Monday, September 17, 2012

Gossip and the First Day of School

This is very belated, however a couple of weeks ago I had my sixteenth first day of school.

Earrings: Old Navy, Top: Old Navy, Shorts: Old Navy, Wedges: DSW
Can you guess my favorite store?

I was going through old notebooks and found this little number I wrote on "Gossiping vs. Venting." I wrote it last spring but it is still very relevent. I hope this helps you when you are conversing and catching up with friends you haven't seen all summer!

I am really good at gossiping. I have been doing it all my life. I thought it was a way to connect to people with whom I had nothing else in common. "We both don't like this person, let's bond over it!" Super messed up. I even noticed this is what a family member and I would do everytime we got together. And then I noticed that gossip was always on my list I bring into the confessional. I even thought for a while "This is just a part of me. The priest is just going to have to get used to hearing this and put me on the 'gossip-repeat-offender list.'"

I determined I needed to eliminate this habit for two reasons:
1. This is not good for my soul because I get in the habit of unjustly judging others and viewing them as less than myself.
2. This only destroys relationships, no matter how much I think I am bonding with the other person I am gossiping with. If they are willing to gossip with you, they will gossip about you.

However with that being said, I do believe a person should vent. It is very good and natural to be able to release anger, frustration, fear, questions, etc. Being able to confide in a friend or seek advice is a gift. But there are real differences between venting and gossiping.

In venting, a person gives the objective* facts of what happens. This is difficult because if you need to vent, your emotions are already high. However, try your best to stay objective. Refrain from including negative adjectives--especially about another person. Venting becomes gossipping when you put down or defame another person.

For example, Venting: I did not study well enough, therefore I did very poorly on my test today.
Gossiping: I did very poorly on my test today. My teacher is a jerk and is out to get me.

Venting: Veronica didn't say hi to me today and it made me feel unimportant.
Gossiping: Veronica purposely ignored me today. She always does stuff like this, it's probably because she thinks she is better than everyone.

When you bring in the subjective and put down another person, you are unjustly coloring a picture to your listener. Here is a list of things you can ask yourself if you would like to keep gossiping off your "confession list."

1. Would I want the subject of this conversation to know I am talking about them in this manner?
2. Am I betraying someone's trust by sharing this?
3. What is my intention is sharing this?
       Is it to seek advice on how to handle the situation?
       Do I want to be justified in my feelings?
       Do I have nothing better to talk about and think this is a way to relate to another?

Women by nature are relational beings. In general, we talk A LOT. It is how we best communicate and bond. This is a beautiful gift and one that should be used but also guarded to make sure we are always helping build others up, not tear them down.

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