How do they affect you?
When you hear negative talk from someone, how do you respond?
When the conversation is over, do you spread the negativity by telling someone else what was just said to you?
Sometimes, that might be necessary.
Other times, however, it’s a good practice to just let the negative words drop right there, going no further.
We have an oak tree in our front yard.
Acorns abound each year in the lawn underneath it.
As long as the acorns stay on the ground under the tree, new seedlings will only develop there.
If a squirrel carries one off and buries it in a field nearby, a new tree may emerge and grow where there was none before.
When I hear negative words, I have a choice to make.
If they need to be repeated, I must do so responsibly.
If they do not need to be repeated, I must let them drop like acorns to the ground and resist the temptation to carry them away to someone else where they could take root and grow more negativity in a new place.
Don’t say anything that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you.