More than just the usual gossip

We’ve all run across them.  Sometimes we stumble upon them by accident.  Sometimes they turn out to be long time acquaintances or even family members.  Sometimes they’re co-workers or maybe a friend of a friend.  They can be either male or female.  Sometimes we look in the mirror and find them.  I’m talking about busy bodies, gossips, and drama queens.

It’s easy to get sucked into their vortex and be swept away in a rolling tide of emotions.  At first you may listen with a compassionate heart.  You may commiserate with their “troubles.”  Then before you know it, the gossip starts to seep in.  You’re “learning” things about people that you would never expect.  They tell stories of all kinds, about all kinds of people.  But you don’t know if they are true stories or even how this person has any knowledge.  But you don’t say anything.  You don’t stop the constant chatter.  The conversations always start off innocent enough, yet somehow they always turn towards the behavior or attitude of someone else.  Yet you sit and listen.  Nodding your head in virtual agreement of what is coming out of this person’s mouth.

In your head you know that this is wrong.  You know this person is proving themself to be a trouble maker.  So you begin to distance yourself, just a bit.  But you remain passive when confronted again with the gossip.  Then this person begins to notice that you’ve distanced yourself from them.  They confront you like you owe them an explanation and maybe you feel like you do.  So you tell them, not in an angry way, but in a matter of fact way, that you are done.  At first they try to make you feel guilty by telling you lies about themself’s and their life.  But you aren’t sympathetic to their tall tales.  You don’t allow yourself to get sucked back in.

You can’t change people.  If a person is basically an unhappy person and only finds contentment in belittling or stirring up stuff with others then there is nothing you can do for them.  Sitting and listening to there problems and tales of others just justifies their feelings in their own minds.  We feed them by listening to them.  They find contentment and validation in the apperance of our “compassion” for them.  But really we just don’t want to rock the boat.

Sometimes I think back to how much trouble I would have stayed out of if it wasn’t for the fact that I just didn’t want to rock the boat.  I didn’t want to challenge someone.  I just let it go in one ear and out the other.  I may be a slow learner, but I hope that in the future when confronted with gossip or just bad mouthing, I have the ability to say something to stop it, rather than just nodding my head and listening.

We all have a tendency to gossip and whisper.  I think that’s human nature.  None of us are perfect.  But there is a type of person out there who we need to be wary of.  They are basically evil, angry individuals.  They seek their own fulfillment in the misery of others.  They put on a mask of friendliness and fellowship.  But their heart is black and their intention is wickedness.

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