How to give. How to receive.
If you are over the age of talking, you have been affected by either people talking shit about you, or you getting caught talking shit about others. It’s bound to happen. Why? Cuz we’re ‘Merica and we loves our gossip.
I vividly remember the first time I was busted on talking shit about another girl. We were on the same swim team; she was cute and skinny and blond; and she had the guy I wanted. The trifecta of teenage hate. I said something untrue about her to other friends (who of course made a bee line to her and ratted me out) and she confronted me. Whoa! You mean I don’t get to say whatever I want and go on my merry way? Crap.
I was busted. When she asked very nicely (really) why I said that, what could I come up with??? Quick, make something up! The only thing I could think of was, “I was jealous.” The truth. Jealousy. Ugly.
I learned two valuable lessons that day. First off, talking shit about others will come back to you. Truth. You may get ‘away’ with it in some cases but somehow, it will come back to crap all over your new white shoes. But more importantly, the people who listen to you talk shit? Not only do they LOVE to spread what you say, but they’ll make sure YOU are the target as much as possible.
Why are we so hurt when he hear people talk shit about us when we’ve done the same thing? Maybe not to them, but to others. Probably because no one is immune to the jealousy of others. The interwebz has given us a world stage to spew our ugly, yeah interwebz. So in this spirit, here’s a few golden rules of Shit Talk:
1. Nothing is EVER confidential. Ever, know that now. Someone will talk. Think you’re telling your deepest and darkest secret to your BFF and no one else? Nope. BFF’s actually are rarely Forever and when things turn, your words will be used against you. A negative view on friendship? Nope, a realistic view. People change, friendships change, that’s ok. What isn’t ok is that you’ve just given hefty ammo to someone you used to be friends with. Don’t do that, it’s on you. Hire a psychiatrist, pay them to keep your secrets. Hope they’re ethical. Then talk.
2. Take it to the grave. If someone tells YOU something in confidence (silly people), take it to the grave. When people tell me something and say, ‘please don’t share this with anyone’ I don’t. There are things I’ve kept from family, from bosses, from boyfriends, from the world because once words are spoken it’s as if it never happened. When asked if ‘something’ was said by ‘someone’, I will look you straight in the eye and say no. Because it was in confidence, so to you, it doesn’t exist. Call it lying if you will, I call it being trustworthy.
3. Have Kevlar skin. Bulletproof. Be bulletproof. People will talk about you. Why? Because you exist and make mistakes or succeed or are beautiful or have a beautiful spouse or are blond or are fast or are strong or… You get the picture right? People will talk about you. We are only responsible for our words which means when people talk ugly about you, those words belong to them (very Tommy Suggs.) If we accept those words, we put it on ourselves. So don’t. You can not control what comes out of other people’s mouths, stop trying. Easy to say? Yup. Easy to do? Nope. I still amaze myself how hurt I can become over people’s words spoken who I once valued. MyBad.
4. Stop it. Seriously, stop shit talking other people. If you’re doing it on the interwebz, really stop it. Don’t leave an electronic trail of being a bully. It’s not good. If you have a big enough beef with someone that you’re losing sleep over it, pick up the phone and get it out. If you can’t, you’re in high school. Remember how much fun THAT was?
5. Learn and grow. Learn from your mistakes. I have failed on all four points above and I try to learn from each failure and grow as a person. I’ve realized that as entertaining gossip can be, it doesn’t make me look good. Jealous. Ugly. Yuck.
The only gossip I’m interested in is things from the Weekly World News- ‘Woman’s Bra Bursts, 11 injured’. That kind of thing.