“Rumor travels faster, but it don’t stay put as long as truth. ”
― Will Rogers

Why is it when you put more than two people together, you can’t expect anything that is said to stay between those two people? Well, not usually anyway.

The easiest way to keep a secret is without help. ~Author Unknown

I suppose there are some people we can really, really trust with our deep dark secrets or thoughts, or even just our every day stuff. But for the most part, it seems like if you get two people together, it’s like having birds sending messages over the airwaves.

I’m just waiting to tell everyone where the seeds are!

“Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.”
Jane Austen

It seems that even if we just happen to tell someone something in passing, or casually–if it feels like some juicy tidbit, a grain of gossip, it gets passed along to the next person only to grow into something larger than the original seedling.

Maybe the person passing on the gossip feels empowered, or that they are somehow gaining an ally by the telling of this tale–but in the end, no-one really wins. Somehow the truth gets lost in all this telling and re-telling–kind of like that old story of telephone we used to play as kids: passing on a phrase, whispering down the line until the last person has some complete distortion of the original statement!


Every day or two, I strolled to the village to hear some of the gossip which is incessantly going on there, circulating either from mouth to mouth, or from newspaper to newspaper, and which, taken in homeopathic doses, was really as refreshing in its way as the rustle of leaves and the peeping of frogs.

How, then, does one know who to trust? How does one just speak freely? I tend to be a very honest person. If someone at work asks: how’s it going? I will say: I’m having a tough day here. Ah, but then it gets blabbed all over the place and potentially back to where it shouldn’t (like management). Jeepers. Then don’t ask! Or should I just lie? That’s not my style though. I mean, I don’t even think that something as simple as this will be repeated as some important trifle needing to be shared.
These gems that seem to boost someone else are a mystery to me. Are they like Thoreau’s peeping of frogs–refreshing to some in small doses? Do they derive some sort of adrenaline rush from it? I simply don’t get it.

By nature I’m admittedly a blabber mouth, but if someone tells me something in confidence and says: please do not share what I’m telling you–then I don’t! But apparently others don’t abide by these same codes. It’s just blah blah blah… Changing my behaviors more than I have may be near impossible after all these years. It may simply be suffer the consequences (as usual) for my honesty. So be it.

It would just be so nice if folks could just respect a conversation and keep it sacred between the folks that shared it. Eliminating gossip: from the work place, the news, families, completely–would make this a whole more honest world!

If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees. ~Khalil Gibran, Sand and Foam


15 thoughts on “Gossip

  1. It’s rampant where I work. I sat in the lunch room yesterday and was having a hard time eating just listening to it. I am new and I wondered: wow, I wonder what they say about me?

  2. I have a very pessimistic take on the “How are you doing” question (unless it comes from a friend): I believe that when most people ask, they aren’t looking for a real reply and if you give one, prepare for unexpected results of any kind. I usually give a canned response. And, because I too tend to be a very honest person, I can’t say fine when I’m not, so I just say “I’m ok”, because even if I’m feeling like shit, the truth is, I’m still ok.

  3. Yup, and the gossipers will/do talk about you and even each other… It really doesn’t matter who—just whenever anyone steps out of earshot 😦 All we can do is not join ’em :-/ I hope the rest of your new job is going well for you! 🙂 ♥ ❤

  4. I continued thinking about this on my walk this morning and here’s what came up for me:

    For me, and maybe for others too, I think that deep down I have this idea that if I lay my worries/problems/frustrations out for someone, maybe they’ll get fixed. This isn’t rational, for sure. It’s much more subconscious. And I suppose it could by why “putting it out there” rarely satisfies on a deep level.

    We all want to be free of discomfort. Talking is one way that we believe we will be relieved. We’re seeking communion, but it’s communion with oneSelf that is where real relief is. We meditators (you) know this, but when discomfort arises and we forget to breathe, or we forget a mantra, or we forget to close our eyes for a minute, we can get caught in wrongly believing that someone can fix this for us, or that laying it at someones feet will really help, or that people have an obligation to hold our confidence in a certain way. It really all comes back to us; to finding the compassion we need, within.

    We can say to ourselves, “There, there sweet child. Hush, hush, sweet child. This too will pass”.
    And breathe.


  5. Well, I do understand what you are saying here Vicky. But I guess the difference with what you are defining and by what I am defining as ‘gossip’ is that you describe here to me is more something two friends share between e/o, in private and in true need to fix something deep inside–with hopes to make it better maybe. To me gossip is a more malicious form of communication that has no other use than to harm someone else and put them down and make the person putting it out take care of some little hurt/mean part of themselves. I find those people are often sad, unfriendly and unwelcoming type people to begin with to start off for whatever reasons from their pasts. They will speak in public of others in hurtful ways and find fault in most people. I saw it in action again today at work… It’s sad really.

  6. Yes, this is very true. If they are talking about others, then we can rest assured, they will be talking about us too. We must not join in. It can be tempting to ‘fit in’… but it’s never a good thing. My Grandmother said: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all! The job is so so. Nothing great. But thanks.

  7. Me too! I don’t even say I’m OK generally, sometimes I’ll say, not OK! Don’t ask if you don’t want to know, eh? Our language can be tricky because there are these pat salutations that may not mean much to most, but some of take as real things. I take the English language seriously. Words can heal or hurt. I try to be careful what I say–I’m getting better as I’ve not always been perfect! 🙂

  8. Actually, I wasn’t thinking about the gossipers at all. I was just thinking about responding to the initial “How are You?” when you’re not fine and there’s nothing that anyone can do about it.
    It was a round-about way of saying they can’t help you, and apparently will hurt you, so look within.

  9. Got it. After all, in the end, we can really only rely on ourselves anyway. That’s the place I’ve come to about on particular Doc at work. I’m just working at it from within myself because he probably never will change. Thanks for sharing your poignant, thoughtful comments. ❤

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