Sunday, August 21, 2011

gossip.






so, writing this post makes me a tinge uncomfortable. i'm nervous of where to even begin so i'm just gonna jump right in. the other day when i was reading the celebration of discipline i came to the chapter on service. typically when i think of "service" i think of missions or casseroles. right? one of the things that richard foster says that stood out to me the most was "the service of guarding the reputation of others" and that "there is a discipline in holding one's tongue that works wonders within us."

i confess that i have gossiped plenty. i am no saint in this regard. when i told sam i was feeling compelled to write a post on gossip he said, "that's right up your alley." ouch. people get on my nerves and then naturally i want to "vent." venting isn't gossiping, right? it is so easy for me to justify talking about other people. there are some rude people in this world, but i'm called to be "the bigger person." it's essential i take the high road and that i pray for my enemies.

i have also been gossiped about. that's a fun little treat. i've fallen victim to several "friends" both christian and otherwise. i think that one of the biggest challenges in the christian community is keeping things in confidence. gossiping is shown as "concern" when in reality it's a slippery slope folks. no judgements, just sayin'.

i've worked in customer service in one way or another for 15 years now. gulp. i've worked mostly with women, waiting on women. as beth moore says in esther: it's tough being a woman, "so many of our problems as women are... other women". sisters! why are we so mean to each other? i know that the majority of negative things that i've said about other people stem from my own insecurities: i want to be liked, i'm not as pretty as they are, they dress cuter than i do, they're smarter than me, they hurt my feelings, ad nauseum. the biggest and most frequent cause of my trash talking comes from mind-reading. oh yea totally guilty. i make assumptions of why people do things and go from there.

so today i am making a pledge to shut.up.

leave a comment if you want to join me. it won't be easy. i'm sure i'll screw up, but each time we bite our tongue we will be growing. we've been given so much grace, it's time to pass it on.

*photo

18 comments:

blueeyedfreckle said...

I periodically try to tell myself to not gossip. Well every time they talk about it at church. Or whenever I fear that I have hurt someone's feelings I am reminded that if I had never talked about them in the first place then I wouldn't have to worry! So I will pledge with you, and I'd say as a woman, this is one of the hardest things to do. One thing that helps me is to remind myself that really every woman is my sister in the sight of God. Ans if i think of thst woman like i think of my own sisters, then its easier Not to be jealous or whatnot. Anyway, it isn't easy but sometimes helps me. Mostly with jealousy.

Side note, I still think of you and am incredibly grateful for the awesome nursing bra you gVe me! And of course the adorable sleeper And bloomers that Amelie gets to wear as well!

homemade grits said...

katie! i think of you often! love your advice. so thankful that you are enjoying those things. sweet baby girls. i love seeing all of your pictures and keeping up with you guys through your blog, but i'd love to have a phone date soon! xo

Claire Kiefer said...

You're absolutely right, my friend. :) Gossiping about someone else produces such a gross feeling, doesn't it? I feel lucky that the women (and men) I work with now are among the least gossipy people I've ever known, but nonetheless, gossip certainly still comes up in life. I'm always yammering onto my students about how you can't control a lot of things in life, but you can control what kind of person you want to be/are going to be, and sometimes I need to take my own advice.

Love you so much. And p.s. no one is prettier or dresses better than you.

Bethany G said...

Great post. Gossip is something that we all do so often but it is rarely ever talked about! Well done!

Katie said...

i really struggle with not gossiping. it's so hard! i try to remind myself that everyone is struggling with something (including me) and I wouldn't appreciate other's talking about me in a negative (or positive, actually) way. and praying helps too :)

http://breatheandhush.blogspot.com/

homemade grits said...

re: claire
flattery will get you everywhere! i'm calling you asap to hear all about your sonoma adventure...
re:katie
i think it's a challenge for every woman to keep idle chatter at bay. i find that i usually say things i don't want to when i'm nervous or defensive so i'm working on keeping those issues in check. i have to say though, i'm totally ok with people saying good things about me.;)

The Currier Family said...

amen, sister. i, too, am guilty of gossip. so here, i pledge to shut my mouth as well.

Stephanie said...

I have been trying to live a gossip free life ... and it is so hard! I will definitely pledge with you and hope that with fellow support I/we will all be successful! There are so many other positive things in life to talk about besides each other!

Two Bee Doula said...

I know gossiping is bad. Like you said, it's a slippery slope between talking about someone's situation out of "concern" versus gossiping about them. I right there with you in learning when and where to keep it all inside!

alisha said...

that's the most beautifully i've ever heard "shut up" spoken.

right on, sister!

it's the 2nd biggest change i see in blogging over the last 7 years *after sponsorships*...the tearing down of one woman from another woman. it's unnecessary and hurtful. the energy that it takes...what if it were turned into lifting each other up?

we are all human and will gossip and do a thousand other things that aren't good for us. but by making this pledge out loud, in front of others can at least help to bring it to the forefront instead of continuing on in ignorance.

thank you. today, i'll shut up, too!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for posting on this topic! I'm constantly amazed at how hard it is for us, as women, to truly celebrate other women. Guys may be more overtly competitive (with work, sports, etc), but there is such a deeply rooted seed of envy/competition in women that seeks to tear down, rather than build up. We sabotage what could be truly enriching friendships and community because we, ourselves, are not confident in our true identity-- beloved daughters of the most high King.

Abigail said...

If I can enjoy a joke at the expense of another; if I can in any way slight another in conversation, or even in thought, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

-IF, by Amy Carmichael

Mary @ Noah Baby said...

I love this post! I find myself "venting" a lot to my husband about our friends' behavior. I love our friends dearly and would never do anything to intentionally hurt them, but sometimes I'm so wrapped up in the way we choose to live our lives that I start to tear down others because their words/actions don't necessary align with my faith and beliefs. I'll take the pledge to stop too!

Anonymous said...

well said! the times I've stopped myself from saying something-it's actually quite freeing. just like saying no to buying something you don't need!

I want to join with you :)

Aubrey said...

I can't remember how I found your blog, but I'm pretty sure this post is the reason why. Lately I keep finding myself in the grumpiest mood which leads to mucho venting. Instead of feeling better I get all worked up and feel worse. So...I too vow to do my best to shut up. Thanks for the inspiration to get it together.

Brittany-Grace said...

Thanks for this thoughtful insight, Lesley!
I find it interesting that now that my friends and I are older, we cloak gossip in the disguise of constructive worry or criticism. As in: "I'm just so worried about so and so, and want to help, so let's talk about her and what she's been doing that's making me worried."
It's illuminating to remember: this is still gossip. Worrying about someone means you are feeling compassion for them, which is the antithesis of gossip! I pledge to be more compassionate and less eager to jump on the "venting and worrying" bandwagon.
It helps for me to remember: if I had dear friends worried or concerned about my actions, I'd much rather them talk to me than someone else! : )

Down and Out Chic said...

you've given me a lot to think about dear. i need to learn when to shut it too. it's especially difficult when relationships often bond over "gossip" which really isn't something worth bonding over anyways. ugh.

Medical Tourism said...

she is very cute and beautiful dresses .