by Texas Homesteader~
Too many times it seems we hide behind a stand-up-for-yourself persona to blast someone else.
Now although I’m not suggesting that you let anyone actually take advantage of you, sometimes it’s just gossip – pure & simple.
But when did our right to stand up for ourselves turn into the right to really jab hard at someone else? To go for the jugular so to speak?
Think about it, when you hear the words “I’m gonna say exactly what I think” it brings to mind a strong person who refuses to allow themselves to be stepped on.
And that’s a good characteristic isn’t it?
But when it’s followed with gossip, don’t those words instead almost always preface some sort of belittling of someone else (oftentimes behind their backs)?
And doesn’t it then typically lead into a session of gang-style gossip with everyone within earshot gleefully joining in the character assassination?
A character feeding-frenzy at someone else’s expense? Hummm…
Let’s Face It – It’s Easy To Get Roped Into Gossip
I’m ashamed to say that there have been times when I listened with juicy anticipation at the tale being told.
I’ve always tried to resist actually joining in. And I certainly don’t like to initiate any gossip about another person.
But I’ll admit sometimes it’s a struggle to not join right on in when tongues are flyin’. I guess it’s just human nature. (And isn’t that in itself just a little sad?)
But ya know, if this person is joyfully assassinating the character of someone else behind their back, do I really think they’ll not do the very same to me when my back’s turned?
And if I’m excitedly joining in, doesn’t that mean I’m no better than the one who started the gossip in the first place?
So I’m going forward with new resolve to change my ways of dealing with adversity. To do whatever I can to remain PROUD of the reflection I see in the mirror. Proud of the integrity I’ll maintain.
I’ll refuse to join in to that juicy gossip session, and certainly refuse to start that ball rolling myself.
When gossip starts I’ll do my best to deactivate the situation instead of tolerating or perpetuating it.
I mean, isn’t gossip usually about someone you at least know & oftentimes even like?
Why not stand up for them since they’re not there to defend themselves?
And from now on when I have something to get off my chest whether a complaint or concern I’ll strive to resolve things in a more gentle way.
By golly It’s time we start treating our fellow human beings better, don’t ya think?
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Resisting the temptation to be so assertive that we crush someone else can be great. But what works for me is to remember the meekness of Jesus. Also, I ask myself, “Would what I desperately want to say accomplish anything other than satisfy my desire for vengeance?” If the answer is “No”, then I know I should stop. The gossip thing is trickier because of overwhelming curiosity but God rescues us if we heed the inner promptings of His Spirit. Thanks for sharing.
I think you’re right: anytime I’ve thought, “I’m gonna say exactly what I think!”, it’s not been helpful. ha. Thanks for sharing this.
This is such a good post. Gossip and bashing others can be so easily done, it’s when we step back and realize that in the big scheme of things, the gossiping and bad service don’t matter, it’s what we do with our time–not gossiping or bashing others. I think in every situation there is a positive way to deal with it, the hard part is finding it! Thanks for sharing and hope to see you back at #HomeMattersParty
Yes, exactly Crystal. As human beings I guess it’s (sadly) natural for us to feel like jumping in the bashing when others get to gossiping, but no, no, NO. ~TxH~
Great Post! Way to use your voice!
It’s the power of consumerism. You will probably never buy that brand of microwave again and that alone hurts this company. Years ago when my daughter wanted a first job, she went to work as a hostess for a Mexi-Go here in Allen. One day I called up to have the manager give her a message. The Assistant Manager (the Manager’s son) answered the phone and in taking the message he referred to my daughter as the “the girl with the big boobs.” YEAH, momma got fired up. I also drove up to talk to the manager and retrieve my daughter. After that our family boycotted this restaurant and now when someone says “let’s go to Mexi-Go” we explain why we won’t and suggest another restaurant. After all these years I feel as I’ve made my point, even if it is a little at a time.
OMGoodness I don’t know what I’d do if someone disrespected my daughter like that!! But I know what you mean, there are businesses I refuse to patronize some even after literally decades! I realize sometimes products fail, sometimes customer service is sometimes, it’s just the way it is sometimes. But oh my, when both product and customer service fail at the same time that’s a death knoll with me – Chrysler, Mahindra or Frigidaire products for instance. I’ll do whatever I have to do to buy from their competitors for the Rest. Of. My. LIFE! ~TxH~
OOH – didn’t think about sharing my Mother Earth News article. Thanks! ~TxH~
Gah Tammy, I get you. I have been in that position so many times where I feel I have a right to *finally* say what I really think, and I always end up feeling like a huge heel afterward. It’s just not worth the conflict and the feelings I have afterward to say those things–rather, I find it much more worth it to learn how to bear up under some things. Sometimes something has to be said, but most times, not. Good post. 🙂
True words Kristi. True words. ~TxH~
We’re all known to stumble and fail at times, it’s when we catch ourselves that we grow. I find staying off social media is helpful in placing the heart and soul in a positive direction. It’s to easy to vent and ask ourselves why did we do that. Distance from all negativity is good and finding joy in God’s grace is beautiful. Have a great week…
‘distance from negativity’, good point Carole. ~TxH~
I addressed that kind of behavior in myself a couple of years ago during Lent (that included in saying ?#% words to other drivers). Still, it’s too bad that someone with better person skills wasn’t in charge of compaints.
Can’t argue with you there Nonnie. But as uncomfortable as it was that experience made me stop & take a look at the bigger picture too… gossip. Oh man it’s everywhere. I used to just stand awkwardly when the gossip tongues started flying but now I’m the one that gently speaks up in defense of the poor person being gossiped about. It’s funny how quickly that diffuses the situation. ~TxH~
You’re right, there is a difference between standing up for oneself or speaking one’s mind in a productive way, as well as gossiping. It’s important to understand and know one’s intentions and the “necessity” of your actions before getting involved. I think often enough, we react without always thinking things through. Sometimes that’s necessary, but often not. So, I personally think, it’s a good habit to keep if I keep quiet and rail behind closed doors before blasting off. I’m not perfect and I don’t strive to be, but I sure try to live well 🙂
Good for you. Too many harsh words are unnecessarily spoken in the heat of the moment, but having the self control to pull back is a hard thing to do sometimes. ~TxH~
It always seems OK to act that way when we feel we are justified…it was the other person’s fault…they made me say those things. Once, about 5 years ago, I happened to overhear two of my very close family members (they don’t blog) gossiping about me. I didn’t realize it was them speaking for quite some time because they were behind a closed door in a hotel. It wasn’t until they mentioned my town that I realized it was them and that they had been talking about me. They were viscous and cruel and even after all these years I have not gotten over the hurt. I forgave them…almost immediately. They are family and I love them. I learned a very valuable lesson that day though…words have a mighty power and we are called to use them wisely and with kindness.
I would like to invite you to my first ever link up at Tuesday Afternoons.
Awwww… so sorry that happened to you. Words can be powerful things and it always amazes me how hard it is for any of us to resist the temptation to just jump in & start alongside the gossiper. (I put myself in that category too – and I hate that!) I’m trying to be very mindful of my words and more importantly I’m trying to diffuse gossip when it’s in progress. Oftentimes all it takes is one voice of reason to silence the character assassination! ~TxH~
Thanks for sharing this. It really is something to think about. I always try to take time to think about things and go over it in my head before I actually confront someone, especially if it is a touchy matter. I keeps me from getting into too much trouble. I am visiting today from Diary of a Real Housewife.
Taking time before speaking is a wise thing indeed Pamela. ~TxH~
Praying for someone with an illness or going through life-altering hardships are worthy of group prayer, but praying for someone with a more personal (read gossipy) problem needs to be done individually in my opinion. Thanks for you words. ~TxH~
I totally feel you! I wouldn’t say I struggle with gossip so much as I struggle with not having the courage to say what I should in situations where it is going on, which is just as bad. It such a problem since our focus isn’t on God where it should be, but on those around us. I think that is why it bothers me so much when people start off a conversation “so you know so you can be praying for so and so…” because it really isn’t about praying for someone; it is our Christianese way of making it acceptable. And you are so right that we blast companies far too much; honest feedback is so important, but how we do it is more so. Love this and thanks so much for the conviction and inspiration to have more courage!
just had lunch with some women I’ve known since childhood and we bitched/ gossiped about a few others. Time I took a good hard look at myself I think xxx
I know that it stung a bit when I had to step back & take a good hard look at that mirror myself Suzi, but I think it’s a good thing to do from time to time. ~TxH~
This is a great post and so very true. I like you have had moments when I have let fly and I am not proud of these at all. I actually cringe now! You are right it is about time we treated other people better, especially the ones we know and love. Thank you for sharing this thoughtful post at Good Morning Mondays. There is a message here for everyone I am sure. Blessings
I think way too many people think that it is OK to say what they think, no matter what it is, as we are all taught it is right to stand up for yourself and put yourself first. There seems to be way too much ME and not enough thinking of others first. Gossip is so hard to avoid, especially the type where people say it is for the other person’s good that they are mentioning a problem.
I rarely spread globalized rumors, anymore. However, I’m quick to go straight to the home office of any business that, I feel hasn’t acted in my best interest. Especially, customer service. A lot of times, I get a response with a form letter but, other times, I’ll get a coupon or reimbursement.
*I’m not pleasant when contacting home office either. They did me wrong. I’m letting ’em have it. Both barrels, as you said.
I don’t like to gossip about anyone. And I always find myself in an awkward position when trying to diffuse gossip that’s going on, but I always try. But where business is concerned I find myself not having the same compassion. I think its very important to let businesses know when they’ve not fit the bill, otherwise they think they’re trucking along just fine. I’m just wondering if I went about it in the right way this time. ~TxH~
Good plan. I work at an elementary school. I’m the Secretary there and at least once a week some 3rd – 5th grader comes to tell me “Someone said that So And So did this or that…” I listen to them and then ask them “did you see So And So do that?” 99.99% of the time they answer “no… but…” I just tell them if you didn’t see them then how do you know it really happened? I feel the same way about adult matters. Just look at the nightly news. How many of those people marching in Ferguson really know what happened, as in did they see what happened?
AMEN Judith! You’re spot on. ~TxH~
We mostly want to make ourselves feel better
So we preface our tirade with
“I shouldn’t say this,but…”
“Let me just be honest and say…” By saying that up front we think it makes it OKAY!
But you’re right– it is about to be malicious in here!
Kindness – doesn’t have to be in deed- in fact the kindest thing we can do for someone is keep our mouth shut-especially if we’re not going to come to their defense.
Another thing to remember — if the gossip feels comfortable enough to say these things in front of us– perhaps we need rethink not the company we keep- but instead OUR OWN CHARACTER.
You’ve given us something to consider
Patricia you’re right, lots of pride there. And making ourselves feel superior at the expense of someone else. ~TxH~
I started reading and was thinking whaaaat? Lol I remembered the microwave thing, just hadn’t had time to comment and not much to say about it. I just figure stuff happens and I have been dealing with a bad NEW phone since January and they mis – shipped it yesterday. It will all work out and hopefully the company will address the issue internally to correct and prevent future problems. And I better get my phone next week or they will be getting a friendly reminder from me! Probably many have had an incident with a company that sends them over the edge! I have! Just gotta come back to earth and move on. It’s all good and I know, for me, I am still learning how to be a reasonable objective human being. 🙂
Hope this makes sense… texting on my bad phone. Love your honesty and without self reflection, where would we be? Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!!
Ya know Cheryl, I think the important thing for me to remember is that it’s important to let a manufacturer know when they’ve not lived up to your expectations, and just as important to let them know you love their product. But when there’s a problem, I need to be more gentle with my approach I think. Where gossip is concerned, there’s never an excuse. Gossip can ruin friendships, destroy relationships and reputations and even drive wedges between family members. Gossip is toxic. ~TxH~
I had to memorize the Proverb, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing”. Notice I had to memorize that verse just so I could keep my mouth shut. Oh, by the way, I really liked your wordless Wednesday photo of your husband carrying your calf. It reminded me of my husband getting my cat out of the tree when he accidentally got outside. So strong, yet so gentle. What a wonderful quality in our husbands. Have a great day! Joi
You’d think we’d all be more anxious to build each other up instead of tearing down. I love “…the tongue of the wise brings healing”. And thanks for the compliment on yesterday’s photo – gotta love our strong men with their soft hearts! ~TxH~
As a young adult I was given the following short poem by a wise friend:
I have to live with myself and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I don’t want to face the rising sun
and hate myself for the things I have done.
Years later I found the poem it was taken from, Myself by Edgar Guest. Anyway, some days I remember the advice, some days I don’t, I’m a “work in progress”. Thanks for your gentle reminder. Cynthia F
Love the poem Cynthia. I think we’re all works in progress – none of us is perfect, but the desire to do better is a beautiful attribute. ~TxH~
Colleen, I have always taught my kids the same thing. I don’t consider myself that old but in our rural area, a seperate phone line hasn’t beenthat long ago, maybe 35 years. Well on a party line you could listen in if you were good at it and we had a neighbor that loved to do just that. Let’s just say I have better things to do.Tammy we all need to be reminded from time to time about our actions, for one thing we don’t realize who we vent on usually has no control over the issue we face. Have a blessed day!
True words Teresa. True words. ~TxH~
I was always taught that if you have nothing good to say; say nothing at all.
Yessum Colleen, me too. I think maybe things sneak up on you as the years go by. I’m very much a people-pleaser personality but for some reason when I’m dealing with companies I’ll blast ’em with both barrels. ~TxH~