20 Without wood a fire goes out;
without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
A gossip twists the facts to suit his ego, assuming the worst in others while suggesting his own motives are pure. This breeds contempt on both sides, which is disastrous in relationships. He thinks he is only reacting to conflict, which is the fault of others, but in truth he is fueling the fire that he may also have started. Even if his assumptions are true they only cause trouble, as soon as he abandons them the quarrel dies down.
“As charcoal to embers and as wood to a fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.” Circumstances may make a conflict more likely, but attitudes determine whether it ignites. Sometimes disagreement is unavoidable, but argument is always a choice. Some people are argumentative because pride makes them unable to admit fault, others because lofty expectations keep them critical, and some are just naturally irritable. No matter how good your reason is for arguing, remember this: you can prioritize yourself above the relationship, but in the end you will only have yourself.