Monday, 30 April 2012

Gossiping- An Overrated crime!

( The inspiration to write this piece is no particular incident or person. I wrote this when I read a quote in some newspaper and realized that I agreed with it at many levels. Gossiping has so many taboos attached to it that while everyone LOVES it they never love to admit it. Why! is what I do not understand)

The quote that triggered this post:

Anyone who has obeyed nature by transmitting a piece of gossip, experiences the explosive relief that accompanies the satisfying of a primary need.

So True!

I am not ashamed to admit that I indulge in gossip. And I am a strong believer of the fact that no matter what they say, every one who is breathing, has indulged in gossiping! So why deny it? Worse, why label the "gossipers in the public eye" as evil? If I am not causing any apparent harm to anyone-like maybe divulging personal details or maligning the person's public image or creating my own instances using my wild imagination- then why not? Now you must be wondering that what kind of gossip will I call legitimate. Well...the one I do! 

Is there anything known as-  The Harmless gossip?

Technically, my kind of gossip is harmless. Its an exchange of "views" between 2 parties involving the 3rd party, with a mutual agreement between party 1 and 2 that this "useful conversation" will never reach party no 3. So if it is never supposed to reach the gossip's target- how will it affect him/her?

So my kind of gossip is this. Its an exchange of views with a trusted partner who obviously feels the same way about my target, based on absolutely correct, authentic factual events! I will not add a thing or two in it from my end to pep it up, but yes I will definitely form an opinion based on what I saw and heard. Read on for some simple rules and regulations one can/should follow so that this activity remains joyful:
  1. Be consistent-- Not in the act! In partners- I have a set of fixed partners in crime and its been years that I have not increased this number. Its important to have a circle of such partners like one for family members, one for neighbors, one for college friends...blah blah
  2. Be safe-   I hate it when I hear that someone was gossiping about me! So I apply the same rule to my own targets. All I mean to say is- do not take pride in this. If you are a known gossipmonger then you ll scare people away. Be fun- not scary :). Be Nice - not mean :)
  3. Be professional- I never- not admit- that I enjoy gossiping. Doing so will clearly limit my sources of information right? I have now admitted it on my blog- does anyone need any more proof that I am very professional about it?
  4. Stay truthful...not to anyone yourself!- If you have the audacity of blurting out something about someone, stay ready to admit it, if confronted. If you don't have to eat back your words, you are a fun gossiper because again....your intention is not malicious!
  5. Relax...DONT be desperate- There are people I know who seem to be on the prowl all the time! Like they will be paid by a mafia for every bit of information they fetch. Its sad to see them live like this. My advise (again unsolicited) if you think you are smart, don't imagine that others are fools.
  6. Dont be embarrassed or better....dont be a liar!- I hate those who say- "We dont like to gossip!". Please do not lie people. Gossiping is not a crime ( again if you are aware of what you are doing it for). You have all done it in your own little ways so please introspect and then judge me.
  7. Be fair- I also have a rule- If Ill gossip with you- I will never gossip of you! Especially not with the person I gossip to you about. I mean, its illogical to do that right?  So choose gossip partners with quite a serious " screening".
  8. It should not be a ritual. Its a healer!- Gossip is not a daily ritual for me. Its very therapeutic hence its only for a reason.
  9. Be realistic and not fatal!- I have 2 BIG  "secret" sounding boards in my life. These are the 2 people who, like a sponge, have retained so many of my "venting sessions" and are so disinterested in the news I give them that they hardly think about it again! So when there is a real "sleazy and explosive" bit of news, I use my reliable sounding boards and serve the purpose of- " Mann bhi halka ho gaya, kisi ko pata bhi nahi chala"
  10. If you are apologetic about something, why do it?- It takes a coward to "talk ill behind someone's back". And it takes strength to admit that while ill talk about you, I will maintain yours (and mine) dignity and integrity. 
In Oscar Wilde's words: 

“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about"

I am sure many of you reading this have "gossiped" about me at one point of time in your life. All I want to say is: do it healthily by basing what you 'discuss' on actual facts and not indulging in something that satisfies JUST your creative state of mind. I promise, I always do the same :)

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