On February 24th many in Canada will be wearing pink shirts in honor of “pink shirt day” or anti-bullying day; a day everyone is reminded to practice kindness to all they encounter. As this day approaches I thought it would be nice to address a different type of bullying which women are most notorious for engaging in, gossip.
Gossip is passive aggressive bullying and it is generally information or opinions of a derogatory nature. Regardless of morals or lack thereof, most people like to follow the golden rule “do unto others as you’d have them do unto you”.
Growing up I was excited to go to University and escape the narrow mindedness of conventionalism which ruled the hallways in high school. I was a weird artsy kid, and now I am a weird artsy adult; not a lot has changed besides some self actualization and me realizing that kindness to all is what matters. Sadly, not a lot has changed in the adult world. The same kind of closed-mindedness still exists today with what is deemed to be a societal norm and what is not. Some of the most dull personalities I know are popular and often are the key perpetrators of gossip. The exclusive clubs which existed in high school still exist in the work place, universities and among social circles.
We all need to vent our frustrations in the workplace every now and then, but when someone is picked apart or attacked behind their back, this is not okay; it is mean, destructive and defamation of character. When you talk directly about someone in a derogatory way, you are influencing the opinions of others and destroying someone’s character/image whom you honestly have no clue as to what is going on in their world. That lady in the office who drives you crazy, she may be going through a divorce, struggling with alcoholism, has a child who is ill, has a husband who tells her daily what a loser she is or she may be trying to maintain her sanity to the best of her ability. Someone throwing negative words around behind someone’s back is a type of bullying (passive aggressive bullying).
If you’re going to be a bully then at least have the decency to tell whomever to their face how you feel exactly without peeps to cheer you on. Bullying is a behavior exhibited by those who have low self esteem and feel the need to belittle others so that s/he can feel either more empowered or better about him or herself. How low is your self esteem if you have to bully in a passive aggressive way such as gossiping?
For all those who have felt less because of words you have heard, or when you have entered a chattering room to only be greeted with silence, remember you’re not the one with the issue, but it is the overtly insecure who feel the need to put down others to raise themselves in what they deem to be as better. You don’t have to like everyone you work with, you don’t have to be friends with the people you work on a committee or project, but you should be respectful and kind to your peers, colleagues and especially those you call “friends”. No one should ever have to feel like they do not belong or are not welcome to participate towards a common goal.
Follow the golden rule “do unto others as you’d have them do unto you” and you’ll be fine. Kindness is always a better way to be remembered & a better way to gain trust and respect from others.
Peace & Love – Rachel