Negativity and talking about other people often go together, so I've decided to tackle the greased pig of gossip while I attempt to kick the habit of bellyaching.
I know what you're thinking, "If I can't talk about other people, what is there to talk about?" To which my response is, "You got a point there." Well, we could talk about the weather, that's one option. We could talk about work, that's another meaty conversation. But what will we do after that minute is over?
Talking about other people feels good because it's an opportunity to talk about story without talking about our story. We are creatures who feed on story and need stories to survive. I believe this is why talking about people gives us the pleasure of swapping stories without being forced to live one ourselves and talk about how it's going. Critiquing someone else's attempts at living a story is so much easier than putting skin in the game ourselves. Tearing someone else down artificially fulfills our need to feel accomplishment because it give us the false impression that we are excelling. Cheap shots feel so good when you're looking for a victory, but it's like sucker punching someone and bragging about your prizefighting prowess. Try standing toe to toe before you talk big.
I've noticed several things happen when you stop talking about people negatively:
1. You become more confident in yourself.
2. You aren't as driven to be a people-pleaser.
3. You start thinking the best about people's motivations.
4. You struggle less with self-consciousness.
5. You feel less inclined to get in other people's drama.
6. You don't feel like bad news attaches to you as easily.
7. You reap the freedom that comes with forgiveness.
8. You begin to receive the grace you give to others.
9. You notice a person's brokenness instead of their behavior.
10. You enjoy God's unbroken communion through the day.
"The pure in heart will see God."
That sounds appealing.