Why question the positives you hear about others and believe the negatives?

Gossiping is something that is done all over the world, in every country, in every generation, in the workplace, at school, at social events, within families, within friend groups, at the sports clubs, etcetera. But why? And is it helpful?

A few reasons why people gossip are attention, boredom, feeling better about themselves, jealousy, sense of belonging, acceptance, revenge, and gaining power. The critical thing is usually putting someone down and lifting ourselves in an (in)direct way.

“Isn’t it kind of silly to think that tearing someone else down builds you up?” ~ Sean Covey

If we want to talk about others, can we also do that with nuances, a less judgemental attitude and show the complexity and perspectives of a situation? For example, talking about others could give us room for reflection and growth instead of a temporary sense of superiority.

Let’s start reflecting on our behaviour of talking about other people. With what purpose am I talking about someone else? What is my intention/motive? Is it because I am interested or do I make myself feel better, stronger, more confident and more secure? Ask yourself if jealousy plays a role and that you secretly wish you could be able to be there/do that or be like that person?

So does gossiping not say a lot about myself, my state of mind about myself, and my insecurities?

Will this gossip reflect well on me? Or can I focus on what matters to me in life and therefore live a more fulfilling life? Can I see the positives of others and share them instead?

When we have the urge to gossip, we can instead pay attention to what we are feeling (underlying)? Am I sad about me not having something? Do I feel not worthy? Do I feel insecure? Can I put all my energy into processing my emotions instead of avoiding that by putting the energy into gossiping?

How would your life be different if…Did you walk away from gossip and verbal defamation? Let today be the day…You speak only the good you know of other people and encourage others to do the same.” ~ Steve Maraboli

Written by:
Flo Westendorp
Registered Clinical Psychologist
Extended Health Care Psychologist Certificate
MSc & BSc (Clinical Health Care Psychology)
SACAC Counselling

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