I talked a little bit about how the gossip and general nature of life at the barn was getting on my nerves the other day. As part of liberation is owning one's shit, I am making an effort to not be a part of those types of conversations anymore.
I said in my post that my new line goes something like - I don't think that has anything to do with me. So far, this line is working. I say it is working because when I speak it I get all sorts of passive-aggressive responses and even some outright attempts at proving to me that it indeed does have something to do with me simply because my horse occupies the same general location of the horse that is attached to the person we must now gossip about.
Look, I'm as guilty as anyone about wanting to be "in the know" where my surroundings and company are concerned. This probably comes from my mum, who although rarely repeats gossip she hears, always loves hearing it.
The thing about gossip is that once you engage in it, I feel like you give power not only to the person that has engaged you, but to the gossip itself. Think of gossip as a little troll that goes around making a muck of stuff. There was this scary movie from when I was a kid and I can't for the life of me remember the name. But, basically there were several creatures that lived in a house (in the basement I think, or in an old furnace). I only remember snippets but one family member let them out and oops, there goes the neighborhood. Sort of like Gremlins only without the humor, this movie scared the shit out of me as a six year old. In the end, the girl that let them out has to go live with them, creepy little nasty creatures that they were, and they are telling her that everything will be OK but you know it most certainly will not.
Those creatures are gossip. They will get into your life and then you are doomed. As I already stated, you are doomed because now they (and the person(s) you are gossiping with now have power. You are doomed because you have wasted precious moments of your day being mean. And if you are being mean for a legitimate reason, I have no problem with the action. But, if you are projecting meanness "just because" I feel like it is completely unproductive. You are doomed because whatever you are gossiping about may or may not be true and therefore is unreliable information.
Ask yourself, what on earth do you expect to accomplish from it, this gossip? If it is unreliable information you shouldn't be repeating it, correct? So it is just sitting in your brain taking up space. If it is mean and hurtful what good can come from repeating it anyway?
Note that this is completely different than engaging in investigative tactics for things that really DO matter to you individually, to your family, work, etc. Example - if I hear through the work grapevine that an employee is sneaking away for five hours a day that might be gossip, but I'm obligated to investigate it or I'm a poor manager. That is different than engaging in unproductive fodder on a daily basis.
The exclusionary nature of most of the gossip that I encounter is what irritates me most. Gossip is stated for the purposes of soiling the picture of someone specific. Which picture or person can change but that always seems to be the main purpose. You have to ask yourself when YOU will become the person that is being soiled and excluded. This is all junior high school stuff really. I mean, it isn't rocket science to know that we just shouldn't engage in it.
And so, I will continue to practice my line and liberate myself from not only speaking of gossip but even giving it a second thought. We'll see how long it takes for everyone around me to catch on.