- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The Harmful Effects of Gossip
Are you a gossiper? If you answered that by saying "no", you are a rare individual. Most of us engage in this horrible pass time, even if we try not to. In today's world, it is hard not to be a recipient of gossip. The national news participates in it on a daily bases now. News used to be about "News Worthy" information, but now has added celebrity gossip to its agenda.
Knowing about who got drunk in public, who slept with who, and what celebrity is off to rehab, is not news, it is gossip. We have shows that do nothing but promote gossip of peoples personal lives. Whether they are public people or not, I find it a sad situation that we as a society are more concerned with how a celebrity is acting, then what is going on in our own lives.
If we spent as much time focusing on ourselves as we do focusing on total strangers lives, think of how much better we would be. In Don Miguel Ruiz's book "The Four Agreements", being impeccable with your word, is one of the agreements. He states that "gossip" is not being impeccable with your word. It is a negative waste of time, that can actually be detrimental to other people's lives, as well as our own.
People's lives have been destroyed by gossip, even when it has been untrue. Reveling in the downfall of someone else is a weird and disgusting thing to do. Much of the gossip we hear, is not true, or at least partially untrue. By the time we hear it, the story of whom ever the gossip is about has probably been distorted and turned into something that is not completely the truth.
Why is it that we love to hear bad things about others? Think about it, gossip is usually negative. We rarely run around talking about what happened to someone that is good, but if it is ugly, horrible, and tragic, we love to tell everyone we know about it.
When a gossip tale is told that is not true, it is told over and over as if it is. It can effect the person that it is about in a very bad way. There are stories of teen suicide that have been caused by vicious gossip. When we are young it is harder to see that these gossip stories are made up by people who lack integrity and most likely suffer from low self worth and self esteem. The damage that they can cause is undeniably sad.
Passive aggressive people sometimes use gossip to get their revenge on another person. In this way they can cause pain to another person without being totally responsible for it. It is hard to pin point where the gossip began.
Ask yourself when you engage in gossip if it makes you feel good or bad. If you are honest with yourself, you will most likely feel bad. How can you feel good about yourself if you are spending time talking negatively about another person. If you feel good about it, or think that it makes you feel good, you might want to analyze this. Feeling good about another persons negative experience is not a healthy reaction or a good way to spend your time.
I work on this all of the time. I used to gossip with the best of them, and to be honest, I still find myself engaging in it from time to time. What I do notice about it though, is that it does not make me feel good. It makes me feel crummy, and not in a place of integrity. I now have a greater awareness when I am participating in negative gossip, and am working on staying out of that game!
Be aware of how you are spending your time and energy. If it involves gossip, try to stop. You will feel better about yourself, and you will not be promoting negative thoughts and energy that can hurt and destroy someone else's life. Choose to be better than that!