Talk only about ideas
If you know me, you know that I refuse to gossip.
It is something that about ten years ago was one of the things that I decided did not have a place in my life anymore. I felt that if I was talking about other people, I was wasting exceptionally valuable time that I could be working on myself and the future which I envision. I don't particularly care what someone else is doing, what their marriage is like, where they succeeded or failed (why is it with most people, its failed).
People feel as if they can talk about other people when they aren't present - and those with incredibly little minds will entertain that conversation all day long. I know numerous people that wish for nothing else than to see others fail, to see them in pain so that they can measure how much 'better' their lives are than those that are doing 'worse'. Those people are no longer a part of my life. I have dropped them out of the contact list.
Comparison is the theif of all joy, yet for some reason people want to make themselves feel better by talking down upon others. I will no longer have it in my life for even one instant. This is non-negotiable.
From this moment forward, if you attempt to talk to me about what so and so is doing, or what such and such said, I will stick my hand out and refuse to move forward in conversation about that topic. If you continue to press, I will up and leave.
Let is publicly be known that from this day forevermore, I will only discuss ideas (and perhaps events, but those are boring, too.). So, tell me what you're working on, what struggles you have faced lately, how you are making yourself better, how we can work together, what fascinates you, where you predict X will be in 10 years, how to solve Y problem.
Just anything but about what Sally said and what Johnny did.
I do not care.
And - I will call you a lower consciousness individual to your face if you believe I would entertain such a discussion.
Note: talking about motivations and meta topics such as why a person would do such a thing or what the mentality behind something is is not a bad higher level conversation - however talking bad about anyone is fucking lame.