I ran into a friend recently that I hadn’t seen in a while. In all honesty, I would have called us acquaintances before we ran into each other last month. I will always be eternally grateful for the time we spent together recently, because her honesty and candor gave me a gift: the gift of questioning my motives.
I will start with a confession: Gossiping is fun.
Lots of my gossiping happens over wine. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. And wine.
When you are young and impressionable and afraid you won’t fit in with your peer group, sharing in some juicy gossip is a way to feel a part of things. Unfortunately, that warm, fuzzy feeling of being a part of things often causes us to continue to gossip as adults. I gossip. I don’t like myself much when I realize I’m doing it, and sometimes I’m better at not participating than others, but I still do it. And I find the longer I live, the more often it comes back to bite me in the karmic ass.
So, back to my friend (who, by the way, has asked that I not mention her name). We were discussing a dilemma that she found herself in a while back involving an awkward situation between two of her friends. It was awkward personally and professionally, and my friend got a bit pulled into it. She knew them as friends and professional peers, so it was weird. Intimacies were shared with her that she was not prepared to hear. Over time one of the parties involved began confiding (ranting/raving/obsessing/however you choose to see it) to my friend on a pretty regular basis. And it was really juicy stuff. It became a bit obsessive, at least on the part of the party doing the confiding/ranting/raving.
Now, here’s the good part.
My friend said she looked at herself one day and asked the question, “Am I doing this in the interest of gathering information for the greater good, or am I doing this just to have some gossip to toss around?”
Go back and read it again. It’s a profound thing to ask yourself. And even more profound is that she was actually real with herself, realized her intentions weren’t pure, and decided to not participate in the drama anymore.
See? Profound. And who among us has actually been brave enough to ever do that? To really look at our motives and intentions when someone else’s shit hits the fan and we find ourselves at the Ground Zero of their drama?
I took a few seconds and really absorbed the question she asked herself. I’m going to try to ask myself the same throughout my life. So thanks, Anonymous Friend. You made my day that day. I'm proud I know ya.