Does knowing the gossip really matter?

27 08 2007

I often see friends allowing themselves to become very upset by gossip and minor drama that, when previously unknown to them affected nothing and meant nothing in their lives. But once they are made aware of the nonsense, and I call it nonsense because it is nonsense I’m talking about, they get their panties in a twist about things over which they have no control and that, in reality, don’t affect their lives one way or another.

First, let’s define gossip lest we disagree on the actual power it has to affect our lives. Gossip is generally defined as being idle discussion. Idleness has no value or merit. Idle means to be still, unproductive, wasteful, it’s worthless. Sure gossip can be damaging but that’s when it becomes slander/libel, and that’s not what we’re talking about here.

I can only speak of these things because I’ve been the subject of some really stupid and unimportant topics of gossip in my life. What do you do, meet it head on and let it consume you? Leave it alone and hope it dies? Let it fester in your bosom like a burning ulcer of anxiety? Or do you laugh at the stupidity of it all and continue to live your life as you were when you had no idea what was going on in the catty minds of the gossipers? What does it matter what they believe anyway? They’re the people who allow the nonsense to occupy their thoughts and hold them back from greater experience anyway. If we play with them then we let them play us. Let them have their fun on their own. Gossip has only as much power as we give it.

Some say ignorance is bliss (one of the stupidest quotes I hear over and over again). I’m not talking about ignorance, I’m talking about ignoring the nonsense. Ignoring unimportant and irrelevant issues may not be blissful but it certainly keeps us from being tied to the trivial silliness that can keep us from moving forward in our lives.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things…
Walt Disney



One response

30 08 2007

It’s hard not to give gossip power, particularly when it’s about ourselves. I think that human instinct drives us (particularly women) to seek approval from those around us (particularly men).

I know that—personally—I get a lot of satisfaction from making people around me happy, and it feels good to know that I am liked and admired. So sometimes even trivial nonsense is enough to burst that “feel good” bubble.

As a secondary point, gossip gives US power. Third party endorsement (people talking about us) makes others curious about who we are. It pumps up our perceived importance in the minds of previously uninvolved bystanders and can make us “larger than life”.

(Genuine) indifference to our enemies’ gossip is a great weapon.


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