SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM
As with any Torah prohibition, one may not speak rechilus even when he was asked to do so by someone who will be upset by his refusal to comply and has the power to do him damage. One must be prepared to suffer embarrassment, jeopardize his social status, or even lose his job in order to avoid speaking rechilus.
As with other forms of forbidden speech, one may not speak rechilus upon the request of a parent, teacher, or rav, except when it is necessary l’toeles, for a constructive purpose (see below).
SEFER SHMIRAS HALOSHON
Verbal remembrance of Miriam’s affliction will inspire a person to refrain from loshon hora only if he is not in the habit of transgressing this bitter sin. However, one who has developed such a habit, and thus finds it difficult to refrain from speaking and listening to forbidden talk, must deal with his spiritual malady as he would treat a physical one. To cure a physical condition, one must determine the condition’s source and then administer the appropriate medication. Similarly, when one is afflicted with a penchant for a particular form of negative behavior, he must determine its root cause and eradicate it.
The root causes of loshon hora are alluded to in the Hebrew words for All Gehinnom. These words are an acronym for: anger; scoffing; arrogance; despair; without rule or regulation; negativity; and saying it is permissible. We shall elaborate upon each of these traits.
There are those whose frequent transgression of the laws of forbidden speech is rooted in the trait of anger. These people are by nature quick-tempered, and their anger flares at the slightest provocation. In a fit of anger, they find it impossible to control their tongues, speaking whatever comes to mind. There is no hope for such people to develop the quality of shmiras haloshon unless they learn to overcome their tendency toward anger.