The B Word

Note: To be real honest, I had a 1200+ words speech on why you should not do the popular b thing. But I had to re-write. Why? Because this is a topic that matters. And such topics are dry and boring, and to attract attention of busy humans such as yourself, I am ought to make it interesting. I failed. But please do read. For the sake of Humanity!

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Why do you talk about someone who is not present in the room, at that moment? What do you talk about? There are two possible conversations I can think of. One, talking good about that person. Or talking bad. While I encourage talking good, I am here to discuss why talk bad about someone.

Do not be mistaken, backbiting, gossip has no defense. The endangered species of facts in these talks, are often inflated with emotions and opinions.

True story. Once my aunt was robbed on a street by some men carrying a knife. My baby cousin was there as well, and hence the story spread. First, new versions involving a gun came up. And later I got to hear an even advanced version of how my aunt was shot. You see what I mean. We humans have the tendency to manipulate, exaggerate information with the help of emotions and sometimes, bad intentions.

So once again, why this spiteful talk? Just because other people do, does not make it OK. Just because it is interesting, does not mean it’s good for you. Releasing your stress or irritation is not an acceptable excuse.

This seemingly harmless act of backbiting, is breaking our society like termites chew away wood.

And mind it, talking in the group, or being a silent listener, you are equally guilty.

So, what is this act. Two or more people talking about a third person. This might be as simple as that person is married and is living a happy life, or complicated as he cheated on another person.

But both cases carry potential to create jealousy or hatred. What is not being told is the actual story by the people involved. Maybe he did cheat because she did something horrible. But what is happening is, we have started judging a person we don’t know. We develop a first impression for this person. And carrying this negativity, you miss the chance of properly getting to know someone who would actually be a great match to you.

So please, don’t come up defending this act. It is addictive I understand. But try to reduce it. As I said earlier, if a group is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. If it comes to changing your company, go for it! It is totally worth it!

Also remember, if you have someone in your company talking about others, you can always be the subject of that person’s gossip in another of his gathering.

If you are part of this act, and hesitate to condemn it in open. Firstly, I would like to congratulate you, for you realize you are encouraging this deed. It takes guts to admit a flaw in yourself. You are over with the hard part.
As I always say, it’s never too late. Simply stop participating in this act. The next time you are in a gathering, just walk away from it, or make your understanding clear within that group.

If you notice, I have taken him as an example. Because men, women are equally involved in this. Their ways might be different, unlike women, they don’t sit in a café enjoying their evening tea, topping their cookies with gossip.

*An excerpt from American Management Association(AMA) where they talk about having a No Gossip Diet.

““While it can be tempting and satisfying to gossip about other individuals at work, it really is a double-edged sword. Professionally, if you’re known as a gossip, it can hold you back.  While you may receive extra attention from your peers for relaying spicy information about others, the people who could promote you may consider that same behavior a liability. You may be viewed as less trustworthy than other professionals, as incapable of holding something told in confidence. You may also be seen as someone who lacks discretion.””

I might sound aggressive, but this has to decrease, if not come to an end. Till when will we poke our nose in others daily life. Till when will we distract ourselves by focusing on insecurities of other people. It’s high time we pick our nose and use it in our business.

Really simple. Discover yourself. Note your flaws and try to improve yourself every day. Under no circumstance do you compare yourself with anyone. Focus on your life. If you use gossip to feel better than another person, or to bring out your frustration, it’s simply not fair.

One of the reasons for problems today in society is. Something that occurred between two people, is discussed by everyone around except the two involved. I believe, if the talk remains between the two, and the issue is resolved. The two are good, and the rest will never have a negative impression without any reason. Also, if we focus on our lives instead, as a society we can progress at a better rate.

PS. You might be getting confused between backbite and gossip. But in fact they can be quite similar and equally harmful.

 

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