Questions of the day: Are you aware of any negative thought and speech patterns when you’re referring to particular people?
Do you pay attention to the triggers that set off a need to speak meanly or viciously about others?
Or perhaps you unconsciously play the mental compare/contrast game with others in order to fulfil your human need for significance and variety?
Are you judgemental and self-righteous in your interaction with others? Do you know that change is only possible when we first seek to accept and understand other people’s model of the world, rather than instantly judge them unfairly?
WWN Reflection DAY 25: Take ACTION and Transform Your Life!
Today is the 25th day of our challenge and we’re seeing, hearing and feeling so many interesting shifts and changes among WWN webinar and conference call participants.
For today’s reflection, the focus is on a previous post originally published on April 3, 2012 and it is as timely then as it is now. This post serves as a reminder to make a mental shift from talking about others through a ‘woe me’ pair of lens and embrace a ‘wow me’ perspective.
Begin to tell empowering stories about yourself and others. Often, when people are in a highly experiential and transformational change environment, or if they are going through challenging and high pressure situations, a lot of their suppressed and repressed emotional ‘stuff’ come up and rise to the surface.
The choice is either to confront them and get closure or some people shift the focus away from themselves and latch on to other people’s drama. This is often a defence mechanism to protect themselves. This results in their using very harmful/negative words to describe other people in their lives.
The more we know, forgive and accept ourselves, the better we can reflect this in our perception of others. How and what we say about others is a far more eloquent description of our own character. We project our perception of the world unto everything and everyone around us!
In the words of Carl G. Jung: ‘Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people.’
The term “Reverse Gossip Game” was originally coined by Bob Burg and he has wonderful, insightful posts on the topic. Join the conversation and follow him on twitter @bobBurg.
The Reverse-Gossip Game: [As defined by my grandma] “Say and do as many wonderful things about people, as you can, behind their back!”
I know the movie: “The Hunger Games” created quite the buzz at the box office a while back. However, this month, here’s an interesting game I’d like you all to try: “The Reverse Gossip Game”.
Rules of the game:
1. No complaining about anything or anyone (Not your job, the bills, your spouse, your friend(s), colleague(s), politician(s)….)
2. Find a sincere reason to be grateful for every thing, every experience and every one in your life.
3. Say and do many wonderful things about people in your life, behind their back!
So, let’s talk some more about this activity that seems to be associated more or less with women-folk: G.O.S.S.I.P!!! I’m not referring to the harmless little chats here and there, about other people’s lives. This type of ‘fun gossip’ may actually be good for your health!
Rather, I mean the other malicious type of gossip; the insidious, sinister and deliberate destruction of other people’s character through volitional spreading of falsehoods, half-truths and blatant lies! If you engage in this form of malicious gossip, it is important to realize that you are short-changing yourself in the following ways:
Mentally: A lack of creativity is one of the fall-outs of malicious gossiping. This is because all you see and spread is negativity and so, you get drained and unintentionally shut down your own creative juices.
Physically: True beauty radiates from the inside out. No matter how perfect you look physically, the more you destroy or cut others down, the bitter and uglier your spirit becomes to the outside world. Too much negativity also affects your health and overall well-being.
Spiritually: ‘All things look yellow to the jaundiced eye’, so do not fall into a default position where all you do is see the mistakes of others and delight in spreading it around. We all make mistakes. Our experiences, good or bad make us who we are.
Being judgmental detracts us from learning LIFE lessons inherent in our encounters with others. And of course it prevents you from seeing the huge log blinding your eyes, and this means your growth and transformation is somewhat stunted. Without growth it may be difficult to find success in life!
Emotionally: The more you slander and maliciously gossip about others, the more stunted you are emotionally (Low EQ-Emotional Intelligence Quotient)! Most often, those who delight in tearing down others are avoiding dealing with their own issues and challenges. Seeing someone else’s pain and ‘downfall’ somehow makes up for their sorry states! ‘A good reputation is built in drops and destroyed in bucketfuls’….
Financially: In life, an important resource is quality/degree of ‘human connectivity’ and our networks. You will find it very difficult to both build meaningful relationships and keep them (personally and professionally). This will invariably have a negative impact on your human capital/wealth and overall success in life.
So maybe, just maybe, you may not be classified as a typical ‘malicious gossip’, this post is still relevant to you especially in handling possible uncomfortable scenarios.
Have you ever had one of those unsavoury situations or experiences among friends or colleagues where you find yourself saying derogatory, hurtful and destructive things about someone you all know? Have you ever (intentionally or not) been the gleeful bearer of malicious gossip about others?
Do you remember how terrible you felt afterwards? When you sobered up from being drunk on ‘bitter-malice juice’, didn’t you wish you could take back everything you’d said? Remember, If it doesn’t feel right, it most often isn’t right.
Do you have a friend or colleague that’s always gossiping maliciously, never seeing or saying anything good about others? Note: They WILL do the same thing to you and bad-mouth you with others too! As the saying goes: ‘The way you do one thing, is how you do everything!’
The interesting thing about malicious gossip is that it hurts both the bearer and the listener! Do not make yourself available and receptive to such talk.
If you keep hearing them, you begin to either contribute to these conversation or think alike. Your outlook is the average of those closest to you. Choose your crowd well!
Remember, your guiding motto should be to ‘Remain loyal to the absent person’. Always ask yourself, ‘what is the purpose of this conversation’? Remember, if it does not edify you, it takes away from you. If you’re not learning from it, you’re wasting time and energy on it. Wear your leadership and lead yourself out of these uncomfortable situations.
Here are some suggestions to handle such situations:
1. Set the tone and establish your deal-breakers early on in the conversation. Always ask people who engage in malicious gossips insightful/unexpected questions and thus, pattern-interrupt their behaviour.
Some examples of questions and statements: ‘Were you there when it happened?, ‘What do you gain by spreading this’? ‘Every body makes mistakes, the most important thing is to learn from others’, ‘The truth is, I’m really not interested in people’s lives especially their shortcomings, I’m too busy dealing with MY life and MY challenges’….etc.
(This may not make you popular in the short term, however, it will attract the right people to your life and create a solid energetic field with zero tolerance for B.S!)
2. Teach people how to treat you and engage with you. Make yourself inaccessible to negative environments, do not become a crap magnet!
3. Have clear, firm and healthy boundaries. Respect and honour your boundaries. Proclaim and reinforce clearly what you stand for, your values and principles. You attract what and who you ARE!
The most important thing to realize is that most malicious gossips do it outside of their conscious awareness. Begin to separate people from their behaviour. Accept the person, change the behaviour. Everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have. A little empathy helps!
So ladies, let’s turn ‘gossip’ into a good thing. I’m guessing we all do it sometimes, so we might as well own it and have lots of fun as we play the ‘Reverse Gossip Game’! To recap: For the next 7 days, let’s live in a ‘No-Complaint Zone.’ Yes, absolutely NO whining, complaining, worrying, malicious gossiping, blaming, attacking, back-stabbing/back-biting…
Practice only genuine Gratitude, Appreciation and Thanksgiving! Be grateful for your family, friends, job, business, school, relationship, self, community, country and life! See everyone and everything as a reflection of you. You are a reflection of God. Then, think of at least 3 ways you can add value to people around you. Look inwards for the light within, so that you may impact your world around you.
Every act of kindness, service and generosity counts! Seek nothing back in return. Be at CAUSE. Own your reality, design your destiny. You are a co-creator with God. You’ve been blessed with the power of choice and the gift of creation. Use your power. Your fuel is a heart of unconditional love. Take ACTION!
Live Passionately! Live Freely! Live Beautifully!
The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Strategic Interventionist, Wealth Management Consultant & Leadership-Coach at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is the author of the upcoming book: “UN-Locking Your HeArt of Leadership.” She is an avid Life Connoisseur and a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Leadership Training, Investment & Financial Literacy for women. Her mission is simply to engage, educate and empower women, regardless of their levels of income or background, to return to ‘wholeness’ and live Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier Lives using Faith-based, Scientific and Universal (Common-Sense) principles! Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc, @julietumeinc.
- How to Stop Gossip for Good. (coolgirlguide.wordpress.com)
- Gossip (feelinginside.wordpress.com)
- The Danger Of Gossip (talithaspraathuis.wordpress.com)