Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gossip and Rumours

Another Rant By Mother Hen
1.      Rumour or talk of a personal, sensational or intimate nature.
2.      A person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumours or facts.
3.      Trivial, chatty talk or writing.
4.      A close friend or companion
5.      Chiefly British A godparent
   1. information, often a mixture of truth and untruth,
       passed around verbally.
   2. gossip or hearsay
   3. Archaic din or clamour
   4. Obsolete fame or reputation

Ah yes, everybody's favourite thing, gossip and rumours. You can try to convince yourself that you are not guilty of either of these but you are only lying to yourself. We are ALL guilty of gossip and rumours at some point in our lives and for most, some point of our everyday.
I try my hardest not to get tangled up in rumours or gossip, but just like everyone else I have a weakness for them. Who doesn't love to hear the latest news about so and so! Or what what's his name and what's her face are up to!

Yes, gossip and rumours seem fantastic, till they're about YOU! Then they're not so good. Then they're rude, childish, and mean.

In the past few months some rumours about me have come to my attention and I admit they made me quite sour. They hurt and made me angry, as they would anyone else.
But then something quite interesting happened this week to me that has changed the way I view gossip and rumours.

I stopped caring and actually started to laugh.

I started to try to find the humour in these rumours. It wasn't easy at first by any means. It was hard to look at what was being said about me, or what others thought but after a while I found them to be humourous. I realized that I was too tired and too busy to give these rumours as much energy as they were getting!
Rumours can be based on peoples emotions and opinions when they receive the information initially. Rumours can make someone feel important, like they are privileged to someones special information that no one else knows...until they start spreading it around.
But mainly rumours are simply miscommunication.

"Paul is wearing a blue sweater" says Sue.
Moments later on an unrelated note Sue says, "I hate the colour blue."
End result, "Did you hear that Sue hates Paul?"

Yes, whatever the nature, rumours and gossip are nothing more than " information, often a mixture of truth and untruth, passed around verbally".
My favourite rumours are the ones that are up front and to the point.
 "I heard a rumour you were doing such and such". 

 These people aren't even fishing casually for information, they are bluntly coming out and asking for it!
You got to respect that.
Where these sort of questions used upset me and make me wonder how could people be talking about me behind my back? They now make me sigh and smile.
My old response would have been to either deny, admit, or try to change the subject. But now, regardless of the real answer I respond,
 "The thing about rumours is that you have to ask yourself about the source." 
You would not believe how many people this line has shut up. They'll stand back for a moment, think and then go, "Ohhhh!" ok." That's the end of the conversation.
I haven't given them an answer but have made them think. Rumours can sometimes be like a bad game of "Broken Telephone" where information sometimes can get mixed up or misinterpreted, plus some people have very over active imaginations and like to add details to a story when they retell it. Knowing your source can sometimes determine the validity.

I like hearing the rumours that are spread about me now, because they usually are so far from the truth that they make me laugh out loud. They are bits and pieces of the truth sewn together to create a new story and I find it interesting to see just how mixed up they can get. I also like to try to figure out the source if it's not easy to detect right away, that in itself can be a fun challenge.
I see rumours and gossip more like a game now than hurtful or upsetting. They make me laugh or smile and I don't take them to heart like I used to.

My old doctor, who took care of me from birth, always used to say, "Laughter is the best medicine." and you know what? He was right, because since I started to laugh these rumours off, I have felt a world of difference in myself!

I am trying my hardest now to avoid the "rumour train". If I hear people gossiping I'll try to leave the area, or not add my 2 cents. It's not easy, since sometimes the gossip is super juicy but at the end of the day, I feel so much better, about the situation and about myself.

There definitely was a time when rumours would upset me and I'm sure there will be moments here and there but for the most part I'm trying my hardest to laugh in the face of rumours and ignore those who spread them.


cdnkaro said...

I'm the first to admit that I find myself talking about others with people who know them, and I have been trying to do that less. I'm not gossiping or spreading rumours at all. Sometimes I'm just catching up because I haven't seen people lately. But sometimes I'm venting venting frustration to someone that knows them, often times just to see if maybe I'm overreacting? If the person I'm speaking to knows them as well then sometimes they can help me keep things in perspective and not over-analyze. But even though it's (sort of) justifiable, I'm definitely trying to do it less. Thanks for the post, got me thinking:)

Mother Hen said...

I think there's a difference between talking about someone to get the update and then gossiping. Gossiping always seems to take on a more judgemental tone.
Either way it's something I plan on doing a lot less myself!