Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Why Are You Telling Me?

Some people love to talk and they’re favorite topic is other people. They just can’t wait to give you the dish on everyone they know and most of the time it’s never good. As a matter of fact, the dirtier the dish, the faster they want to pass it around. They’re faster with the news than the Internet. And there will always be people who want to listen. They thrive on hearing the gossip as much as the others relish spreading it.

I try my best not to be either of those people. I may not always be successful at it, but I try very hard. And for several reasons.

I believe that it says something about a person who can’t wait to tell you all about someone else’s crimes. It says they’re angry, bitter people. They don’t feel good about themselves and so they have to make others look bad in an attempt to make themselves look better. It’s a distraction ploy, hoping that if they can point your attention elsewhere, you won’t be looking at them. Little do they know, it rarely works.

However, I believe it also says something about the person who listens to the gossip. It says that they thrive on drama and negativity. They have the same problem as the one who gossips. They need to hear it in order to feel better about themselves, to feel superior to those around them. They don’t believe they are hurting anyone because, after all, they are not the ones spreading the gossip. Yet, you are never superior when hurting other people and whether you are doing the talking or allowing it to be said, you are hurting other people.

As was pointed out to me recently, we all need someone we can trust and talk to, vent and share with. Outside of the girls, my list of those I share everything with can be counted on one hand. These close friends and I can talk about anything and we trust each other’s motives. We share our opinions and thoughts because most often we’re looking out for each other and if we know of a possible danger or drama situation, we’re quick to warn each other. However, outside of that core circle, when someone starts telling me something about someone else, I have to ask, “Why are you telling me?” You should be asking the same question. What is the motive behind them telling you that so-and-so is behind in his rent or that someone has a hard time keeping her skirt down? Why do you need to know it and why do they feel comfortable telling you?

Something else you need to keep in mind is that if they are telling you all about someone else’s dirty laundry, chances are high that they’re also sharing what they know about you to other people. To think that they would keep your secrets while blabbing everyone else’s just makes you naïve. Someone who gossips will gossip about everybody. Don’t trust them and you sure as hell shouldn’t confide in them.

I am, for the most part, an open book. There isn’t much about my life I won’t share with people and what I’m not forthcoming about, I will usually share if asked. I also don’t mind giving my opinion of people. Idiots need to know they are idiots, after all. However, whether they are a friend or an enemy, their business is their business and it’s not my place to share it with others. If they want you to know they’ll tell you. Unless, of course, it concerns my kids and then I always share their stuff with my inner circle. That’s part of the perks of being a parent.

We have enough in our lives to have to add somebody else’s drama. Don’t spread it and don’t listen to it. Then, people will know you’re a person to be trusted and the world needs more trustworthy people. We need less of those who can’t be quiet. If you want good dish, pick up a good novel. There’s plenty of peeping into people’s lives within the pages and no one gets hurt. Actually, you help an author eat. See, everyone wins.

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  1. I love this! My grandmama always said," a dog that brings a bone will take a bone".

  2. You touched a subject close to my nerves and right on target for me. I even wrote about this subject in Paper Bones. Why people would rather talk dirt than something wonderful is beyond me but there you go. Expertly written, Robbie, as ever.

    1. Thank you, Sherry. This is something that has driven me nuts for a long time. I would rather shout someone's praises than spread their skeletons.