This week’s blog post is on eliminating gossip. No one is perfect and we all see the world through our own eyes and perceptions. But what we can control are our actions. How many of us have said nasty things about others just to make ourselves feel better or superior?
Gossip has been a part of our culture for far too long now it has become acceptable to make negative comments or statements about others, that if the person was there, they would be unwilling to share. Equally, those who fuel the “gossipers”, listening and validating their comments and behaviour. It happens at all ages and can really affect the person.
So where does this gossiping behaviour come from? Psychologically a root cause of this may stem from fearful emotions; such as jealousy, hatred or the inability to speak one’s truth. Perhaps some people don’t know how to release negative energy healthily, and this is their outlet – using this to get attention and gain an ego validation to make us feel wanted and boost our self-esteem.
So, what can we do to combat this?
- If someone starts to gossip call it out and say something like this “I do not wish to partake in this conversation” and either change the subject to a more positive one or simply walk away. This shows your boundaries of what you will and won’t accept clearly and your assertive power in the situation – neither aggressive nor passive – go you!
- Try to find a way to talk to the person who you have been “gossiping” about and directly go to them to clear the air. Be open and honest about your actions and take ownership for your actions. It is better to be truthful and honest than get caught out and be going behind peoples backs.
- Try to see the difference between facts and opinions – a lot of people will happily give their opinions, but with no evidence to back this up. They are interpreting a situation and seeing it through their reality – but this doesn’t have to be yours. This may help stop gossiping if you look for the objective data and if you don’t see it you know they are simply giving an opinion – not necessarily the truth!
Gossiping is not a nice thing to be part of. It brings down others when we should be looking to boost people up. Okay someone might have annoyed you or not done a job as well as you would have liked – those actions you cannot control. What you can control is how you respond. Try to be more compassionate, offer to help or perhaps offer a compliment on what you do like about that person. It will not only make you feel good inside, but it will also boost the other person – win-win.
Let’s be a bit nicer to one another, we are all here on this planet together after all.
Surround yourself with people who talk about visions and ideas, not other people – Akin Olokun