Gossiping (back-biting, bad-mouthing, telling secrets). We all know someone who participates on the daily. Participation comes in two forms: perpetration and/or listening. The two are highly dependent on one another – without one, the other cannot exist.
Gossiping is that idle talk about other folk’s personal or professional lives. Sometimes its sharing facts, most times, its sharing rumors and untruths. In the end, in most cases, that gossip is the root of slander and sometimes, unwarranted disgrace. Admittedly, I have participated in gossiping as the “carrier” of something I’ve heard. I never divulged other’s secrets – not that this fact made everything okay, but I just never did that. I have, more than once, also been the subject of gossip and bad-mouthing. On a greater level, I have participated by listening to other’s assumptions, their guesses and unknowingly, the lies of jealous women. Some of the things I’ve heard has been funny. Some of the things I’ve heard have been downright hateful.
Several years ago, I realized that being the perpetrator, listener or victim all result in the same feeling – pain. Once again, by definition, gossip is idle talk. Gossip is the result of another person’s decision to tell another’s secret, to talk about a friend or stranger behind his/her back or to bad-mouth him or her out of jealousy or anger. Sometimes, its the result of lies. I was the victim of the latter. Although I didn’t know the perpetrator on a highly personal level, she had been a co-worker. I would have never known the things that were being said about me had another co-worker not been fired. Long story short, both the perpetrator and I had moved on to much better jobs, with her having obtained her position on my recommendation! I had no clue she had been talking about me behind my back. I only came into the knowledge when the fired co-worked applied for a position at the same place I (and the perpetrator) was now employed, and a supervisor came to me asking if I thought the woman should be hired. Almost immediately, the perpetrator came to me, trying to find out, on the sly, if I knew what she had done. Eventually, I found out, and as you would expect, I was extremely angry. I had never done anything to either of them and was crushed that I had been cast in such an ugly, untrue light. It was around this time that I had been giving lots of thought to the fact that some of the things I had carried to and fro over the years could possibly have been untrue. It had just happened to me. It sickened me. I regret the fact that it took being the victim to make me understand that the consequences of something I had previously considered harmless, could be devastating.
These days, in my eyes, gossip is for those who have nothing else to do or too little to do. Even though I had plenty to do back in the day when I thought it was funny or acceptable, clearly, I wasn’t focused enough. My son is headed to college, I have a new grand daughter, I have a blog to write, I have a life to live. Equally as important, I spend my time loving and helping my friends and as many strangers as I can, so I have no time for gossiping and bad-mouthing. Life is too short to live it in the negative.