“I’ve always believed that a lot of the trouble in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.” — Ronald Reagan
All of us have made the mistake of believing gossip to be true at one time or another. I know there was a time many years ago when I myself got sucked into believing gossip that was shared with me by one person about another person I knew. This one person told me that this other person had said all kinds of horrible things about me. Rather than going directly to the source to ask if this other person had truly said these negative things about me I just believed it and as a result I stopped communicating with this other person altogether. It wasn’t until several years later I was with this other person again and we opened up to one another and I shared why I had stayed away. She shared that she had been told the very same thing about me by this person…we both had spent years feeling hurt about something that was totally untrue! Neither of us had felt the way the person told each of us we did…it was nothing more than gossip from someone who was insecure and looking to drive a wedge in our relationship so they could feel more important themselves and we were both dumb enough to believe it. Even worse we were both dumb enough to react to it by cutting the other person off! I decided that very day that I would never make that mistake again. I would never take gossip as truth. I would always commit to going directly to the source to obtain truth and then and ONLY THEN would I react to it.
If you want to truly know what a person thinks or feels then ask THAT person directly, and stop asking everyone else. Far too many relationships fall apart because someone talked about a person instead of to a person. And once a person lets themselves engage in gossip and speculation it is far too easy for them to cling to it as if it is truth when in reality it isn’t truth at all. From there it become a rapidly downward slide…they work themselves into a frenzy, their anger grows, and then they lash out…all as a reaction to gossip and speculation…sadly when the truth ends up being something totally different it is too late…the damage is done…relationships are ruined…
If a person is truly seeking the truth they will go directly to the source and get it firsthand – When a person doesn’t go to the source and instead they go to other people to discuss it, they don’t really want truth at all…they simply want to gossip.
My favorite quote to those who gossip is: “If you didn’t see it with your own eyes or hear it with your own ears, don’t invent it with your small mind and share it with your big mouth.”
And to those who hear gossip I would suggest they learn from my previous mistake – don’t believe it, and for heaven’s sake don’t allow yourself to react to it or lash out over it because once your words are spoken they can never be taken back…
If you want your relationships to last – talk to each other, not about each other.
From Amy Rees Anderson
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