Thursday, October 30, 2008

Day 30: More Thoughts on Gossip

Yesterday, I missed posting here. My girlfriend is sick, and I went to bed really early to be with her. I felt bad about not posting here because I consider regular posting here to be part of my commitment to being positive, a checkpoint of sorts to keep me on track. Life moves on though, and I realize that there will occasionally be days that I don't post for various reasons, and I am going to be positive about being able to post here most days!

I have had the topic of gossip on my mind. Not necessarily my gossip, but other people's gossip. It seems that lots of people are eager to say negative things about others. Everyone is fair game. It seems that if you are famous you must be a bad person who deserves to be badmouthed. Any politician you aren't voting for must be a horrible person or not too smart or just out for him or herself. It doesn't stop there. I here gossip about co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family frequently!

Most of the time, I think that people don't even realize what they are doing. I have noticed that these types of conversations can arise from different places. Sometimes someone is genuinely angry at someone. It is OK to be angry at someone who you feel has purposely hurt you, but there tend to be so many factors in every situation. Do you really have a reason to be angry? Are you sure of the person's intentions? How would you have behaved in their shoes? Have you ever made a similar mistake? Is the anger helping you in anyway? Is there anything that you can do to resolve the situation? Have you learned anything from the situation?

Even if you feel that your anger is justified and that it is serving a purpose, do you have to share your views with others? What tends to make this negative talk worse, is when the one who is angry shares their views, and everyone else (who most likely have no anger and may not even really know the other party) agrees. I have seen this happen so often. No one wants to make that scene, and everyone wants to be a part of the conversation, so people start not only agreeing but adding things. Before you know it, you have a whole social situation focused on negativity!

I want to make a conscious effort to stay out of this kind of negativity to the best of my ability. When negative topics come up, I am going to focus on the positive in everyone the best that I can. If the situation can't be turned around, I am leaving.

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