“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” ― Henry Thomas Buckle
It happens all the time. You’re hanging out with a group of friends and someone does it—they bring up “so and so” and what they supposedly did, and just like that it begins. Gossip! That horrible form of communication is now in your midst. You want to escape it, you definitely don’t wont to be part of it, but you feel trapped. And in that moment you start wondering, “What did “so and so” do?” You kind of want to hear about it—even though you know you shouldn’t engage—and before you know it you have been sucked in.
The most incredible and powerful tool that we have as human beings is our ability to speak. Our words are so influential that they can inspire change, create a movement, or start an uprising. Words can band people together forming autonomy and strength or poison people’s minds causing fear and hate. Words are so powerful that they can change lives and the world. Life changing words come from great minds—their words are the catalyst for change.
In the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, the first agreement he discusses is Be Impeccable with Your Word. My interpretation of this agreement is pretty simple. Speak of yourself and others with only the highest of intentions and with love in your heart. If you love yourself, then you will love others and your truth will be revealed through your word. Gossip is not in agreement with this truth. When you speak of others in a negative way you are not speaking with love, you are speaking with fear. Your words reveals more about you than the person you are discussing.
In “The Four Agreements” Ruiz states, “Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself. If you make an agreement with yourself to be impeccable with your word, just with that intention, the truth will manifest through you and clean all the emotional poison that exists within you.”
To often we use our words to cause pain, which in turn only hurts ourselves. Ruiz calls it “spreading our personal poison.” Meaning, we use our words to express anger, jealousy, envy and hate, and the worst form of spreading this poison is through gossip. Gossip is a learned behavior and once it starts, it spreads like a wild fire. When you add in fear, miscommunication, and emotional attachment things can get out of hand very fast.
Whether you partake in this behavior or find yourself around it, it’s never too late to change. If you are knee deep in the gossip mentality, you need to stop. You are only hurting yourself in the process. Own it and make the choice to change your behavior. Not sure how to release this habit? Here are some simple steps to change your small-minded ways:
- Love Yourself – You can’t change your behavior unless you change yourself. Look within. What work do you need to do to love yourself? Are you living in fear? If so, why? What things do you say about others that are a direct reflection of yourself? Go to love, lead with love, and be love.
- Set the Intention – Make an agreement with yourself and set your intention to fulfill this agreement. “You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.” (Deepak Chopra, M.D.)
- Change your Circle – When those around us gossip, we tend to do the same. Sometimes you have to let go of friendships in order to live up to your agreements and your truth. They may not understand, but that’s okay. Letting go is for your higher good.
If you always find yourself around gossip, here are some simple steps to remove yourself from the drama:
- Change the Tone – If you’re in a conversation that’s heading towards gossipville, jump off the train! Change the tone by changing the subject of the conversation. If you are not comfortable with confrontation then excuse yourself. Eventually they will get the hint and refrain from gossiping in front of you.
- Speak Your Truth – If you don’t like it, then say so. We all have free will. You can choose to participate, you can choose to walk away or you can choose to speak up. Whatever you do, don’t get sucked in.
- Change Your Circle – Truth bomb! If someone is gossiping to you about someone else, they are gossiping about you to others.
Not everyone is ready to accept their personal truth, make new agreements or commit to the necessary changes to remove gossip from their lives. The important thing is that you live your truth, find your circle, and discuss ideas–not people. Live in a great mind, not a small mind.