Why do people speak loshon hora, derogatory speech? The Chofetz Chaim (as Rabbi Kagan was called in the tradition of referring to a rabbi by the name of the book he wrote) enumerated 7 basic reasons: (1) Anger – losing control. (2) Joking – seeking a laugh no matter who the joke hurts. (3) Arrogance – to aggrandize oneself at the expense of others (4) Giving up hope – thinking that it is impossible not to speak loshon hora. (5) Seeing that others aren’t careful – following the bad example of others. (6) Judging others unfavorably – we tend to see the negativity in others that we have in ourselves. (7) Ignorance – not knowing the laws governing proper speech.
If we understand what motivates us to speak poorly of others, we can correct our ways in order to speak properly