It has taken me a few years of deliberate mindful practice, but I have been able to consistently avoid spreading negativity, speaking victim words, pointing blame and encouraging gossip. It is so hard not to do those things! Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t talk about people, I do. I just try really hard not to talk about people negatively. I have always been a firm believer that if you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say it. I am only contributing to the problem when I talk about someone else in a negative tone. Putting someone down to boost my self-esteem shows that I have a weak mind. I am better than that.
I often feel very uncomfortable in situations when gossip occurs. When I am in the midst of a negative conversation where the subject of it is not in the room, I tend to clam up. What usually races through my mind is “when I am not in the room, are they talking this way about me?”. I am sure they are, to believe that others are not talking about me in a negative light would be unreasonable. What I have to avoid is the paranoia that can get inside my head. It has taken years to realize it, but I really don’t care what you think of me; I only care about what I think of me. This is under my control.
People who use other people as the topic of their conversation are often hiding their own pain by exploiting the trials of others. I know. I have been there. When I hear others speaking negatively about others, I try to identify what it is they are trying to cover up. It helps me to understand them better. As a keen observer of human behaviour, I noticed that what people say about others is pretty much directly related to the interests and deficiencies in their own lives. Gossipers are people too and to think negative about their undesirable habit is only adding to the negativity. There are positives in every story and everybody.
Finding the good in everyone can be tough sometimes. But through a deliberate habit of avoiding negative gossip and victim speak, you will begin to find that everyone in your life does have something good to offer the world. Sure, some may offer more good than others but there is still some good there. If you find yourself talking negative about someone, please refrain and be self-reflective. Identify what it is that you are talking negative about and see if there is a match in your life. I am sure you will find that little something that you can improve on. Jealousy is an amazing emotion if you harness it correctly. It is the green mirror to your soul but if used incorrectly, it can be the biggest drain of your energy, not to mention your reputation.
Be good to your neighbour by being a good neighbour.