The love for gossip left me as a teenager. One of my class teachers took it upon himself to teach me a lesson. A classmate had reported me to the teacher and he dragged the matter for days. I was ashamed of myself for over sharing, I couldn’t look at her face for days.
One day, I summoned courage and apologised for the distasteful things I said about her father who was critically ill behind her back. She accepted my apology and we became friends again.
After that bitter experience, I took it upon myself to not lounge around to trash talk others even if what I may be saying is the truth. Any truth that is capable of destroying another human being’s reputation or paint them in bad light is a no-no for me, except It is a crime that I’m reporting to the appropriate authority. If you are not the appropriate authority, such information is not for your consumption.
It is my default mode to walk away once any meeting has served it’s purpose even at my place of work. If a conversation goes beyond social issues to malicious gossip, I am up and ready to leave, I turn deaf and dumb or get busy. I have been called mysterious for this, but it’s the only way I keep myself from giving too much information or getting called out as a gossip.
It is also one of the ways I keep jealousy at bay. When you subconsciously acquire so much needless information about a person, you start to tell other people unverified stuff you heard in return too. Some people will go as far as telling you it’s “from a reliable source”. This is why gossip is not healthy.
Gossips most times are rumour mongers spreading unverified stories based on ‘hear say’ behind people’s backs and do not care to verify if what they heard or share is true. Typically, gossips are attention seekers who give juicy details of some sort especially on issues people usually do not talk about publicly. Over time, the juicy details changes slightly each time they are told as they become exaggerated or completely altered.
Do not get me wrong, all humans partake in some form of gossip, in my own case I gossip more with my siblings. Gossip may not necessarily be negative but deliberate efforts must be made to avoid the malicious type of gossip. If you don’t have anything good to say, keep quiet!
Gossips most times are people of low self esteem. They are petty, mean spirited and do not feel good about themselves. As they are unable to generate interesting discussions due to their refusal or inability to use their brains effectively, gossip becomes their interest. It is the place they can get temporary attention. They feel better when they judge others negatively, it is the only way they can feel superior. Unfortunately, petty people have very poor sense of judgement.
The other dark side of gossips is that they are united in misery. In order for people to gossip comfortably, there must be some sense of closeness. They actually feel entertained when they gossip because they are unconstrained passing judgement on who ever is on their chop board.
If you like to talk about people, ask yourself what your intentions are. Is it to make you feel superior, have a sense of belonging in group, be the centre of attention or just to paint the person in bad light? It tells you exactly who you are, a classless gossip.
Gossiping has less to do with boredom and more to do with your mindset. Your mind eats what you feed it. This is the reason why you lose respect easily. High fliers and every great achievers talk less about people. They have little or no time to lounge around dissecting other people’s lives and when they do, they discuss the positives rather than dwelling on the negatives. They are busy trying to make positive impact rather than who to bring down.
Their response to gossip is first not to feed the gossips with curiosity, agreement or questions. That’s why they act uninterested, walk away or simply change the subject of discussion if possible. Learn from them. You can never be called out for what you did not say.
Gossip has ruined lives and reputations. People have lost jobs, loved ones, friends, family, business deals and life time opportunities to gossip. Always making derogatory remarks about people behind their backs is classless, evil and an act of cowardice.
Only cowards enjoy saying humiliating things behind people’s backs, yet when confronted by those they talked about behind their backs in the open, they deny, keep quiet or grand stand. What a disgrace! And you still wonder why some people avoid you or don’t take you seriously?
Before you gossip about a person in the negative, think of how it might impact them. Put yourself in their shoes, if someone does same to you behind your back, how would you feel? Respect yourself for once.