Gossip Culture

Whoever gossips to you, will gossip about you.

Gossip is saying behind their back what you would not say to their face. Flattery is saying to their face what you would not say behind their back.

Gossip needn’t be false to be evil – there’s a lot of truth that shouldn’t be passed around.

Gossiping and lying go hand in hand.

****Leaking someone’s private details by beginning your share with “I am so concerned that…..” is dirty and unwholesome. Still gossip.

When I stop to consider the vast personal and private details I know of people in my family, with whom I have had no contact for decades, I cringe. I have ben privy to information I did not desire or pursue and have no business knowing– as a result of the gossip abounding in only a handful of interactions: People’s difficult unique children, failing marriages, addictions, drinking problems, depression, affairs, eating disorders, mental health issues, sexual orientation: complex matters worthy of respect and discretion. Sadly, in the instant, getting to hear those things made me feel included, safe, and as if for a moment, I was on the inside. I gladly received it all. Ew gross. It makes me feel dirty to know what I do because I did not shut it down, when I had not yet known better.

Gossip is a lack of integrity weakening families, friendships, and organizations. I think in many circles, gossip passes for normal.

To remain loyal to those not present demonstrates loyalty to those who are. By defending those who are absent, we retain the trust of those in attendance. It is not safe to be in the presence of a gossip. To not participate can make you a target.

I do sometimes call or text Favorite to say “I need to talk shit and behave like the spiritual skank I used to be, is that ok?” The answer is always a resounding yes. It does feel fun but I always am left with an emotional hangover. Often I try to tell myself I must share the things in order to help me process, but in truth, sometimes I just feel like being a gossipy asshole. I dislike myself when I engage this way. I only do the shit-talking with a trusted other who knows that I know better- and I declare my intent on the front end. Also, I tend to share things that are benign, frequently about people not known to or close to the person with whom I am sharing. It is gross behavior and the person most harmed by it is me. This is progress.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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