Monday, 16 July 2018

Gossip


Yesterday I walked into a situation where several acquaintances of mine were talking about me. I'm sure there was no malicious intent but it was clear that it was a gossip and it was clear that judgements were being made.
We all make judgements , and we all gossip and to we all understand the rules of such normality.
You just don't get caught by the  "gossipee"

Now as you know I am a pretty strong " you're wearing cheap shoes" kind of guy and confrontation is something I can generally deal with with some impunity but I was suddenly wrong footed by the whole situation, so put my head down and pretended to be busy.
Inside I felt nothing but embarrassment and shame .
You can rationalise that my feelings were in many ways ill founded  , after all I know most people just want to be kind, but I'm a great believer of the mantra " you feel what you feel!" 
And I felt shamed?

I'm pushing this out to the readers for discussion, deflecting the subject away from me and mine.
What's your gossip story?
I suspect there will be a few.....
Hey ho

126 comments:

  1. I don't have a gossip story but I know what you mean about "you feel what you feel". Over the years I have come to trust in the radar inside my head. What it detects is usually right.

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    1. I totally agree.
      I still,after all these years , feel awkward and stupid if I know people are gossiping about me.
      I blame it on growing up in the South and not quite fitting in so I wa often the subject of some kind of gossip.

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    2. YP that inner voice must always be listened to

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    3. Like YP inner voice I get that twisted feeling in my stomach.

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  2. Standing in the maternity unit waiting for the lift to descend to ground level, mum and I were discussing how we hoped my cousins new baby wouldn't be as ugly as her first one. Lift arrived, we stepped in, and so did cousins husband, with 'ugly child' in his arms! Nothing was ever mentioned, and we're still close, so I assume he either didn't hear us, or knew his child was an ugly duckling....now she's just an ugly duck!
    The new baby is absolutely gorgeous, by the way! X

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  3. I'm a terrible gossip, not with any malicious intent but I do think it's what makes the world go round. A few times I've been caught out - like you, the person concerned has come into the room. I'm always mortified and vow never to do it again - but I know I will. I'm sure they felt more embarrassed than you. Take comfort- we don't gossip about people that we don't care about!

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  4. Joan (Devon)10:55 am

    I don't have a gossip story, but there is a saying, "You'll forget what they said and you'll forget what they did, but you will never forget how they made you feel". It's so true.

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    Replies
    1. That's a quote from Maya Angelou

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    2. That is just so true x

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  5. Anonymous11:01 am

    Maybe in your case it was worry disguised as gossip... It must be so difficult, for everyone involved. I wish I could just make it all alright again. Love from
    Elsewhere from amsterdam

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  6. Sorry I just can’t depart from people gossiping about you. None of us are born with emotional bulletproof vests. I hope a dignified apology is extended to you sooner rather than later.

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  7. I think that, when people gossip about others, it is because they have issues of their own and are probably envious in some way about the person they are gossiping about. It’s their problem. XXXX

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. We all gossip and we're all gossiped about, hopefully not in a malicious way.
    My story is of a neighbour who would take great pleasure in telling me what other people had said about me (and my husband). It usually left me in distress - more with her than with the actual people who had supposedly gossiped.
    Then, a couple of years ago I told my neighbour not to darken my doorstep ever again. She could not understand that I didn't want to know, even though I had already told her numerous times.
    My life is now so much better.

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    1. As a friend once said, "if the neighbor is gossiping to you, they also gossip about you."
      Glad you told that person to go away.

      MissFifi

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  10. I have just supported the new manager of the charity shop through four months of walking in to the shop to hear the deputies and volunteers talking about her. It's been truly awful, has broken friendships and caused unrest. It got really ugly and I am truly shocked at how some educated middle class middle aged women have behaved. I am ashamed of them and they know it.

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    1. Sadly the most well educated,wealthiest fine families types can still act like trailer park trash.
      None of that matters...girls in rich boarding schools can be the most rude vile people ever .
      I think our parents/we are responsible...in a great way of making us aware of how our behavior can hurt others or we can have sympathy and be kind and not be a bunch of bitches.
      Whether you are 25 or 65 you can still be kind and have some integrity.

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  11. I witnessed the gossip grapevine in action today. The big national boss rarely seen in our neck of the woods was in the area and management got the call that there would be a visit. You could almost *see* the information ripple through the store. In that situation it was ok because that is why management got the call, big boss does not like to drop in without people being aware he is arriving.

    In your case the people gossiping should have been the ones feeling embarrassment. It is never a good thing to be caught talking about someone behind their back.

    On a slight tangent, when people tell me something, it goes in the vault and it stays there. Even if they did not mean it to be a confidence, even if someone else is told that same information and they try to discuss it with me, I won't partake in that. The person told me something in confidence and I intend to keep that in the vault. That subject is forever off limits for me.

    I sometimes take that concept a little bit too far. I have a friend who wrote a book and swore me to secrecy about it, and I never mentioned it to anyone, not even after it was released. Once information is in the vault, I am unable to remove it, even if people let me know it is ok to do that. :)

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  12. Mine is not a gossip story, just a stupid remark made by me.
    After my son was born my aunt came to visit and while she was'inspecting' the baby I said "luckily he has nice little and flat (don't know if that's the right word in this case) ears". At the same time I realised that I was insulting her daughter, because she had big lop ears. And then I mean real big and loppy. Later in her life my cousin was operated on them, by the way.

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  13. Don't think I've been interesting enough to be gossiped about.

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  14. “Most people want to see you to do better, but not doing better than them.” - Unknown

    If people are talking about you behind your back, that just means your life is obviously more interesting than theirs.

    “They laugh at me because I am different, I laugh at them because they are all same.” – Unknown

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  15. Just tonight my daughter decided to cook dinner for us all. She is a better cook than I am but slower and it was late and I was hungry and she kept complaining about the kitchen (things falling out of the fridge, too many things on the bench, dog looking for scraps) I was frustrated and grumpy. The moment i thought she walked away I said to my other daughter "she takes forever...."

    You guessed it, she heard it and I spent the next two hours burning with shame

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    1. Did you make up?

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    2. yes, she didn't give me even a moment of the silent treatment and i complimented her cooking (quite genuinely)

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  16. Ah, John. Shame - she is a bitch who cannot be assuaged at times. Feelings are never wrong, it's what we do with them that can be. My gossip story is, many years ago when I was quite a young thing and new at the office, I refused the, ahem, affections of man at work, as he was just plain weird. He was not happy, and promptly told as many as he could, that I was a lesbian. Dear Lord, it was FUNNY! To me, anyways. Kept the riff raff away and gave me peace!! HA!!!

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    1. Karla shame can seldom be assuaged
      I somagree

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  17. A pub lunch with husband's friends. I returned from a trip to the loo and the table fell silent. It was so obvious I had been the subject of their conversation. I wish now I'd said something like 'shall I go away again so you can continue the conversation?'. Let them know I knew. Turn the embarrassment to theirs, not mine.

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  18. They could have been saying all nice things about you and expressing good wishes for your new adventures. Maybe they were planning a farewell party. Or discussing a lovely gift for you. Think positive John, I mean, what could anyone say about you that could be anythng but lovely?

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    1. Indeed.. but the post was more about " you feel what you feel "

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    2. I know...it's human nature I guess. I was just trying to give you a lift.

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  19. I have walked up to a group of friends, yes,friends, and heard someone say, 'Shhh, He's right there.'
    I said, 'Wow, this is either about me or it's the most boring conversation ever.'

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  20. Sitting in the bathroom stall when 2 old ladies walked in and proceeded to take me apart verbally. I finally said - I'm in here - they shot out of that bathroom. Sad but true.

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    1. Oh Dee that’s awful but at the same time I think it’s so great that you were able to say something and shame them!

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  21. You can't change how you feel at times like that. I don't like gossip and don't like hearing it.

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    1. I grew up in the South
      No one gossips like a Southern female.
      That is not said with pride.

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  22. I remember when I was a kid, I overheard my grandmother talk about me in the kitchen of my aunt's house. It was a family reunion on my father's side of the family. My father had a brother and two sisters who all had kids so there were a lot of cousins at the gathering. Most of the grandkids were male. Most of the males were the Republican, lumberjack, I love to kill animals and hunt type. So I didn't fit in. I was the lone future Democrat~vegetarian~liberal~sensitive one in a sea of good 'ol boys. I didn't fit in with them. That was the topic of their conversation on how I didn't "fit in". The conversation to this day bothers me. As I've gotten older I have realized that we all have our own groups that we click with. I was just unfortunate that I didn't find my group in my family.

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    1. I see it as a compliment but I understand the upset x

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    2. Michael same sort of thing happened to me when I was about 12 -13, my step grandmother saw me before I went to my first school dance. All dressed up and hair done..and she remarked on how thin I was.

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  23. This is one of the reasons I prefer animals to people, they don't gossip. I don't think there is a workplace that I have been in where there wasn't gossip, I hate it.
    I'm sorry you had to be near enough to hear it.
    Briony
    x

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    1. Perhaps I'm just overly sensitive

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  24. Let us talk about you. John Gray of Wales is much loved in his village, or is he? It can't have been so easy being the only gay in the village.

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    1. Oh that's not a problem Andrew

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  25. I remember feeling both anger and amusement when an acquaintance of ours told my husband and I that her husband had been warned that 'those people your wife is hanging around with are swingers'. Apparently a drunk women my husband had helped home at Christmas - a good turn that was witnessed by other acquaintances - had started the gossip off. And we don't even have pampas grass in the front garden!

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    1. Or keys in a bowl

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    2. pampas grass means you are a swinger? OH MY GOODNESS I will be looking at the neighbours down the road differently now...

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  26. Being a non-clique person, I am automatically someone who is talked about behind my back. Some of the things I've heard about myself were VERY revealing. I didn't know I'd led such an interesting life!

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    1. You look like you have an interesting life!

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  27. “Sticks and stones can our bones but words can never harm me” is bull crap. My scars do not show but are always there.

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  28. I would like to think that these acquaintances are people who simply care about you. That may or may not be true but it could be.

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    1. Agreed but again that was not the subject of the blog today xx

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  29. Sadly, some gossip spread about me over eight years ago still affects me to this day. I have been more upset by the readiness to believe it by some so called friends than the lies themselves. X

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    1. The ripples move outwards across a vast pond

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    2. It perhaps sounds a bit odd Jules but I visualize the lies flowing back to the troublemaker herself .Some of it has already been found out by others to be untrue x

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  30. I was a teenager then sitting in my room. My stepmother, her mother and our housekeeper walked into the living room(a very thin door between us) and talked about me. All were true...how weird I am. As time went by, I needed to use the toilet, after much agony I emerged from my room after one hour of forced listening.
    I missed your friend. I thought it was unfair you deleted her comments. You owe her an apology imho.

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    Replies
    1. Who are you talking about ? I've not fallen out with anyone or done anything wrong so don't need to apologise

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    2. Bra Straps and a PS July 8,2018
      You deleted two comments of Rachel Phillips.
      I was touched by her comment
      “It has to be said there is a melancholic thread through your posts these days,”
      Maybe I think too much of nothing? Is she on vacation or busy?

      Delete
    3. Your better ask her. All I can saytoday is that I'm not upset with her

      Delete
  31. I like to clatter noisily into a room, it gives folks time to change the subject....

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  32. I grew up in a family of professional gossipers... I'm not one......

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  33. My mother-in-law left a shitty message on the answerphone about me and my perceived wrong doings, she thought she'd already hung up and was talking to father in law. When I asked her what the hell she was up to, she replied "YOU were't supposed to hear it!". Well that's ok then. x

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    Replies
    1. You find a lot when you search for it

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  34. When I was very young, my mother stood up suddenly, said "I allowed myself to gossip about someone today. I am so overcome with guilt. I must go and apologize to her at once." She put on hat, coat, scarf, gloves and boots and walked a mile each way in the middle of winter to make an apology. It obviously made a hell of an impression on me. I've tried to never put myself in such a situation.

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    1. A rare woman your mother me thinks

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    2. Wow - what an example to us all, Joanne!

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    3. Wow, your Mum was terrific.

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  35. I didn't mention it in my earlier post, maybe because it still hurts, so here goes...
    Years ago, I was off work with a badly broken leg, plaster cast from toes to thigh, and obviously had a sick note from Dr.
    My mother went into my workplace, a public building, and came across a group of six staff members talking rubbish about me.
    She apparently gave them both barrels, told them exactly what she thought of them and walked back out. She told me what had occurred, so that I knew how they felt about me being off.
    I returned to work for another six years, but did exactly my job, no favours for anyone, and kept myself very much to myself.
    As soon as I got a chance, I took early retirement and got the hell out of there,
    I've not spoken to any those bitches since the day I left, and it will be a cold day in hell before I ever do!
    However, I'm laughing, as I got out early with my full pension, then the rules changed, and they're all still there, whilst I'm living and loving the life of a retiree!

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    1. We all need an advocate me thinks

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  36. I don't know or care about gossip but the image of you, in your Crocs using ''cheap shoes'' as a comeback insult is hilarious. I'm sorry you were hurt tho.

    lizzy

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    1. I had my flip flops on

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    2. Oh well then....

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  37. I go straight to the bones and ask 'What was that about me?' Oh, my sisters are the worst...they even roast me in front of friends and family. I try to have a come back but I'm not always good at that. So, I practice hahaha. I'm getting better...I leave them all in shock which feels awesome to the bone but feel terrible later...oh well. Am I gross?

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    1. Usually I would have done the same

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  38. You seem to be assuming the comments were negative ones, but that might not be the case. They might even have praising you to the skies.

    I'm sure I've been caught out gossiping about someone many times, though I can't recall any specific incident.

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    1. The post wasnire about the feeling rather than any possible gossip

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  39. I have learnt something new here. We have pampas grass in front garden. So according to a poster we are swingers. Secateurs at the ready. Dont think I will tell the old man. Just for the record we arent. LOL

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    1. My parents had two..........gulp

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  40. Feelings. They do so much to us, good and bad. Yet without them we would not live. I've been on both sides of the gossip. I've heard people say things about me that hurt deeply, that I will never forget and that make me feel I am less of the person I would choose to be. That kind of hurt stays with me in the layers of who I am. I have been on the other side as well and been overheard by the person I spoke unkindly of. It is that side of the gossip that hurts me the most for I have control (or should) of the things I say. I try hard to not do things that hurt others but I have gotten caught up in the moment when talking to others. Gossip hurts us all and should teach us to try to be kinder.

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    1. On reflection I think I should have removed the gossip word..I think it was a sharing of info and incredulity

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  41. Going back a lot of years, I felt shocked and hurt when overhearing a conversation between a group of my work colleagues, as I walked by them in the yard. The talk went a bit quiet after one of them said, 'here she comes, the Flying Fanny', in a sarcastic manner. I knew they were a bit miffed about me getting on with the job, I was enthusiastic and loved it. They were always telling me to slow down as I was carving the job up. I just did it to the best of my ability.

    After getting over the shock of hearing that, I decided it would make a fantastic CB handle, so from then on I called myself Flying Fanny. I wrote a monthly page for CB magazine using it. There was always a lot of truckers wanting to chat with me, but it would have it's downside as well. We all ran on channel 19 so I often heard people talking about me in a negative way, which upset me a bit, but I had to try and ignore it.

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    Replies
    1. The flying fanny! How fantastic ! I love it!

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  42. I recently moved into a new neighborhood, and overheard my next-door neighbor gossiping about me as I entered the shop next door at her home. The place grew silent. Apparently she had taken it upon herself to talk about me to the customers, her friends, the townspeople. It cuts to the core, and the feelings are hard to ignore! I still have very few friends here even now. Not a great start for my retirement.

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    1. My neighbour is a troublemaker with anger issues- things have got back to me about the lies she spreads.People who know me know it's nonsense and she has a chip on her shoulder. I used to be upset by her gossip but I just look at it as she is a real life troll to be ignored x

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    2. Two very sad stories....dreadful

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  43. This is one reason I don't socialize with most people, not in any meaningful way. I trust my husband and my cats. Everyone else I am careful with.

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    Replies
    1. I understand completely. I am the same way.

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  44. My ear was burning last night. 😗 It had been 4 weeks since I had been to church. Grant it I’ve been attending there 32 years. Some weeks I just can’t be in the crowds. Many looked my way and I know I’ll be discussed. John, I love who I love , befriend who I want to. I have (issues) but why the hell should I be on so many tongues?

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    Replies
    1. Doesn't god love you if you go or not?

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  45. Gossip is an evil that tears families apart. I know, as I have gossiped about mine to other members of the family and it was repeated. I am the one with the dreadful shame for doing it in the first place.

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    Replies
    1. In my recent experience the taking of words and phrases out of context and re write history

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  46. A few years ago a group of us were in the fairly empty local Chinese restaurant. The topic of the local radio station came up and we all had a good gossip on how bad we thought the morning presenters were. The next morning I was driving to work when the presenters on the breakfast show discussed their meal out the night before at the Chinese. Yes we were the table behind them

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  47. John, I am very deaf and have been for a long time. You would be amazed how comforting it is to be so when I am pretty certain folk are talking about me. x

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  48. I agree with Jenny. You can talk to your cat or dog and its not going any further than their two pointy ears. Besides, gossip is hurtful anyway.

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    Replies
    1. Most people do it with care.....but it's still hurtful if caught

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  49. A couple of weeks ago, there was an article in the local paper about the town council - a couple of councillors had been slagging off the town clerk in emails - the original one had been sent to all the council by the clerk and one of the gossipers accidentally 'replied to all.' I hope they're ashamed, it was rude and unpleasant and the clerk resigned as a result.

    When we moved to this village, I realised that quite a lot of people were related to each other. It made me very careful only to say lovely things about anyone, or nothing at all.

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    Replies
    1. Yes , I've found that, always check who is related to whom

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  50. C'mon get your Big Girl pants on and lift that chin! If they're talking about you they're leaving some other poor blighter alone!!!You're way better than that!!!

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    Replies
    1. Ok just pulled up.my big girl pants xxxx

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    2. Good lad. Hope the elastic's not too tight!!!xxxxx

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    3. It's ALWAYS too tight

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  51. A few years ago I was at the hairdresser's when she asked to speak to me outside. Intrigued I followed her out and she introduced me to a male friend of hers who would occasionally frequent the same scuzzy bar my ex seemed to live in. He had said to the hairdresser "isn't it a shame about P (my ex) - apparently his wife beats him up every night when he comes home". So hairdresser took me outside and introduced me to him (I look very presentable most of the time) and told me what my ex had been saying. My jaw hit the ground and I ROARED laughing - it was so funny. Hairdresser looked at her friend and said "I think you have your answer there don't you"!

    On another note, I suppose I gossiped a little when I was younger but I was never vicious. Then I started work in HR and knew that I could NEVER gossip about what I learned there, so I didn't. Over time I grew to learn that gossip is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It just poisons your soul so I really don't do it - on the grounds that if you haven't got anything good to say .....

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    1. All I can say is bloody hell

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  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  53. You have no reason to feel ashamed. You need not live by someone else's judgemental views.

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    Replies
    1. But the feeling and emotion was there

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  54. I've just recalled my aunts window cleaner-when I was visiting he had coffee with her as usual & was telling us of a lady a few houses away who he saw in bed with a man who was not her husband.I recently saw him & he told me something about a lady in my road that was private-I don't have a window cleaner x

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  55. What is it in the human personality that gets off on talking about others in a not so pleasant light? Jealousy... curiosity, downright mean heartedness?? It is definately a put down but important to realise these people live less interesting lives because if their lives were fulfilled yours would not be such an interest. I don't have any stories to recount but I know I have been bushwacked by family members on a few occasions. My response - take me as I am or not at all... if you have an issue tell ME.

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  56. I still feel embarrassed fifteen years after hearing several times from a co-worker that our supervisor and others in our university department made snide remarks about me. Although in the same department, I worked alone in a separate building. In one particularly mortifying case, I had won two tickets to an event that I thought a young grad student might like to attend and so had asked if he wanted to come along with me. With over a generation between us and with no physical attraction toward him, I merely asked out of friendship. He accepted and we went and had a good time. Purely platonic. A day or so later my co-worker, who worked closely with our supervisor, the grad student, and another man who later became my supervisor, told me that the three men were talking and laughing about me and that the grad student said he hoped I didn't think he was interested in me. I tried to laugh it off with my co-worker, but I was horribly embarrassed. My face is burning as I write this. That co-worker, by the way, enjoyed passing along what she heard, and probably participated in, to me. She was a toxic person, as were the others in my department. Although I loved my work, I finally resigned and made a new life for myself far away from those gossipmongers.

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  57. What is gossip though? When people care about you, they discuss you. When they don't like you, they discuss you. I am really interested in people and human behaviour and am always trying to understand why they do the things they do, good and bad. To learn from, to try and help, to try and see a point of view I can't get my head around. You are much loved and appreciated and people will talk about you because they will be trying to process what is happening. This isn't necessarily gossip, in my opinion. It is caring. <3

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    1. Maryanne, you pose an excellent question: What constitutes gossip?

      Gossip is when we talk about people in their absence. We all do it in its most benign form, exchanging news about our friends and family. However, in most people's understanding "gossip" is often equated with malicious talking behind our back, spreading unfounded rumour. That type of gossip is and can, as has been confirmed in many comments here in response to John's post, be damaging to life changing. My example a fine one. I took my comment down because one of my life's experiences of gossip so painful in the end I couldn't bear having it up in print. For all the world to see (!).

      Plus, guess what, and please do smile if you like, after I had written what I wrote, indicting some people - albeit fact not fiction, I asked myself: "Am I now the one "gossiping"?".

      U

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  58. My husband (the fuckwit) was the biggest source of gossip and lies about me. All said to women he fancied in the pub(s) to gain their attention/sympathy and to make me look like the 'bad person' in our marriage. When they or the pub landlords later met me in person and realised what a nice person I was (this was years ago), my husband used to then call them 'arseholes' because they didn't believe his shit anymore. I still am 'nice' lol.
    Another time my best friend gossiped about me...to me! That was hilarious and hurtful all at the same time. Her stuttering response when I laughed and said that 'sounds like me' was 'Oh I talk to so many people I forget who's who'. We're still friends.
    PS If you need me I'll be the sweaty puddle in the corner of the room #toohot

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    Replies
    1. He sounds just like my ex... known to all and sundry now as BOD (Bag Of Dirt)

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    2. Yep ladies I got slagged off by the ex too. I once stopped in at my friend's café and he introduced me to another of the ex' boozy friends. I had just come from work so was dressed up - the "mate" started stuttering when he realized I was the "evil wife"!

      Delete
  59. I simply live by the mantra 'never say anything about anybody that you wouldn't happily say to their face' and don't believe in second hand tittle tattle about someone until you've checked it out for yourself.

    Hold your head up high if you hear someone talking about you and go over and stand with them, on occasion I've even asked 'is there anything you would like to know from me, so that you know that it's actually true?'

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  60. I loathe gossips. I do not want to hear the private details of others' lives. I will no longer engage with them.
    I'm very non-confrontational, so I just seethe. However, there are some very good replys on here. thank you for the post John.

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  61. So sorry to hear this happened to you John. I believe if you haven't something nice to say, say nothing at all. I don't like gossips or gossiping and I'm never influenced when I meet with the negative sort. I judge others by how they treat me, not by someone else's perceptions.

    ReplyDelete
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