Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gossip - does it serve any purpose at all?

I was in a situation where there was gossip going on the other day. It was such that I couldn’t walk away, I felt so weird afterwards that I didn’t know what to do with myself. I have very little tolerance for gossip. I feel that it is the worst thing anyone can ever engage in.

Have you ever played the game telephone?

It’s where you sit in a circle with a bunch of people and the first person whispers something in the person’s ear, then that person relays what they heard to the person sitting next to them and so on, until they reach the last person who says what he heard. It usually is so far off from what the original phrase was that it is so funny. Well when it’s a game it’s funny, but when it’s someone’s story it really is not.

It’s someone’s life we’re talking about

When people gossip, I think they forget that they are talking about someone’s life. A friend of mine who was getting divorced last summer, had her fair share of people talking about her. Someone said to her to not listen to all the gossip. Her answer, which was brilliant, “It may be gossip to some, but to me it’s my life.” It really is someone’s life and emotions.

Any spiritual book that you read or any spiritual speaker will tell you to stop gossiping if you’d like to raise your energy. If you want to transcend the everyday and get to that higher place spiritually, then refraining from gossip is a must. Notice how you feel after you talk about someone. It’s usually a dense, heavy feeling.

I feel gossiping is truly a form of bullying. It’s not anything that anyone can ever be 100% certain of, so then why speculate and spread rumors that may or may not be true.

The other part of it to look at is who cares? Really, when I went through my pregnancy losses, there were probably a handful of people who truly cared and the rest thought it was a good, tragic story to share. Unfortunately, it’s the juicy stories that get people’s attention.

All you can do is not engage in it yourself

After I lost the baby, a friend of mine told me that there was a woman going around our swim club starting off the conversation with, “Did you hear what happened to Mary Salfi?” My friend wanted me to confront this person and tell her to stop. Really, was I ever going to do that? If she got a thrill from spreading my news, then there’s no way to stop it.

What it did was made me realize that I will never engage in gossip myself. I will always respect other people’s lives and stories. I usually figure out when something is going to turn into gossip and respectfully, walk away. When it’s none of my business, then I have no business saying anything.

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Remembering to respect people - always!

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