Girls. They love to gossip. Or should I say, share information? The women in my family get together and they chat it up, but of course, before “sharing” there’s a disclaimer.
“This is just between us.”
“You didn’t hear it from me.”
“I promised I wouldn’t say anything.”
Someone brought this up the other day and asked me, “Is gossiping really so bad?”
I wanted to shout out “No!” and “Yes!” at the same time. I was conflicted. Of course, it is bad. But, I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it, so I wanted to say it wasn’t.
I have my best friends that I talk to on a regular basis. Sure, a lot of it is confidential. Sometimes someone in your family or circle does something that fires you up and you just can’t hold it in so you have to dump. Isn’t that the beauty of close friends? The ability to unload and share? Sometimes someone gives you heartbreaking information and you so badly want to share it with a friend so that they understand why that person might be acting strange.
But, there is a line, right? Like, there is an actual difference between venting and gossiping.
Friendships have been broken because of gossiping, not really venting. In fact, I let go of a really good friendship years ago after realizing that all of my private divorce woes were being shared with everyone, even people I hadn’t seen since high school! It wasn’t cool for my ex-husband or myself. I later found out that years worth of private conversations were on the public knowledge boat as well. Blimey!
In my opinion, expelling your thoughts and feelings is healthy. Life gets hard and with those struggles comes feelings. A good release of some pent up bad energy feels oh so good. Add to that some good ears and an objective head for it to fall upon and suddenly you feel more clear and validated. It also allows for connection with that friend… provided it’s kept confidential, of course. Sometimes that purge comes with some opinions about other people involved… which leads to that gossip line potentially being crossed.
A confidential vent amongst good friends reamining “between us” seems okay to me. It’s when that information gets shared with other people that weren’t included in that conversation that things get a little icky.
Gossip in my opinion is the spreading of something behind someone’s back that is done with the intention of harming that person’s reputation. Even without malice, gossip is also divulging someone else’s private information without their consent.
In the case with my friend, I started noticing a pattern… The excitement of spreading gossip about other people with the intention of everyone seeing a different, not so cool, perception of those people. It was sad to me. I felt guilty even listening to it. It was also an eye opener. If they’re saying things like that about your shared friends, they are certainly saying it about you. If they are being dishonest with other important relationships in their life, you are not any different – they are being dishonest with you too.
So, I thought about it and I came to this conclusion: Before sharing, I ask myself first, is this confidential and if not, what is the intention in sharing?
Alright, now that that’s out of the way… who watched the Season Finale of The Bachelor and what scoop do you have?