Rumor has it… the ugly side of Gossip

Gossiping and lying go hand in hand.” Proverb

I have always lived by the philosophy that if someone has a problem with me, then they should tell me. Not tell everyone else.  Unfortunately, all humans do have their flaws, and more often than not, they end up telling everyone else before they would even consider telling me. It is never fun to be the subject of gossip.

Growing up, I used to overhear a handful of women, “Las Doñas” who would gather each morning to gossip about the people in their lives. They were so hungry for gossip, they would not even be dressed for the day before having their cup of drama! I remember feeling sad, that these women were getting so much enjoyment and pleasure out of someone else’s pain. I hate it so much, I promised myself I would set a good example by avoiding any gossip at all costs.

I wish I could have lived by that promise with no mistake. However, I am human and I have made mistakes. I am guilty of gossiping myself. I am ashamed and I immediately regret anything that comes out of my mouth that is gossip or anything close to gossip. In today’s society, gossiping almost seems as if it is the “norm”. Gossiping is perceived as a way to socialize with friends. In the tv show “Desperate Housewives,” the women on Wisteria Lane gather frequently throughout the day to gossip about other neighbors, their friends, their family, and even one another! What example is this setting for us today?

As I grew up, I found myself in positions where gossiping about another person seemed acceptable in the Hispanic culture. It was a way for me to vent, but that venting ended up not being beneficial to myself. I thought I was healthfully letting out frustration about a friend I had to my older sister. Unfortunately, I did not stop there. I then began to complain about this friend, which then turned into judgement against this friend. Eventually, I was just plain gossiping about this friend.

Was I doing this so I would feel better? Because it made me feel worse in the long term. Although, getting things off your chest feels great at times, the guilt of degrading and judging another human outweighs the good.

Gossiping is a tough habit to break. It is everywhere, in magazines (for a long time, gossip magazines were my guilty pleasure), TV, etc.…Some of us take pleasure reading about the latest celebrity gossip, it’s intoxicating! and it is so easy to just creep up in a conversation. Sometimes, we don’t even realize we are gossiping, when in fact, we are.

If you are able to catch yourself in the midst of talking questionably about another person, please stop and ask yourself this: Am I trying to boost my own self-esteem by talking poorly about this person? Am I saying these words for a sense of validation? Am I jealous of the person I am talking about right now?

To stop this nasty habit, I searched for healthy coping mechanisms that would help clear my mind and to consider why I was filling my emptiness with someone else’s misfortunes. It’s important to understand our own flaws, identify them, and change any negative pattern to that could hurt us.  For anyone who’s going through a similar situation, start surrounding yourself with people who talk about visions and ideas, not other people. Stop sinking into the negativity of gossip and drama for a quick, but fake, satisfaction. If you find that you do not have anything to talk about with your friends, other than gossiping about others, then maybe it is time to rethink that friendship.

All bad habits are able to be broken. So what are you waiting for? Break the habit. Stop Gossiping.

“Image” by Now Idonoa is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

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