It’s None of your Business

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The light within is extinguished when gossip hits our ears and is relayed with our mouths.

 

I have always wondered about the intent of those who gleefully inform you that others have been talking about you. I have had it happen on occasion, and it is always embarrassing, humiliating and hurtful. Often the information is passed onto you with a smile, as though this is quite an enjoyable activity. The problem is that you don’t know the context in which the person was talking about you. Was your name brought up in conversation, and then something was said in passing? Were they tired, depressed, had too much to drink or angry at the time? We all slip up and say things in the heat of the moment. I would be more wary of the person who passes this information onto you. What good does it do? It can break friendships apart and cause you to retreat into yourself. It certainly doesn’t make you feel great. I don’t buy that you are informed for your benefit.

When somebody tells me something in confidence, it is kept private. That person may be having issues with a mutual friend, and I will try to help iron out a resolution. Imagine if I went to the other person and informed them that X said Y? Not only would it inflame matters, but it wouldn’t leave anyone feeling great. Discretion is necessary in friendships. I believe we all have a pretty good instinct as to whom is in our court, and who isn’t. We don’t need to hear this extraneous stuff from a third party. I have seen many friendship groups fall apart for this reason. If I ever hear stuff about a person, it dies when it hits my ears, and is never repeated from my lips. Life is challenging enough, without engaging in gossip!

People come to you with their own baggage. Imagine if someone has a terror of rejection, and you are flat-out at work at a certain point in time. They may complain that you aren’t there for them to someone else, or that you haven’t seen them. If this is relayed back to you, you may become angry at their lack of understanding of how hectic your life is. If left alone, you get in touch when you can, and have a delightful catch-up with this friend. It isn’t our job to run around informing others as to what was said in the heat of the moment. It’s schoolyard shenanigans, not befitting grown-ups.

You don’t diminish in worth by hearing that someone has said something mean about you, and you don’t increase in worth by hearing that someone approves of you. What you think about yourself is what matters. Remember, what others say about you is none of your business, and perhaps gently inform the gossiper of the same.

 

Gossip.

A man tried to kill me when I was fifteen. I am proud of the battle scars carved onto my body, due to the countless surgeries since that night. I endured much pain, and countless nightmares. I felt like the trauma had placed an indelible wedge between me and the people I knew. I didn’t crave sympathy, and pitying looks. Empathy was more to my liking. It comes from the soul, and says, ‘I can’t understand exactly where you’ve been, but I can try to put myself in your place, and treat you as I would like to be treated.’ Instead, gossip occurred. The peculiarity of humanity, wherein we glean enjoyment from other’s misfortune. The gossip and their compatriots are aboard a trawler ship, scanning the oceans of despair for a worthy subject. Hobbling into a local café soon after being released from hospital, never had I felt frailer or more exposed. The monster I’d encountered that bitter night was predictable. He was psychopathic and wanted to kill me. I hadn’t anticipated being destroyed all over again by the lady who taught me at Sunday school, the lady who cut my hair as a child, those I’d grown up with, who had nursed me on their lap’s. “I heard she has gone mad,” they whispered from their corner booth. “She’ll never be the same.” “Was he her boyfriend?” These people left me alone for three long years. I escaped into my schoolwork, and pretended that it didn’t hurt that they considered me an enigmatic pariah. I left my home town at eighteen, never to return. I refuse to indulge in gossip. Others should never be fodder, nor used to entertain our circle. If I learn of someone’s pain, I let them know that I empathise. Those folks were right. I wasn’t the same after all I endured. I was more sensitive, empathetic, kind and loving. I was better.