I was recently with a group of friends and I found myself in the midst of “talkin’ ‘bout” an acquaintance. And no, we weren’t commenting on her beautiful shape, her pretty smile, or her desire to be successful in her new business venture. We spent time focusing on how she irritated us in particular areas.
Joyce has an uncanny ability to say the wrong things at the wrong time, to ask too many questions, and to ramble on nonsensical. So much so, that the last time we were together, I think we all let her know that she was “too much!” We are all successful women with various backgrounds and interests, and a common goal of enjoying life to its fullest. We get along exceptionally well.
Joyce however, seems to be the oddball. She doesn’t always show up for our get-togethers, and her quirkiness is unpredictable. However, the last time she became the topic of conversation, I felt uncomfortable, even though I didn’t say anything. I realize that we could very easily be describing me!! I ramble, I’m EXCEPTIONALLY eccentric, after all I CAN change the weather, and I’m always the one dirty dancing at our parties! I have my moods, and I have been known to ask too many questions.
Why do we find it necessary to make others the topic of conversation? Sure there are times you may want to discuss something that has occurred, or even vent; but if you find yourself talking about someone over and over again, then that indicates other problems which may be hiding. After all, everyone is our mirror, and what we see in others is what we don’t like about ourselves. I have decided to no longer talk negatively about folks behind their backs, unless it is a strategy to help them or it will remedy a situation. I know it’s not the easiest commitment to keep, so I’m doing it as a 30 day challenge. And each time I break the challenge, I will start all over again for another 30 days! This should last a lifetime!!
Here are FIVE reasons to NOT talk behind someone’s back!
- We are ONE! The way I feel about someone else, is only a hidden cover about what I really feel about myself. And as Wayne Dyer says, “above all else, I want to feel good.” So in recognizing that I am connected to everyone else, I will be as gentle with them, as I desire to be to myself.
- It’s a false effort to make me feel good. If I say they are wrong, then it means that I am right. And God knows, all of us are as wrong as we are right. I have my own challenges and when I’m looking that strongly at someone else’s challenges, it’s only because I’m afraid to look at my own.
- Practicing kindness to others is a way to practice kindness to myself. Hidden behind every bad thought of someone else is a bad thought about myself. Being kind and considerate in my conversation about others will help me be kinder to myself.
- Talking about others prevents me from taking risks. All of these points relate to ONENESS. I am passing judgment on others when I talk about them behind their backs. I’m saying that aren’t “passing the test.” And since I’m never sure what the test is, it stifles me from taking risk, because I too may fail the test. This hinders me, and keeps me worrying about what others think!
- “Backbiting” is a lack of courage. If I am unable to say what I have to say to the person’s face, then why am I saying it behind their back? If it’s for their good, or the good of our relationship, then certainly I should say it to their face. And if it’s not for our mutual good, then why don’t I keep quiet and find something better to discuss.
Where there is no tale bearer, there is no strife! (Proverbs 26:20)