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Last week I decided to take a vow of NO GOSSIP. We had given a lecture the week before and addressed how poisonous gossip can be. While I was delivering the lecture I thought to myself, humm you need to take this seriously. How can you give this advice and then actually gossip again? So after the lecture I thought about it a lot.  

Whenever I caught myself talking about someone in a not so flattering manner, I realized it didn't feel so good. I do remember at one time it did feel rewarding to tear someone down behind their back, but when did that change for me? When did it start feeling so wrong? I'm not sure when I began to tire of gossip but I think it's somewhat recent.  

Growing up my mother and her two sisters were relentless gossips, they talked about everyone. They would clamor on in a nasty judgmental way as they went down the list of people they knew. No one was sacred, anyone that came in contact with them was up for scrutiny and would eventually be cut down about something, it could be their hair, it could be their teeth, their lack of money or they may have had too much money. They would say things like; How could she wear that? He should lose weight. What was interesting is that most of what they were saying was out of habit, once they labeled someone as fat, lazy, ugly or cheap that person didn't stand a chance of overcoming that image. They became labels and the same comments were repeated week after week so that these comments became their reality about those they talked about (which was everyone). No one grew in their eyes, my cousin Beth was fat no matter how much weight she lost. She was a chubby child and they could never see her in the present.

I was aware that they were not being nice, but at the same time they seemed to be having fun, and I received approval from them if I participated. I wanted to be loved by them and I wanted their approval. If I participated the world felt right they loved me and I was accepted for that moment.

It took me years to unlearn this behavior. But occasionally I do run into people who seem to relish cutting down others and will approve of me if I participate. It's familiar territory, it can feel cozy and safe and fun while it's happening, just like it did sitting in my aunt Edie's den all those years ago.

I'm still keeping my vow of No Gossip, lets see what happens in week two.

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Member Comments

    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Lisa Middlesworth wrote Nov 26, 2010
    • Let us know how your vow of “no gossip” turns out. You will probably find a lot less drama in your life.
      I have never been one to gossip and will run as fast as I can to avoid it. LOL



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Nov 27, 2010
    • Yes, gossip is distateful and I “get” how it can become reality to those that engage in it. I’m feeling the source of gossip in our small community because my X is divorcing me. I’ll live it down in time... I think? LOL

      Cathie



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Lazylola wrote Nov 27, 2010
    • There is nothing worse than small town gossip....

      Great postheartheart



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Nov 27, 2010
    • True, Ruby. But I didn’t do anything to earn this fame I can’t live up to.  

      Cathie



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Diane17 wrote Nov 27, 2010
    • Cathie,

      I know how it is in a small town now.  I used to live in a big city but then moved out here to the country near a small town and it seems like everybody knows everybody and a lot of people are related.  So different from the big city...



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Nov 27, 2010
    • Hi Diane,

      Yes, a small town is different. People choose who they like for reasons not based on who we are, but who they know that is related to us. It’s kind of a “good old boys” environment. I was just talking to my brother and his girlfriend about this while I was there for Thanksgiving because I’ve been through it here and wanting to move there when I get the divorce settlement because there’s family there.  

      Cathie



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