I ran into a friend of mine yesterday and we got to talking, or should I say gossiping about woman we both don't like. As we got going I started to realize how destructive our conversation was. Granted, the woman we were talking about is incredibly selfish and conniving as well as two-faced. She loves to be the center of attention and I don't trust her at all. Unfortunately I see this woman quite a bit, and I have to deal with her. So, as much as I enjoy busting on her, I'm going to stop.
Gossiping reminds me of drinking too much. It's fun while you do it, but afterwards I always feel a little sick and guilty.
Here are two opposing views on gossip:
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt
There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. - Oscar Wilde
Some people see gossip as a lighthearted way to spread information. They don't see any harm in it and they spend all their time gabbing about other people. I live in suburbia and I can tell you that at parties 75% of the conversations I hear are people gossiping.
Others see it as a way to isolate and harm others. The result of gossip is usually an erosion of trust and morale. It hurts feelings and reputations. It doesn't just hurt those being talked about, gossipers get bad reputation as being untrustworthy. I saw this in a playgroup I was in when Meg was little. Every time someone didn't show up, everyone else would sit around and talk about them. Sometimes it was funny, but like I said, I usually felt pretty shitty about it afterwards.
I guess part of growing up involves getting a conscience.
So as much as certain people annoy me, or have stuck it to me, I'm going to make an effort NOT to talk about them behind their backs. There really isn't anything productive about it.
I guess I'll have to start reading some great novels, scour the newspapers and catch up on politics so the next time I go to a party and everyone is talking about so and so's divorce or new breast implants, I can change the subject to John McCain's political and ideological beliefs, or whether I prefer Thelonius Monk's jazz music to Charlie Parker's.
I have a feeling I won't be invited to too many more parties.
I'll try to look on the bright side, at least I won't feel guilty or hungover!!!