Gossip. We all do it at some point; some delicious piece of insider info that shocks, amazes, disgusts…it makes us feel, I don’t know – special? Apart, above perhaps? I’ve seen articles where gossip has been discussed as some sort of positive thing…bullshit. Gossip is never positive unless we are trying to learn how NOT to gossip. It is a tough character flaw to overcome. It is tied in with self-worth somehow. I’m working very hard on that aspect and I seem to be winning. I still have a tendency to listen but I refuse to repeat. My next step is to state outright that I have no interest in the practice.
A friend of mine (this isn’t gossip as it is as public as her Facebook profile), was pondering the reason behind people and their gossip. It is as complex as human nature. I am sure, somewhere, way back – one of our early ancestors gossiped that someone else’s fur loin cloth was too short, which was then repeated and the first incident of telephone was born…suddenly, the subject of the gossip was appearing nekkid at a cooking fire near you.
Gossip can be harmless but it never remains harmless. Example; hubby and I are Pagans – we have not hidden it in 2 decades. We are not, as the saying goes, “In the broom closet.” We’ve had horrible things said about us as a result, most people not bothering to verify information…just happily passing it on until the end result was “They are Satanists!! They are Devil Worshippers and shouldn’t be allowed to coach hockey!” So, the minor hockey league was out 2 much needed volunteers due to lies and evil minds.
I was hired by my current employer because I was a friend of the Terminal Manager and his assistant. The evidence? They lived in Western Quebec and I lived on the West Island. Evidence enough of some sort of favouritism.
The list goes on and on, from the reason for my illness, to my sexual preferences, to my marriage and even my kids. If I were to freak over every piece of gossip I heard concerning myself – I would be armed and in a clock tower. The fact is, I learned a very long time ago that gossip exists and will always exist. There really is no point getting bent out of shape over it. It won’t stop. On the other hand, you could look at it as a compliment – you are taking up residence in the mind of someone else. You own a part of their, albeit tiny, brain.
Why do people gossip? Well, obviously their own lives are too shallow, too boring to occupy their minds and so, they look elsewhere. Gossips are, for the most part, petty and small minded. They have little to no self-esteem and consequently, have very little in their lives that can cause them to feel proud of who they are. So, they try to tear down anyone who may seem to be the better person, who may possess things that cause them envy. They are stuck in a form of almost early teenage immaturity. They are too cowardly to bully outright and so they use subterfuge and secrecy as their weapons of choice.
Confronting them is one way to give them pause for thought – if they are capable of thought. The ultimate weapon is simply to stop feeding their unhealthy habit. Don’t listen and don’t repeat. Gossips will be with us always, but we can elevate ourselves above them. Don’t repeat, and don’t listen. In fact, ask them – preferably in front of others – if they have verified the information with the subject of the tale. That shuts ’em up right quick and shows them for what they are – gossips.