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Feeling bad after gossiping

Hi, I’m a girl of fourteen. I find that I often have a bad conscience, perhaps because I gossip or have bad thoughts about others. I’m trying my best to stop gossiping and thinking badly, but I can’t stop. I would like some help to know how to be a better friend!
And on another topic, I also struggle to understand that I’m good enough, I think I have a nice body but when I look at others I think their bodies are nicer.
I ate less before but I eat more now. Is 54 kilos a normal body weight?


The teenage years can often be a rough time emotionally, just as you experience things now with your thoughts, actions and feelings for yourself and others. Your body and your thoughts are maturing and developing into adulthood. The part of the brain that deals with emotions develops faster than the part that deals with reason, so at this time life is often driven by emotions. This means it is important for you to have secure adults around you, who can help you to regulate and understand your feelings.

It’s very natural to think badly about others, and to tell your friends what you’re thinking. Everyone does it! Often it is because we want to appear in a good light, and we want others to like us, so then we push other people down so that we can somehow appear better than them. The reason you get a bad conscience when you do this is because it goes against your values. We get a bad conscience when we are not true to our own inner values. It’s pretty tiring living with a bad conscience, so you’re doing the right thing when you think about your actions and try to change them. Remember, if you ask God to forgive you, He will, so you don’t need to go around with a bad conscience. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (see Romans 8:1).

It’s important to think and speak well of other people; if you do this then you will be in a better mood and people around you will think well of you, so there is a double positive effect! Words create: negative words create negative feelings, and positive words create positive feelings – both for those who speak the words and for those who hear them.

You can’t stop negative thoughts from coming, but you don’t need to accept them. ‘We cannot help the birds flying over our heads; but we may keep them from building their nests in our hair’ (Charles Spurgeon).         

So when negative thoughts come, you can be quick to replace them with more helpful thoughts. You will be a better friend and be more liked if you let others be who they are, and speak positively about them. If you do, your friends will also feel more comfortable with you. On the other hand, if they are used to you speaking badly of people, they will wonder what you say about them when they are not there, and feel insecure. You have everything to win by speaking well of others. It is easy to find things that we don’t like and annoy us about others, but we can always find something positive. Always look for something positive to say about others, or don’t say anything at all. Other people get an idea of who you are by what you say.

It might also help if you think about the fact that God is everyone’s real Father. If we know God as Father, then our lives will be defined by God, and not our circumstances, our friends or our family. Just imagine, God has created you, He has a plan for your life, and He calls you His child despite what you have done. You also get new thoughts and a new relationship with people around you when you realise that God loves them just as much. Knowing God as your Father makes you strong and gives you a healthy respect for yourself, as you have your identity in who you are and not in what you do, and you don’t need to compare yourself to others and live according to other people’s ways of evaluating life. You will be a better friend to others if you are secure in who you (and here we mean both body and mind) are. The saying ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ requires you to love yourself. If you do, then you don’t need to speak badly about other people in order to feel better about yourself.

I’m glad that you like your body! However, comparing it to others will always lead to insecurity and make it hard for you to be totally contented. There is always someone who is taller, thinner, prettier, fitter, and more clever than we are, and when we compare ourselves to others it is impossible to be contented. It’s really important that you can be yourself, and let others be themselves too. We are all created and desired by God!

What you think about yourself will control the feelings you have about yourself. You can read the following articles: Never good enough / The perfect body / Self-image and then decide which of your thoughts you want to replace with helpful thoughts. Don’t let your feelings define who you are. When you start to think differently, you will notice that your feelings will also change.

PS: 54 kilos is a totally normal body weight, but we can’t say if it is too much or too little as we don’t know your height. If you are worried about your weight please talk to your school nurse. She will be able to give you advice regarding your weight and nutrition.


Best wishes

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