I don’t partake in rumors and gossip, for I absolutely know that there is no power or personal growth in the depreciation of another
What a huge opportunity to self-check, how much time of my life’s energy do I give to hear-say, fabrication and slander? More often than not gossip and rumors are about my need to tell “my story” or “my side” of a challenge or situation to another person so I can defend, justify and basically get approval that I’m right. It’s like I need someone to take my side so that I can feel OK about bashing and trash talking.
The tendency as a listener to participate in another person’s drama happens for several reasons; because it makes you feel important that they chose you to share with, because it’s easier to focus on someone else than to look at your own “stuff”, or because there is something about the energy and production of the drama that is almost addictive – it creates an adrenaline rush or a high, kind of like a real-life Jerry Springer marathon.
It is our insecurities that often times perpetuate the drama of rumors and gossip. If you’re willing to look closely and honestly at your own life and relationships, it’s likely that there are issues closer than you think. Often times when you have several close friends and you are the one that attracts different people, you probably have friends that don’t necessarily like each other but tolerate each other because of their mutual friendship with you. What happens if you find yourself in a conversation with one friend who is trash talking another other friend? The way you handle this situation and the perspective you have actually says a lot about the kind of person and friend you are in general.
As a neutral third party, when someone comes to you with a story that involves having to make a choice or pick a side- it does no good to choose a side without even having enough information to give constructive feedback. It would be so much more beneficial for everyone if we all adhered to the 24-hour rule. The premise is this- when something happens with someone that upsets or disturbs you for whatever reason, you have 24-hours to clear with that person. You don’t seek advice or council from a friend, you don’t post on FB or tweet your drama, you don’t go looking for approval from any outside source. To “clear” means that you approach the person you have an issue with from a place of curiosity and the desire to understand, because here’s the truth- whenever there is an issue typically it is because of a mis-understanding. When we take time to listen, clarify and figure out where things went wrong it offers the opportunity to create a new experience.
And what about those friends who have problems with each other but not with you? Do you stay neutral or do you play sides? What team are you on? True and lasting friendships dare to tell the truth, they do not compromise lies for the truth for fear of backlash, and they do not tolerate playing games or using people. If you are brave enough to face the truth, even when it is uncomfortable or even risks friendships, you will create an intimacy (into me I see) in a way that you may have never experienced.
Rumors and gossip really do keep us from being the absolute best version of ourselves that we can be. It is a test of our personal integrity and character to stay open and honest and to make being in alignment with ourselves more important than being seen or getting someone else approval.
When we really get down to doing the work, we realize that the most important acceptance that we could ever hope to have, is the acceptance of ourselves…