Gossip Dirty Laundry

Idle words. Talk, talk, talk…

gossip rumors dirty laundry talking behind my back

Notice how everyone loves to get the latest dish from you about what’s up with whom? You like having their full attention to hear all the latest dirt. You keep your ear t the ground and are ready to serve up a fresh serving of dirty laundry with the compelling, “Word on the street is…”

You don’t think twice about saying something about others behind their backs. Ever wonder what others think about you behind your back? Chances are, the very same people who love to hear you spin your attention-getting headlined yarns about the private lives of others, are wondering (and concerned) about what you are saying about them when they’re not in your presence.

You may not realize, when you’re reporting the latest gossip, what you’re really communicating to your listening audience is, “I can’t be trusted.”

There is a deeper connection and level of communication that takes place between people who possess a high degree of trust between them. The gossiper is less likely to have this type of deep connection with another person, and if this level of communication does exist, it will likely deteriorate in the light of continued gossip as the once-deeply-connected individual recoils in fear; fear of betrayal, anticipating what you might report about him/her to others to garner attention and amusement.

If you are in the habit of spewing idle words when others are not present, you might consider doing just the opposite. When you are talking about someone and the details of their life, make certain that you are talking to the person who is the topic of your story. It really is that easy. If that person is not present, don’t say it.

In business, management often struggles with the milieu of the rumor mill among the workforce, as it eats away at the fabric of productivity and breaks down an otherwise cohesive team network. Responsible businesses maintain a gossip-free zone, and when someone’s story-telling is detected at the workplace, measures are taken to get the storyteller and the subject face-to-face, while reinforcing (or enforcing) the no gossip policy.

Being in the business of helping others puts me in a position to maintain a high level of confidence with my clients. They tell me their deepest, darkest secrets, hopes, desires and dreams. Over the course of my life’s work, I’ve heard it all, and it is my responsibility to maintain confidentiality and respect the non-disclosure of the intimate details of their lives.

As fascinating as it might be to hear about someone else’s dirty laundry, when someone has the propensity to go on and on about other people’s life, more likely than not, I will turn the conversation around to the storyteller, with a, “Tell me how this affects your life,” or, “Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation?” Or I might ponder out loud, “Hmm, I wonder what it must feel like to be in that person’s shoes?” while shifting into, “Tell me about you…”

By disengaging in the activity of talking about others behind their backs, people will be less likely to consider you to be potentially toxic, begin to trust you more and you will be able to enjoy the benefit that comes from having deeper, more meaningful, connections with other people.

What Are They Saying Behind My Back?

What do you say about me behind my back?

That thought is enough to drive a person crazy.

In your reality, what does it matter what someone says behind your back?

What if it’s my husband or wife?

Okay, I’ll give you that one. Even though it doesn’t really matter what he/she says about you behind your back, it can be a form of spousal abuse, certainly a betrayal of trust, so concern and action could be justified.

And I’ll give you criminal defamation and false accusations (could even be filed in court) may propose a threat to your survivability, so action might need to be taken to defend yourself.

But what I’m referring to is the murmuring that people do behind your back that seems to concern us so much. We can spend too much emotional effort worrying about what other people say.

I remember the first time that people started talking about me behind my back. It was after I exited the ministry. People just couldn’t wrap their heads around any rational reason that would justify what they perceived as me bailing out on God. So they talked… and rumors spread… some of the ones that made their way back to me were hateful, hurtful (and some were) hilarious.

I ended up relocating and I figure they found someone else to talk about. I’m so grateful that they didn’t have Facebook back then.

Years later, people started talking about me behind my back after a direct encounter with a criminal psychopath and his family. This time, it was post social media, and the defamation spread across the Internet, including twitter and Facebook.

What to do?

My philosophy to start with is:

I’m not interested in what you say about me… unless it’s true.

Im not interested in what you say about me unless its trueI am not going to dignify any false accusation with a response; so don’t even ask.

That is my personal policy. I really don’t care what other people say; but I think that if you’re going to jump on the ill-report-train, you would be better served doing some fact-checking before doing so. I’m just sayin’, you don’t want to look like the fool when the truth comes out.
Sure, people can use the Internet to cyberbully you but does it really matter?

I have a lot of friends who monitor their social media accounts like a hawk. The slightest negative comment sends them on the rampage. So, what about the haters?

There are going to be haters and thanks to the Internet, these otherwise silly-low-self-esteemers can hide behind their computer screens, tablets or phones and feel like a big, powerful bully by slamming someone on the Internet.

So let them. What’s the harm in that? Is what they said true?

In fact, I have a client who prays for people to talk bad about him on social media. Why? Because he’s in business and when a hater rallies against him, his sales increase. It’s not based on, “all publicity is good publicity – even if it’s bad,” it’s more like he benefits from having his name out there, and for people who have not heard about him, they fact check. The fact checking by an otherwise unknown potential client, turns into a sale and a satisfied customer. Go figure.

I like holding onto a phrase from the Bible (Genesis 50:20) that states:

“You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good”

It’s like you’re intention was to defraud, defame, hurt or destroy me but there was a higher purpose that came through.

When I was dealing with the defamation by the psychopath and his family, I let it go. When people would walk up to me and ask, “What about?” or “I heard…” I would simply reply, “I don’t know where you heard that, but you should go back and check for facts.”

Other than that, Masters don’t respond to nonsense.

And if you don’t respond, what happens? It just fades away.

If you feed the fire with a response in your defense, now it requires more energy – by the messenger, the reporter, the accuser and you. Do you want to go there?

You have to decide which battles you want to wage, and which you can walk away from.
For, me? I don’t care what they say, unless it’s true.