If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.Aesop.
The lion was near death. All the other animals came kissing the lion’s feet, with hopes of being named as his heir.
With a clear intent of winning the lion’s favour, the wolf discredited the fox who had not come visiting the sick lion.
The fox arrived just in time to overhear the wolf cunningly whispering discord into the lion’s ears.
“Who could love you more than me?” The fox asked the sick lion. “For I have been all around the world, in search of the miraculous cure I bring you.”
“And what is it?” The lion asked with sparks of life in his eyes.
“If you want to get well again, skin a live wolf, and wrap yourself in the fur while it is still warm,” replied the crafty fox.
On hearing this, the wolf fled as fast as his long legs could carry him.
A friend recommended that I watched “The Outpost” which was released a few weeks ago.
This American war drama, which depicted the real events that occurred in the battle of Kamdesh, Read more taught me one unique lesson.
This singular lesson is where this whole piece would be wrapped about.
Specialist Carter, after devouring his meal in the dining hall, walked up to Lieutenant Bundermann who equally had plans of devouring his meal.
Without delay, Carter opened up about the cowardice of their camp’s commanding officer, Captain Broward.
He spoke of how he had even been nicknamed “Broward the Coward.”
Bundermann’s follow up to Carter’s banter bounced in my subconscious for days. He had listened to Carter speak and remained unruffled.
One would expect Bundermann to join in the frenzy. But he chose to be the voice of reason. After calmly ordering Carter to sit down, he went on not to partake in slandering their commanding officer, but rather, he gave Carter several reasons why his gossip held no worth.
What is gossip?
According to dictionary.cambridge.org, gossip is a conversation or reports about other people’s private lives that might be unkind, disapproving, or not true.
Gossips are counterproductive, most times, they are unverified and insanely malicious.
Why do people gossip?
There are truckload reasons why people peddle gossip. I’ll be offloading some here.
• They can’t help it: this group of gossip peddlers find it crushing to stay quite. Talking about others is an obsession.
• They need a favour: do you know someone who gives you saucy details about others in a bid to soften you to agree to their demands? They will dish out very spicy information and when you are all caught up, you’ll hear something like, “please, can you help me blah, blah, blah.”
• They seek extra information: people in this group will hand out information about someone with the intent of getting more out of you. They want all the data and will even cook up stories to make you spill yours.
• They are out to destroy: these are people who have let envy eat deep into them. Watching others record milestones in their careers, or relationships, is a nuisance to them. They will say anything to bring people down.
• They feel threatened: those in this category feel that their friends or colleagues are better off than them. The successes of others makes them feel less important.
When it comes to being economical with words, many find it impossible. They spit fiery flames from their lips and burn down the hard-earned reputation of others. They are the serpent of old in the garden, who would caress your ears with burning poison. Mischief is what they contribute to society. Gossips are allies of backwardness and foes of success.
Can one avoid the gossip peddler?
You can’t run away from them. Except you’re ready to scurry around town like a mice which spotted a famished cat. But, hey! have no fear mate. I’ll give you two tips that would help you repel leaky mouthed friends. Choose one which best suits you.
• Listen but do not utter a word: resist the urge to ask any question for clarity. Do not make remarks. By doing these, the gossip-monger would feel the conversation is one-sided thereby blowing out the flames from the discussion. Repeat this two or three times more, and you may have become the bright light that makes vampires shriek in terror.
• Listen, then show them another angle to their stories: trust me, I’d prefer you stick to the first point because it takes some serious maturity to actually be objective. Gossips are to a great extent foul and devaluing. And when you come across a colleague bad-mouthing someone, for what they did or didn’t do, don’t hesitate to give a second opinion. An opinion that doesn’t spite, but one that exposes the gossip as ill-conceived and of no use dwelling on it.
And there you have it. You can’t evade toxic people all the time but you can sure wield that big stick day and night. You need to develop traits that deter gossips from having a swell time with you. Focus on value addition and problem solving. Give no room for unproductive comments and side talks.
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