Too often, we fall into an unhealthy habit of talking about other people. It boils down to be gossip, and it harms us and those around us. It paints us as people who cannot be trusted, and that is conveyed just as strongly to the people to whom we’re speaking. I’ll say it more directly. If you’re talking to me about someone else, I have no choice but to assume that you’re talking to someone else about me when I’m not in the room.
We get toxically consumed with the discussion of the flaws of others. We’re obsessed with the sensationalism of others’ flaws. We’re built up by comparing our perfect selves with the imperfect versions of other people. It’s so easy, and it’s so wrong.
So, I’ll ask a simple question. What would happen if we did these two things to change that behavior?
- How would it change us if we stopped the conversation when it wandered toward the negative? What would it say about us if we witnessed someone sharing negative gossip and decided to share something positive about the person being discussed? How would we feel about ourselves if we interjected a praise comment about that person and highlighted something positive about them?
- How would it change us if we sought out someone whom we know people are gossiping about and lifted them up? What would it say about us if we bridged that gap and invested more fully in the friendship that we have the potential to have with that person? How would we feel if we took more of an interest in that person and made an effort to understand what makes them tick?
Life is short. I believe we have been given the opportunity in this life to have a positive impact on everyone we encounter. If we waste that opportunity with energy spent tearing people down in a failed effort to build ourselves up, we’ve wasted too much.
Instead, let’s vow to build each other up. Let’s vow to break any cycle of negativity and hold each other accountable to end every gossip chain. Ignoring is as culpable as participation. It’s not okay to pretend we don’t hear things, and it is far more noble to right an obvious wrong.
Repeat after me: “Today, I promise to stop gossiping. I promise that any challenge I have with you I will discuss with you. I promise that if I hear others gossiping about you, I will insert a word of praise about you. I promise to lift you up with observations about your awesomeness and the uniqueness that makes you the person you are. Most importantly, I promise to do these things, because I believe it reflects the best in me and brings out the best in others.”
Let’s trend up together and lift each other up toward our greatness. Tomorrow Begins Today.