Do you remember playing the game telephone when you were a child? A group of us kids would sit in a circle and start by whispering a phrase to the person next to them, for example ” I like rice and beans rolled up in a flour tortilla on Saturday afternoons”. would end up being, ” I like nice things rolled up with flowers on Saturday at noon.” Each time a child whispered the phrase to the next child, something either was left out or the other child listening would forget a word or heard wrong. This is a prime example of what gossip can be like.
Gossip is a self-serving means to distract people who have nothing better to do than obsess or feel jealous over someone. There is no satisfaction in this, just a slow deterioration of their own soul. It is an even more tragic dealing with gossip while fighting a serious illness. Family and friends are people who should be trusted. So when rumors come from those closest to you, the betrayal adds emotional injury to the stress that’s already mounting up in their life. This without a doubt further compromises their well-being and intensifies the battle ahead. Gossip is already a destroyer, we have all done it and we have all been at the brunt of it. If you say you have never talked about someone, just take a moment and do a little self introspection and you will probably be able to examine a time or two in your life.
It hurts being the one having rumors spread around about you. Gossip is small table talk just seeking to get attention from others and acting as if they have the inside scoop about someone. The gossip will act as if they are the authority on how their listeners should judge the person and persuade them to view them as they do. They will twist truths, embellish facts and leave out information. Their goal is to change a positive opinion someone has of someone to a negative one. It is ignorance, lack of respect and most of all plain mean-spirited behavior that gets the gossip’s attention they crave because they can’t stand the attention on you and off of them. It is absolutely possible for someone to be jealous of all the attention you are getting because of your illness whether you are sick and suffering. It happens to people who don’t feel empathy that deeply. There are plenty of articles about it if you want to understand this complex behavior.
Surround yourself with a network of safe friends and family members when you are sick, it is okay to keep that to a minimum until you are well. Use discernment and make a list of which friends and family are the ones that can help you get through this time, people who are truly trustworthy. I am a patient care coordinator that talks to family members every day and I hear some of the saddest stories. Some family members feel so entitled because a loved one is sick. They don’t respect their choices in treatment and they talk very bad about the patient. Of course not all of them are like this. Family and friends would be doing them a wonderful service if they checked out books from a library or purchased some on how to care for someone when they are ill or to be supportive and help them through it. If you are in their life, they are counting on that so they can focus on their battle ahead.
~ Shannon J. Knight
Safe People VS Unsafe People
Excerpt from “Safe People”
~ Cloud and Townsend
1. Think they have it all together instead of admitting their weaknesses.
2. Are defensive instead of open to feedback.
3. Are self-righteous instead of humble.
4. Only apologize instead of changing their behavior.
5. Avoid working on their problems instead of dealing with them.
6. Demand trust, instead of earning it.
7. Belive they are perfect instead of admitting their faults.
8. Blame others instead of taking responsibility.
9. Will lie instead of being honest.
10. Are stagnant instead of growing.
11. Avoid closeness instead of connecting.
12. Are only concerned about “I” instead of “we” (not relationship centered)
13. Resist freedom instead of encouraging it.
14. Condemn us instead of forgiving us.
15. Stay in parent/child roles instead of relating as equals.
16. Are unstable over time instead of being consistent.
17. Are a negative influence on us, rather than a positive one.
18. Gossip instead of keeping our confidences.
1. Value love – connection – have the ability to trust.
2. Value responsibility (take responsibility for themselves and value that in others) Neither overly dependent on others nor codependent – feeling responsible for others
3. Value honesty – ability to be known – transparent – who they really are.
4. Working on their own issues
5. Respond to truth
6. Have a good track record (may fail, but learn from failure and move on, are in progress of making a good track record even if this is a new beginning for them)
7. Can be observed and tested – see them in interactions with other people (test them with a small part of yourself, share a part of your heart and see what happens)
8. Bear good fruit in your life by being with them (encourage you to grow individually and in your connection with other people)