My New Year’s Resolutions: #2 The No Gossip Policy

December 10, 2012

I have a long list of resolutions for the new year. Some are goals. Some are areas I want to improve in. Some are habits I want to develop. Some are things I’ve already started, and I’m simply resolving to continue them.

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Some are personal and specific to me, but most are not. And I am sharing these with you in hopes they will:

  1. Encourage you.
  2. Challenge you to consider adopting them into your own life.
  3. Get you thinking.

In case you missed it, #1 was to read more books. Today is #2…

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#2. The No Gossip Policy

Gossiping is one of the sins no one commits anymore. Go ahead, ask the next thirty people you talk to if they are gossips. They’ll all say no. And I bet you and I would say the same.

GossipBut the truth is, we all gossip. Because gossip isn’t just four hour phone conversations about a rumor. In fact, there are many different definitions of gossip. But this is the one I want to work on:

Gossip is discussing anything negative with someone who isn’t part of the problem or solution.

Ouch. That’s something we all do. (A lot.)

Gossip is not just a talk-about-somebody-behind-their-back thing. It’s a complaining thing.

When someone messes up our order at Burger King, we are far more likely to give a five-minute rant about it to a family member or coworker than we would care to admit. And by doing so, we are taking someone who didn’t cause the problem and can’t fix it, and making their day worse.

Gossip 2

Complaining is like throwing up. It makes you feel better, but it makes everyone around you feel sick.

And it’s pretty pointless. As Lou Holtz quipped: “Never tell your problems to anyone. 80% don’t care. And 20% are glad you have them.” He was joking. But he’s not too far off.

 

This doesn’t mean we can’t be angry or frustrated.

But it means that when we are, we:

1. Talk about it with the person who caused it or the person who can fix it.

or

2. If we can’t talk to them (i.e. Burger King), we LET IT GO. Involving other people is useless, uncaring, and makes everyone’s day worse.

So this next year, I’m going to strive to avoid discussing anything negative with someone who can’t help solve the problem. 

I know this will be difficult, and I will fail at times. But I plan to continue to work at this until avoiding these types of comments and conversations becomes a habit.

What types of things are you most tempted to complain about? Leave a comment!