Facebook and Twitter are wonderful medias, but they are also fodder for gossips. As much as I love facebook, I have gotten tired of reading statuses that are geared towards bragging and gossiping. In fact, the term friends for facebook is funny, I think many people use facebook to see how their high school friends and enemies turned out. It is a secret way of seeing their lives without having to deal with seeing them in person. FACEBOOK STALKING! Is this good? I would even guess that the numbers of attendees to high school or college reunions has dropped for each generation. The new generation, social media savvy, get their fuel from stalking rather than waiting 10 years for a reunion.
As I spent more time trying to discover my motivations, I realized one main thing about myself. It is my way of making me feel better about myself. Sad, huh?! What is wrong with me that I need to compare myself to others? I never tried to gossip to hurt others (well maybe a few times I did). My gossip was more to have something interesting to say to make people want to listen to me. In most cases, I don’t think I am interesting enough for others to want to listen.
In some further evaluation, I have found the reasons why gossiping became so mainstream for me. I am a generational gossip, it was passed down from my mother and her mother etc. It became a norm.
My mom, as beautiful a person as she is, suffers from low self esteem. In an effort to battle this, she would gossip about others in an effort to bring them down to a level that she feels better about herself. One of the most shocking things for me was when I heard her say, “I don’t have to know the truth about someone. I can make it up!” In her mind this creation becomes the reality for her. Bless her soul, she was extremely protective of her children. If one of our friends hurt us, she would find all their faults to criticize them and explain to us why we were better off without them. I can see that she dealt with a lot of pain and rejection in her life. The gossip was her survival mechanism. She is able to put herself back up on her pedestal, by placing others where she can feel comfortable with them.
Now, with that said, I should have learned from this. I fell victim to this gossip many times. My family felt rejected by me as I grew and started to develop my own life. In response to the rejection, they started gossiping about me when I wasn’t around. My sister’s jealousy and competitiveness has destroyed our relationship. She would run to my mom with gossip about something she overheard me saying, by using this information she was able to feed my mom’s sickness. She in turn would be my mom’s favorite.
I hate that I learned to gossip as the only way to connect with others. I thought if I could have some good gossip, people would want to be my friend. I know that I have hurt a lot of people with this and I WANT to stop. I am a mom of a two year old little girl and leading by example is my job.
I know in a lot of ways, I have seen and even contributed in gossip to alienate someone. I have seem my mother and sister unite in their anger towards the same subject. The gossip about this subject is the glue in the relationship and if one deviates from this anger they are excluded. I think the fear of being gossiped about is the motivation to continue. I have heard and even thought the same way, “I am going to hurt them before they get a chance to hurt me.” I have learned better ways to handle this. Unfortunately, the hardest part for me to let go of is gossiping about my family. Many years of hurt and anger, lead me to gossiping about them. It is my response to knowing they are talking about me. My pride gets in the way.
One my other weaknesses is when I see a beautiful woman, I have a hard time being around them. I want ways to find cracks in their armor to make me feel better about myself. Sad! Why does beauty have to be a driver for gossip? I think competition for men’s attention and the media fuels this feeling. How many times have you heard someone say, “She must be anorexic, no one is that skinny and healthy.” or my favorite is the pictures of beautiful celebrities in magazines trying to show off their imperfections. What does an ounce of fat have to do with their ability to act?
In order to combat this part of my gossiping, I stopped caring what others thought of me. I am taking the power away from those who are gossiping about me. I know they are going to and I know gossip is real, so I choose not to worry about the things I can not change. Live and let live has been my motto. Stop judging others is the key to ending the gossip for me.
I am so excited about this series, Inner Mean Girl Cleanse. I want to shut her up for good. It is time to nurture the woman I am inside – Loving, nurturing, loyal, and beautiful! I want to be an authentic friend. I do care about others and don’t want to hurt anyone.