A friend of mine, Alice, broke up with her boyfriend. When I talked to another friend on the phone (she also knows Alice) I told her that Alice and her boyfriend broke up. Of course I asked myself the question: why am I sharing this info with my friend? Would this be gossiping? So my question: where does the need to share information (without giving an opinion about it) with other people come from? Which character does this?
Many thanks in advance,
Gossip and Impeccability
There are many possible dynamics when it comes to impeccability and gossip. Some can be very subtle. Most of the time we talk out of automatic habit learned over years of unconscious practice. Sometimes we say things to people to make them feel comfortable. We don’t want them to be uncomfortable in the silence so we respond with something to fill the gaps. This really means we don’t want to feel uncomfortable ourselves about their situation. So for us to not feel our emotional discomfort our mouth moves and we share information. This can often be unnecessary gossip about other people.
Breaking this habit of false assumptions of responsibility for other’s emotion is covered in session 12 of the Self Mastery Course. To explore this more and gain greater self awareness and insight about impeccability experiment with the following. As an exercise refrain from speaking into those silent gaps for a while and see what happens. Let the whole conversation sit in silence for certain moments and notice what emotions you feel. These might be the emotions you avoid feeling by speaking unnecessarily. It may not be so much a reason or need to share, as to avoid silence and all the stories and discomfort we have in the silence. You will have to consciously choose what conversations you do this practice in so that it is appropriate for the situation.
In the big picture it is the accepted social norm to gossip about other people. This is a big habit for many people. In an effort to be more impeccable we refrain, but in doing so we appear to be out of place from the “normal” with some people. We don’t fit other people’s criteria of what is “normal” and therefore acceptable. Their initial reactions might seem judgmental or rejecting of our new behavior. But that doesn’t mean that we are doing anything wrong by being silent.
Their judgments try to make us conform to their “normal” gossip behavior so that they don’t feel uncomfortable with our change in habits.
There are also ways to distract people from the silence without engaging in gossip at the same time. It is not manipulation, but rather impeccable ways to shift the conversation. I touch on these somewhat in session 4 of the audio program.
Refraining from gossip is worth exploring if only for the reason that we waste an enormous amount of personal power talking unnecessarily and in toxic ways.
Hope that helps,
Gary van Warmerdam