You might not want to hear this, but I’m going to say it anyway:
Gossiping is toxic to your health.
There, I said it. Just saying it is going against the grain of society and culture.
Scary, but true.
I once read in Yoga Journal a short article that said that gossiping helps to create connection with your friends. I’m calling the bull@#$t horn on that one (they normally have better articles then that).
Here’s why it’s toxic: every time you talk about someone with judgment, believing you are better than they are for whatever reason, you are closing your heart, and creating a big separating wall between you and them/humanity.
Yup, that’s toxic. It’s toxic because when you believe you are separate from your family, your friends, your neighbors, or anyone on the planet and close your heart, you close off connection.
When you close off connection from your heart, it physiologically affects your blood pressure, your stress levels, your immune system, and let’s be honest here, your sex life (oh, did I just say that? I did.)
And how do I know it’s toxic?
I can feel it in my body (and you probably can too). When I find myself gossiping, I notice a yucky, ooky, tightness in my chest.
I sure wouldn’t call that connecting with friends, would you?
People Magazine, one of the most read magazines in the world, is based on gossip.
I’ve had friendships based on gossip.
There’s something about gossip that gives us a false sense of security (after all, we run around feeling insecure most of the time). By talking about someone else, we believe we “feel better about ourselves, or our situation.”
But it’s fleeting, it’s false, and it’s yucky and ooky inside.
I’m not just saying this because I feel yucky. It’s also one of the steps in the Buddhist 8-fold Path called “Right Speech,” and other traditions too. The great Sage’s taught that to clear the heart and open to your True Essence, take on this practice of saying “NO” to gossip.
So today, take a stand for your emotional, spiritual and physical health, and take these action steps to stop gossiping:
- First things first – NOTICE when you are gossiping.This includes talking about someone behind there back with any tone or intention of judgment like you can’t believe they said this, or did that.
If your intention is to just get something off your chest to figure out how you want to resolve something with a certain person is one thing, but to talk about them again, and again, and again… is gossip.
- Look for it. Do you have friendships based on this? Would the friendship fall apart without it? If so, tell your friend you want to explore some other topics, and if they’re not o.k. with it, then gently and with kindness, end the friendship.
Is the conversation with your Mom venting about your siblings or Dad (or vice versa)? If so, stop. Make a choice to not have that conversation any more.
How about with your partner or spouse? Is this what dinner revolves around or your time in bed before you go to sleep? If so, put a stop to it. If your spouse doesn’t want to, ask yourself if it’s something you can tolerate in the long run.
Perhaps your work environment is swimming in this? You can choose to not take part or to even stop it.
- Have a compassion and kindness for yourself when you do slip back into it. It takes practice and awareness.
Make these choices because you want to be in line with your integrity, not because I write it in a blog. Check in with your heart and ask what you want for yourself – stress and disconnection, or openness and connection. This is one step you can take for the latter.
Categories: Health & Happiness