“Lets put this species on the extinct list!”
To dissect gossip correctly can only be described in weaved tapestry of words: secrets, mis-communications, jealousy and outright lies. Throughout our life many of us have been the victim of this hateful act. Unfortunately, some may have even participated, or perhaps have even started gossip with rumors. Whatever the role each of us has played, whatever age we were, it is a spiteful act that everyone should regret. Why do we gossip?
In elementary school, the basis of learning begins. Our children’s fragile minds are molded and shaped. However, this is where another act is learned, an action that is too ingrained in our society, gossip. Hateful rumors, lies and stories are made up about a person or a particular group of people. As we move forward in life, high school, college, the workplace and between parents, gossip is misconstrued as an act that bonds people, brings groups closer together. However, the act of gossiping only causes fractures in relationships, including who hear your tales.
The Facts: Or Are They?
Let’s face it, if the victim of gossip was guilty, the tale “I heard from so and so” would never be admissible in court. At most it would be hearsay. Perhaps we should judge people as a court judges a suspect. We need cold hard evidence. The “telephone” game always involves miscommunication and sabotage. As every lawyer will tell you in criminal court, when interviewing a hundred witnesses, you get a hundred different versions of the story. Could this be the same with the root of gossip too? Absolutely.
We are a society that thrives on gossip. The tabloids are a perfect example. The media builds a young actress or actor up, so high that the expectations are almost impossible to meet. Once that person finally falters we watch said person spindle out of control, “tisking” at each other telling one another, “I told you so”. However, this is someone’s life. A life, that indeed sells millions of copies of magazines to the unknowns who are looking for the next juicy gossip story. Like many tribes in the past, we feast our attention on the young and beautiful, build them up and sacrifice them. Though today we do not do this physically, we seemingly do this with bullying and gossip and the results are unfortunately the same as those in the past.
The Heirs of Gossip
It’s a little hypocritical for adults to be so shocked about children spreading rumors, bullying and gossiping when many of us do the same thing. Hurtful comments about a family member or those juicy rumors about one woman cheating on her husband do make it back to children. As the adage goes, “little pitchers have big ears.”
The Meaning of The Act
Why do people gossip? There is only one answer: insecurity with ones self. Whether it be jealousy about another person’s successes and the drive to bring that person to our reality or the feeling of superiority one receives when hearing a story, telling a tale or just to be in “the know”, gossip is a lion in sheep’s clothing. To speak poorly of another person is not only disrespectful to the person as a subject but disrespectful to you. Those listening to your gossip get the impression you cannot be trusted, you are judgmental and even if they agree or show interest in your story, it instills a fear in them that you have them on watch as well.
“When you judge another you do not define them, you define yourself.” Wayne Dyer
Curing The Act
How to stop gossiping? It’s simple; it’s only a matter of respect: respecting yourself. Gossiping with friends is a way of telling yourself that you have nothing important to say but to gossip about others. That is not true! You are a gift, with many virtues. You owe it to yourself to explore these virtues. Try new things; investigate that hobby you have always wondered about. Befriend new people, volunteer. The world is your oyster. Be the good person you know you are. Speak well about people. Compliment those who do well instead of hurt those you feel are doing wrong. Guide people who have gone off of the righteous path. Put yourself in another person’s shoes.
Once gossip is eliminated, toxicity will be lifted from your life. Become grounded again in what your purpose is; you’re better then idle gossip. Get your life in motion and revitalize yourself, be someone that people want to be around, not the person everyone is trying to avoid.