Right out of the gate and I’m struggling with one of my goals ( ok it’s a resolutions) for 2016. Only five days into the new year and I’m discovering why I really needed this goal.
It is the goal about not gossiping. I had no idea that of all the goals I listed in 2015 this one would be a problem from the get go. Let me begin at the beginning.
Yesterday, in a phone conversation with a family member they immediately start talking about the habits and behaviors of a family friend. To be honest, I have never really liked this person all that much and felt they were rude and pissy (sorry, I can’t really find any other word that fit as well.) Over the past month however, I have noticed this person has made a effort to be more personable, outgoing and pleasant.
That is when I recognized the gossip monster rearing its ugly head. I stopped and thought before responding. I realized that, although my interaction with the person were generally miserable, did I have the right to tear them down? I admitted they were trying to change and decided I would not be a part of the “magpieing.” (Yes another made up word.) That my family was perpetrating against them. I would respect the commitment I had made to not gossip and refuse engage in tearing this person down. A victory over the gossip monster. Yay me!
However, today the gossip monster is back and well… it is me. I’m ashamed to admit it but it is burning a hole in my brain. I want so badly to call out the actions of an individual. I want so badly to go into a back room and blurt out all my feelings towards this individual (not to them of course, but to some other poor soul held hostage in the room by me.)
I always believed my gossip was really just pointing out wrong doing. That there was some justice in it. I always told myself, “well, it just needs to be said.” What this goal has taught me today was that it doesn’t always need to be said. If it does, I don’t necessarily have to be the one to say it. Someone’s actions might bug the heck out of me, but unless I am in a position to create positive change, my words are just…well, bitching.
The gossip is just tearing the other person down so I can feel better. More righteous, more secure. Everyone has their own story, their own reasons, most of which we only see a portion of. I came to realize today, with shame, that I am the gossip. I am not righteous or justified. I’m just being a gossip. Gossip helps noone, including the gossiper. The rehashing of a wrong doing only recreates the bad feelings. It only exaggerates the story, creating more drama. It creates nothing positive. Even though it is a struggle to admit I am the problem, I’m so glad for this goal and this lesson today.