Bambi is unquestionably not my favorite Disney movie. Although it is pretty adorable- Bambi as a little deer learning to walk and flailing around on the ice, how Thumper as a baby bunny talks, Flower the little skunk…the cuteness factor is off the charts. Let’s just conveniently, for the sake of my point, forget about the mean hunters who leave poor Bambi an orphan and start a forest fire. However, I digress, for this post was not intended to be about animated children’s movies. Back to my point. Bambi offers one valuable life lesson said from little Thumper himself: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”
Now I will be the first to admit that I gossip. There I said it. Thumper would be so disappointed. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I don’t talk about hot topics that are currently spreading like wildfire throughout my group of friends or family. What…someone is preggers? What…someone cheated on so and so? What…someone bitch slapped so and so? Before I go much further though, let me be clear: my friends are fantastic They each bring something unique into my world and I am blessed to call them mine. But when somebody does something that causes me to scratch my head and think “whaaaaaaat?”, I’m gonna unapologetically talk about it.
So as I was reading a monthly advice column in Glamour written by Bethany Frankel (yes, Bethany Frankel has an advice column. Why? I have no idea.) about this exact topic it got me thinking why we gossip. She claims it’s because it’s in our nature as women and we use it to bond. She also says we use it as a way to make ourselves feel better. Her exact words “What you say negatively about others is what you don’t like about yourself.” Now, to some degree, I believe this has some truth to it. I realize that my gossiping ability is probably not my most favorable trait. But I don’t agree with all of her comment. Let’s role-play.
Example: Joan (made up friend; I don’t even know a Joan) has a wonderful boyfriend, Ned (again, made up friend, although I wish I did have a friend named Ned). Ned and Joan live together. Ned is at home sleeping soundly in the bed they share while Joan is off sleeping (aka not sleeping) with someone who is NOT Ned. This causes me to say something along the lines of, “She’s an idiot (among other less mild derogatory terms)…yada yada…poor Ned…yada yada….do we tell Ned?”…yada yada…Joan needs to get her shiz together”…etc, etc. Now, me saying this is not because I don’t like something within myself. I say it because my homegirl Joan is a bizzo and isn’t treating good old Ned how he deserves. Poor, poor Ned.
Now, ever wise Bethany then goes on to give this advice when it comes to gossiping:
- Gossip only about things that are harmless and funny and offer you some release.
- If you must do the snarky gossip, vent to the one friend you can truly trust. No one else.
- When someone goes negative, button up. Be one of those people you admire who bow out when the bashing begins.
Is it helpful advice? Sure. Is it going to change people’s behavior? Probably not. I’m not gonna lie, I’m still going to gossip, but it did make me think about the ever true fact that if someone is gossiping to you, she’ll probably gossip about you. That being said, I’ll try to watch my mouth more from now on, but when Joan acts up again I can’t promise anything.
Until next time…