ha, what a topic to begin with. gossip. let's start with a definition.
Gossip is idle talk or rumour, especially about the personal or private affairs of others [wikepedia]
truth be told, i used to be quite the gossiper! i even had a shirt [haha] that said 'listen carefully - i only repeat gossip once' ... apparently i was PROUD to be a gossiper. it was like my whole little group of friends ... all we did was gossip about other people, as if we were perfect ourselves. HA! boyyyyy have i grown up and seen the light since then.
don't get me wrong .. i am FAR from perfect and i still fall into gossip now and then but i have changed my ways A LOT and for that, i am proud.
it's hard to totally REFRAIN from gossip ... because i have a lot of things going on and sometimes i need to vent/talk to my friends and when doing so, some of the fustrations are caused by other people.
So the challenge this week [aug 25th-sept 1st] was to engage in GOOD talk only AND - i would say that i PASSED! here are the 'requirements' as given by the Inner Mean Girl Cleanse!
Speak about others as you would like to be spoken of.
How would you want to be spoken about if it was you that were being talked about.
Have clean motivations and intentions.
What is the motivation behind what you are saying? If it's not from a good place, stop talking or change your words.
Lift others up, never tear them down.
Inner Mean Girls (IMGs) love to gossip because it makes them feel better. Don't do it. Instead make an effort to say things this week that lifts others up. And while celebrity gossip may make your IMG feel great for a minute, it's better to avoid any media that drags others down.
Be a leader, change the conversation.
If you find yourself being invited or tempted into gossip, instead choose words that change the energy. Invite the other person into Good Talk. Try something like, "You know what I love about ______" or "I feel a lot of compassion for _____".
in relation to those four topics, i pretty much practice those in my life. after seeing the hurt and pain that my words and actions caused others to go through and realizing that i would never want to be on that end, i definitely cleaned my act up. it look some hurt on my own part - being put down and down talked from people i thought were friends - but i did realize how badly words CAN hurt. there is no reason to talk to people as if they are less of a person because when it comes down to it, not a single person on this earth is 'better' than another. we are ALL human and all have our skeletons and bottom line is that people do the things they do for a reason, and who are YOU to judge that reason? some people may not approve or like the things that YOU do - and you wouldn't want them spreading your stuff or talking badly about or down to you because of that.
a few years ago, when i would sit around and talk about people - it DID make me feel better about myself. i would talk about their flaws and dirt and think - wow, compared to them - i'm awesome!! ha, yeah .. awesome. now, when/if i bad talk someone - i definetely feel GUILTY ... something i hadn't really felt before!
i guess back then - gossping was something i was just used too ... it was all i knew i guess? then i started hanging out with different crowds and realizing that these people didn't have to talk about people to become close or have a good time and it was a GREAT feeling!
i'll end with 3 questions from IMGC -
2. What's the benefit?
3. What's the truth?
1. cost of gossip would/could be losing friends. if you go and spread someones stuff that they asked you not too .. and you get found out, that person is going to be hurt and could decide to not be your friend anymore. then you've not only created a name for yourself as someone who can't be trusted, but you've lost a friend.
2. there really isn't much benefit of gossip unless it's someone gossiping about their friend who is an alcoholic and now that you know about it - you [as the listener] know not to bring that up or around that person.
3. the truth of gossip is that it hurts feelings. the person being talked about, the person spreading and the person listening. you put yourself in a bad situation when participating in gossip because once you're found out - it causes a big fight between everyone and lets face it - you fight because your feelings are hurt.
although i've already changed my ways A LOT when it comes to this topic, i still have a lot to learn and practice. i need to be a person that stands up to someone when they are talking bad about another for no reason.
i think it's just hard because there is a thin line between gossip and venting, luckily if you have good friends to vent too - they will know the difference!