Toxic Gossip.

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You know that famous quote “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people“? I think about that quote a lot, maybe more than normal, but I think it’s true. Not because everyone who talks about people are small minded, but because the action of talking about people slowly makes you more small minded. You begin to look for things to gossip about. You begin to feed on the drama.

I’ve noticed a few people in my life fall down this rabbit hole, or perhaps they were always in it and by hanging out with them I started to trip into it as well. Regardless I noticed the need to talk about people chip away at me. It was only one or two people, but the need was still there, and no matter how those people did me wrong, it wasn’t justifiable to talk about them, because I wasn’t hurting them, I was hurting me.

I don’t think people really realize how much they gossip. I don’t think that they’re aware about how big of a part of our culture it is. Celebrity gossip is a complete market, and gossip around a brunch table is a social commitment. It’s tragic, and it’s time to start backing out of it, not only because it’s hurting you, but also there are just bigger things going on that need to be discussed.

The world is full of topics that need to be fully worked through, and no, I’m not even talking about politics. I’m talking about a whole ‘nother world of conversation. The emotions that you feel. The actions that you are taking to better yourself and the world. The thoughts you are having. They are important, they should be pondered over, edited, and pondered over again. These are the things that help you grow as a person. Gossip never is.

But gossip is a hard trap to get out of, especially if you are in deep, because it’s likely that your friends aren’t also trying to shed their ties with the rumor mill. Often breaking free of gossip means leaving behind the gossipers. It’s always hard to lose people, but sometimes one simply must if they want to move forward, and they’ll find that it worked out okay in the end because they’ll find people who desire to talk about the bigger topics. Slowly their social group will be replaced and they’ll be better for it.

But luckily most people only have a few friends that run the gossip circles and a lot of other people in their lives that don’t. It’s easier that way, because then it’s just a slight adjustment to your social scene instead of a complete overhaul.

But trust me, either way, you feel free when you’ve made the change. I remember when I did it to mine, the process wasn’t fun, but afterwards was amazing. I no longer looked for flaws in people and was able to approach them positively. I didn’t feel the need to make old conflict last for years. I was able to get over a friendship that I had been lingering on for years. I was able to move in a healthier direction and see clearer, and it’s become something that I wish for everyone I meet. It’s simply wonderful.

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