Saturday, January 24, 2015

Gossip is Good for Nothing

When my niece was six years old, she had a run in with one of her adult relatives. No one told me about this altercation until a few months later. Family fights are an unpleasant subject and in my family of origin these unpleasantries were swept under the proverbial carpet.

Since I was close to said niece, I asked her why she had not shared this troubling encounter. She said, "You have to talk to the person you have the problem with."

Flabbergasted by this wise reply, I decided to take her advice. Talking to a third party about an issue (other than your therapist) often results in that third party talking to the person with whom you have the problem. And like a game of telephone, if the information is not relayed directly by you to the offender, it gets distorted. People love drama and tend to interject more negatively charged enthusiasm into an account than what one intended to convey.

Is this why gossip is considered a no-no in many world religions and ethical circles?

My mother used to say, "If you don't want anyone to know something, don't tell anyone."

Good advice not often practiced by me, and when gossip does fly from my lips, it always boomerangs back to me with avengance. Although my learning curve has improved over the years, periodically there is blow back from one of my impromptu vents to a third party.

Wise men and women are people of few words. To speak consciously, without giving unsolicited advice or passing judgement, challenges the speaker to set a high bar. Conscious, loving conversation and communication are an art form that needs practice.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree. Learning this more and more, and leaning towards those who do not indulge..


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