Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What Happened?

It seems like such a simple question. We hear that something happened—somewhere, to someone—and we ask, “What happened?” We want to know the details. We want them to retell whatever it is so we can know. Whether it happened to them or to someone else, we want the info.

Our reasons vary. Sometimes we want to pray for whatever it is and be able to pray specifically. But sometimes—sometimes—it’s just for our own interest. Just because we want to know.

Psst—that’s called gossip.

Whether you’re on the telling end or the receiving end, gossip is gossip. I’m not going to lie—I struggle with both parts sometimes. Surprisingly, I’m a little better at not telling information than not receiving it.

When someone knows something and I don’t, it—it just burns in my chest, you know? It may be part of my desire to control, and I love to control information. I have to know everything. I’m a trivia queen. I know lots of stupid stuff (and a few useful things, too). I know facts about things you didn’t even know had facts. And I retain facts incredibly well. Indefinitely, even. To the point of annoyance.

Annoyance to others, that is.

This is why gossip is so hard for me to avoid. Not that I get a lot of it, mind you. I have super great friends who are very unwilling to partake in gossip. And I try not to ask for it—I try not to pry, not to ask for more information than I need. I also have to try not to share more information than is necessary. But this is actually easier, since I don't get any information from my friends.

Seriously. They're like Fort Knox.

Gossip can be hurtful. It can ruin friendships and families. While the sharing of information can bring people closer, in some situations it can drive them apart.

Do you struggle with gossip? What do you do if you find yourself in the middle of sharing it (or hearing it)? I want to know!

But, you know, I don't need to know...

6 comments:

  1. I am like a seesaw when it comes to gossip. I don't "think" I gossip but if a friend choses to provide me info and I listen I am still a part of it. Also, once they get started it's like we can have entire 15min conversation about what so and so said, did, or what happened. Crazy. It's a bad spider's web. Then there are times when I am very upfront about it and just say I don't want to know or hear. Or I just don't provide feedback to get myself uninvolved.

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  2. Ugh, this has been a struggle for me always. I had this habit all but kicked until I went back to work outside the home. Sooo hard to stay out of it at work. My problem is a lifelong struggle with insecurity. It makes me crave attention, and being the source of info gets attention. It also makes me really want to feel like I belong, and being in-the-know makes me feel like I'm not excluded. This is such a timely post for me as God has been making me more and more aware of this area of my life. Now I need to pray hard about it and hopefully learn my lesson before He makes me learn it the hard way. :)

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  3. I often find myself in an odd position- people come to me to talk about their own problems and strike up the conversation assuming that I know what they are talking about. We've gotten so used to others sharing our business that we expect it!

    I'm not generally one to gossip. I've been the subject of gossip and hate.

    The hardest situation is one I'm in at work right now. A co-worker who is the type of person who has to have someone to hate towards and currently the hate is directed at our boss and the venting tends to happen in my office. I feel bad because this person is so frustrated and stressed and needs to vent but I also don't like the things being said and I know I don't have anything I can say that will be heard anyway.

    It's just one of those tricky situations that I try to pray about and listen for guidance.

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  4. I think it's hard b/c when it concerns someone we care about, we want to know. Or if it affects us, we want to know.

    But, I've done better with it b/c my mom is a horrible gossip- she tells me things I couldn't possibly care less about if I tried and that has really made me aware of how annoying gossip can be.

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  5. I don't often find myself there. But when I'm around it, I tend to turn things toward the positive in the person's favor. If I'm the one dishing it, well, I just hope God get's hold of me early in the process. Most times, I end up discovering the person I'm talking about is right behind me. That's a serious behavior-modifier. :)

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  6. I was just stopping by today actually from Pioneer Woman's quiz. I went back to see where I fell in line for the prize, even though I didn't get all the answers right... I saw your post and hopped on over after being curious about your blog title. Then I hopped to your guest post today and appreciated your words. Struck a cord with me, as my blog post today was about losing my Sausage McGriddle baby weight (TrinketsOfThought.com). I know emotional eating all too well! I'm a new follower! :)

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