A casual gossip session was going on around the coffee maker in office. Where someone was talking about a person as how he was dressed up the other day. Another person pitched in that how he was behaving in a meeting last week. Another came forward to spice up the conversation and revealed some unheard traits of that person. One over the other, the personal details of that person were piling up around the coffee maker. Conversation was firing up; more fuel was being added by each participant. Until the lunch break was over, and the gossip session was put off till the next lunch break. Next day, same place, same time; some other person was being discussed.
On one similar day, one of the active members of that gossip group was complaining about how rumors are being spread about him in the office and how everyone is blindly believing everything. The same person was deeply hurt on this personal vendetta against him. Another day, another person was being discussed, this time over the phone. Some other day, opinions were given about a person in a chat group.
One way or the other we are being part of the problem instead of being part of the solution.
Family…friends…colleagues…acquaintances…no matter in which group we fall in, we are conveniently committing the sins we were not meant to do. We justify it somehow, because we believe with utmost conformity that we are right and the other person is wrong. Why can’t we make an effort to keep our interactions pleasant for all of us. What if before responding, we, just for a moment, try putting ourselves in another person’s place. Will it make a difference? Does it make a difference? Yes! it does. From the experience of time & age and life above all; some of us have learnt to do this to make peace with what is not under our control. What we consider forbidden for others in one situation becomes lawful for us in another situation. Then we realize that the other person might have no other option in the given circumstances.
Learn to give others the benefit of doubt.
That friend who didn’t attend my call, maybe she was driving. That colleague who didn’t texted me back maybe he was busy in a meeting. That other friend who ignored me, maybe he was going through some family problem. The list of grievances and possibilities goes on. We complain about the extended family members, gossip about our colleagues, whine about our friends, even criticize media personalities. What for? A little bit of laugh and fun time with our other friends. If you are gossiping with me, what possibility is there that you won’t gossip about me. If I’m telling details of a personal conversation of a friend to you what is the probability of me not doing the same to you with another friend. In our genuine and somewhat cruel innocence, we try to warn others of the toxicity of people. Just to save them of the possible damage that was done to us. Let others build their own opinions based on their personal experiences and observations. As observation is not much less in weightage than personal experience. Observation can open those horizons for you which you are yet to experience. Let not pollute that rendered image of a person in front of another, just because you had a somewhat different experience.
Under no circumstances it is considered ethical that you, out of your own negative experience with someone, disclose the toxicity of that person to someone who is neutral.
No matter how hurt you are by a person, be mindful your reaction. Don’t let your professional differences convert into personal animosity. As your reaction defines who you are as a person. Gather the courage to declare today that if someone hears anything negative about you, he is free to believe it. But if, through our personal interaction, he doesn’t find those speckles of negativity; then he is bound to change his opinion of you.
We need to understand that we are not required to push the buttons that do not require pushing. Do not push someone to the extent that the other person is forced to take some rigid action. Do not make your deeds such that you become the topic of a gossip. Let not injustice be the essence of your working. Make peace with the people around you. Sometimes your sincerest efforts don’t align in the direction you want them to. Let it not destroy your peace of mind.