Montag, 28. Dezember 2015

574 | Gossip within, gossip without

Continuing from my previous post 573 | Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you

This is again in the context of group communication and about an interaction I had with someone in a chat, where the communication had been complicated from both sides. After an hour of chatting and me not seeing that we are getting somewhere or how I can assist/support, I suggested that they clarify this for themselves and get back to me once they can put it in words. I also suggested that perhaps another person with whom they’ve already established a connection /communication may be able to assist them in clarifying the point.
Some months later this person mentioned me during a group chat which I wasn’t able to attend, and referred to me saying I had treated them “as if they were the enemy”. The group chat was shared so I was able to read it afterwards, and when I read the comment I was curious to see where/how such impression was created, so I went back and read the chat I had with that person some months before.

I wanted to see where and how such resonance could be pin-pointed and whether there was something I missed within my own response/approach that day, so that I could understand more about the person but also more about myself/ my approach. But although I could see there was some difficulty in communication on both sides I did not find anything justifying/explaining the impression this person had of me. Which as such it’s fine to have impressions as points one can investigate for oneself and/or through communication, but being that I wasn’t present in the group chat where the comment was made about me, such comment then takes the form of gossip – which is sad because say for example someone new in the group was considering opening up communication with me but now they read this comment conveying such impression and now decide not to contact me.
Here one might say that each one is self-responsible, yet beyond that I find that we are also responsible for each other and for reactions/consequences we may be creating for everyone involved.

So here again the principle of self-honesty and the consideration of: How would I like to be supported (placing oneself in the shoes of another), where instead of gossip or instead of exposing a person’s misalignment to others, one can address the person directly and assist them to reach that understanding on their own, as a matter of awareness. Then, we’re talking about real change that can come through and that can be visible and resonant for everyone else, thus assisting not only one person but everyone involved.
The question also arises how such impression was created in the first place, and here we can see and understand how the gossip we entertain within (where one in one’s mind entertains chatter/ ideas/ interpretations about another), when not resolved /directed /clarified (because in fact any form of misunderstanding or miscommunication can, indeed, be clarified and resolved), may result in gossip without: where all accumulated impressions and ideas and projections about the other person now find a moment to vent out, in actual words, behind the person’s back.

But gossip never in fact defines whoever is being gossiped about – rather, it defines those gossiping about another and those engaging in or accepting the gossip as such.

Therefore, a self support point for anyone exposed to gossip or finding themselves engaging in gossip, whether silently in their own mind or out loud with other people: is to look at the content of the gossip and ‘take it back to self’, asking the question: how does this point pertain to me? Is it something I experience as a matter of habit? Meaning, is it a pattern in my own experience? Is it something I fear being judged about? Is it something I would tend to deny if another were to point out the very same thing about me? These are some examples of questions we can ask ourselves whenever we find ourselves going into gossip, even for a moment, to make sure that we do not create assumptions and interpretations within our own minds and/or the minds of others about other people – because clearly the first thing we need to take responsibility for or change or correct/align: is ourselves, and our relationship to our own mind.
Another interesting dimension of gossip, which I’m sure most people can relate to, is how through gossip we tend to form groupings and (silent) agreements, where the one creating the gossip will always search for people to agree with them, to validate them in their opinion – so that they can feel ‘empowered’ or ‘righteous’. This then obviously creates a form of separation, and as such it is a pattern that can be observed in the bigger picture of and as Humanity.
Thus, in terms of solutions, beyond the application of ‘bringing the point back to self’ to see where/how such ideas may already be existent within oneself, one can also reverse the point of gossip (which is about ‘having power over others through gossip’) and rather bring the whole thing into a constructive and supportive application that will be empowering for everyone involved.
We are all in the process of learning how to enhance our communication skills, how to make ourselves clear, and how to practically live the principles of self-honesty and mutual support based on how we ourselves would like to be approached/supported, when placing ourselves in the shoes of another.

It’s interesting how much conflict can emerge simply out of miscommunication or the lack of clarity in communication as well as the fact that we did not /do not learn to truly place ourselves in the shoes of another and ask ourselves at any given moment or situation: how can I participate in a way that is best for all, a way that supports life, that supports everyone in reaching their full potential.
So these are some pointers we can all take into consideration and practical application to truly explore and engage our full potential as life, as human beings on earth, this one reality we all share.

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