for sale like People, National Enquirer, etc.), and like to talk about them. But it is a bad thing to discuss their affairs without their knowledge – and often with a negative slant. Often the end result is that the person being discussed hears what is being said about them, and confronts the party responsible. The end result can be the disintegration of a friendship, an awkward moment, and hurt feelings.
How to kick the bad habit:
You need to understand the potential damages from the gossiping bad habit. Every time you say something about someone, it is very possible that they will hear what you said down the road, and confront you about it. They may also never even confront you, just alter their opinion of you in a negative manner. Any way you cut it, the damage is substantial and far outweighs any fun you have engaging in gossip.
There is an old saying “never say anything about anyone that you would not publish in the paper”. This means that you can talk about people all day long – gossiping 24/7 – and never have any problem as long as you only say nice things – things that you can publicly display.
So the real issue is avoiding saying negative things about people. If you adopt this concept, you can never go wrong. But the real problem is avoiding those who do engage in negative gossip. If you around these people, you will be sucked into the negative behavior. And even if you say nothing, people will say you were involved in the gossip just by being there; “guilt by association”. So just as important as refraining from saying bad things about people is avoiding those who do.
What if you can’t avoid the situation? Better to try and change the subject, or to start off by talking about something positive about a person. Another option, if all else fails, is to tell the person who was being talked about what others had said and how you had defended them. At least it sets the first impression that you are trying to help them and not hurt them.
In World War II there was a slogan “loose lips sink ships”. Gossip may not be as dangerous today, but the damage is still significant, and the benefits are few. Don’t engage in negative discussions about people, and don’t hang out with people who do. There is never an appropriate time to gossip, and there are many better uses for your time.

Author's Bio: 

The HabitKickers are a small group of people who want to help others with their bad habits. We developed a website with all the information you need to beat every bad habit. We are here to help you with all of your bad habits.