It is better to be deaf!
"Whoever spreads slander is a fool!" Proverbs 10:18
In the case of slander, the listener is almost as bad as the speaker. The only proper response, is to shut your ears the moment you begin to hear an evil report of another from anyone. The person has no right to tell it to you — and you have no right to listen to it! If you refuse to listen — he will not be able to go on with his story. Ears are made to hear with, but on occasion it is better to be deaf. We all aim at courtesy, and courtesy requires that we be patient listeners, even to dull speakers; but even courtesy does not require us to listen to evil reports about a neighbor. Ears should be trained to shut instinctively when the breath of slander touches it, just as our eyes shut at the slightest approach of harm.
"He who speaks a slander, carries the devil on his tongue — and he who listens to it, carries the devil in his ear!" Thomas Watson