If you don’t have something nice to say, just zip that trap. We all heard that line (or some variation of it) when we were little. Every one of us has been the subject of gossip at some point in their lives. You know how much it hurts. So here’s the big questions:
WHY DO WE STILL DO IT?
I laid awake for much of the night wondering that. Just before I fell asleep, I found out that there are people who I barely know, in this brand new town of mine, gossiping about me. Rash, hurtful words that pinned me at my most vulnerable point.
Gossip Law #1: Even for me, strong, capable, confident me, words DO hurt. I learned this long ago in middle school and, ever since, I’ve realized that I don’t want to cause that pain to anyone else. It doesn’t matter how much I criticize them internally, everyone has weaknesses just like me, and I never want to make someone feel that that’s all I see.
Gossip Law #2: As much as we whisper and make people promise not to tell, the words ALWAYS get back to the person. This most recent gossip about me started in September. September! I heard it two night ago from a well-intentioned friend that was trying to help me become a better person. He was trying to help me and the fact that people talked STILL hurt.
Gossip Law #3: It doesn’t stop when we turn 16 years old, or 20, or even 35. It never just stops. It’s natural for people to talk negatively about others. It makes them feel powerful, like they have an advantage on you. Like they’re better than you. It’s natural, but it sucks and it can be stopped.
Gossip Law #4: It comes in all forms. Gossip doesn’t just have to be a woman whispering trash into another woman’s ear. As I’ve tried to cut it out of my life, I realize that gossip is any negative statement that emerges from your mouth about another person. Anything that, when you really think about it, could potentially hurt that person.
LISTEN UP. This is the most important one . . .
Gossip Law #5: It CAN be stopped. The only way to stop gossip is by filtering your own words. I have a best friend. My heterosexual life partner. She is the only person that I turn off the filter with. She does the same with me. We gossip to each other until kingdom come. But that is because we KNOW that it will never leave that conversation. With everyone else, my negative words are on lockdown. I don’t participate in negative conversations and will even try to stop them if they become about someone I love.
Everyone can do this. It only took me a few months to recognize and learn. So just try it, please. For the sake of all those people who you have yet to hurt.
Now off with you, have a wonderful, gossip-free weekend! I will be in Vegas with my family and friends through Monday so blogs will start back up on Tuesday. I will miss you all until then. But just remember:
KEEP CONVERSATION POSITIVE 🙂
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Saw a quote about 5 min. after reading your blog and thought it appropriate. “If you’re talking behind my back that means you are in a good position to kiss my ass!”. Not sure if that is 100% positive but I liked the sentiment. Love what you are saying here, it is something I talk to the girls -and boy – about all the time. Once it is out there it will continue to grow and hurt, keep it nice and positive.
hahaha. not sure about that comment either but I like it. this is something that gets my future-mother juices flowing.
Ashley, I am so sorry that people choose to say things that hurt you. You or no one else deserves that. The person who made up the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Must have never had a harsh word said to or about him/her. If I hear anything I most definiately say something to that person. We should be busy with our own lives and keeping our noses out of other peoples. The Bible says where there is no wood there is no fire burning. In other words where there is no gossip it can’t going when someone says no. You are a very nice, polite and out going, pretty young lady. Hold your head high:)
Thanks for all the positive words Tina. Makes me smile 🙂
Never forget Samantha’s wisdom from SATC…make it your mantra!!
SATC! hahaha. I love that abbreviation. I will not forget.
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