Gossip Creates False Alliances…
WOW! This is such a powerful statement and so very true. Gossip is hard to deal with and it is hard not to participate in. I think there are two kinds of gossips; ones who thrive on it, seeks it out, uses it to be build relationships with others; and ones who truly try to avoid it but fall into the trap from time to time (no one is perfect) but it is not intentional. I am defining gossip as information and/or misinformation about a person that is usually negative, hurtful and not truthful and this verbal or written exchange brings no value to anyone.
All of us have been in situations that may or may not create gossip and we may or may not even know it! You never know what people are going to think, assume, create, make-up, react, run with, express angry, seek attention for, etc. Even doing something very simple can cause a stir however, it is how we choose to react to gossip is what defines us. Easier said than done.
Those who thrive on gossip; some of these folks are very good people, however they find themselves seeking out ways to talk about others, mostly in a negative way. For some, this is how they deflect the dysfunction in their own lives. We ALL have disfunction, just some of us are better at dealing with it than others, and gossip is not the way. If you have lots of stress and craziness in your life, and if you can reflect on the fact that you spend most of your day, talking negatively about someone else, then you probably should focus on what you can control and what makes you happy. Family, friends, memories, hobbies, helping others, etc. Try to redirect your mind.
When you gossip, you are trying to connect to the person next to you or the group you are with, by using someone’s story (which is normally not a very nice story). Building relationships based on talking about others is not a building a relationship, this should not be what binds you in a friendship (or alliance). Putting someone down and sharing with a group, builds a false sense of trust or that everyone buys into this story about someone else and it makes the person gossiping look bad or jealous. What I have also found in life, is that when family does this to their own family, some people tend to notice and see there is a lack of family loyalty.
Gossip also gets twisted, distorted, manipulated to fit other peoples’ needs, wanted reactions from others, attention, sympathy, victimization, etc. What started out as a small grain of truth is now a monster of a lie and at the expense of someone else (and sometimes their character). False timelines are constructed, false narratives about what happened are made-up, and then this train-wreck of a story is then shared with others to help the gossiper feel better about themselves or the situation. However, at the end of the day, those who gossip (and this includes those who play victims) never win. They never become better people.
No one is perfect, we all have skeletons in our closets, we have all made mistakes, etc. No one has the right to judge or spread misinformation about you but how you choose to react to these types of situations is what matters. You know what; if you were not physically there, did not see it with your own eyes, and it is not about you, then maybe don’t talk about the situation or the person or spread the story. Nothing positive is gained when talking poorly about others.
My hope is that we all grow. Learn. Do better next time. If you have people in your life that gossip, then think about how you spend time with them, how to re-direct the conversation and how to not get involved in the spreading of gossip. We have all had someone say something mean or negative that wasn’t sure about us. Ignore it. If you know in your head and your heart that what you did what was right for you and you family, if you did not do what was being stated, if you know someone has completely lied, twisted the story to benefit them, and/or to play the victim, know that this person is battling their own challenges and deflecting is helping them to cope (not a good coping mechanism).
Giving others grace to learn and grow is important. Letting others know gently, that talking poorly about others brings no value to anyone’s life. My hope for them is that someday they are able to think, reflect and grow as a person and grow away from gossip and focus on more meaningful conversations and thoughts. That gossiping doesn’t gain anyone new friends or co-workers (or alliances), but brands others negatively as a people who focuses too much energy on dragging others down instead of lifting others up. Grow away from gossip; build healthy relationships based on positive aspects, not putting others down; bring positive energy to the room, the conversation and to your relationships.