OK…so the surly waiter in the restaurant was rude AND gave you bad service. But didja really have to call him a horses’ ass in your most projected speaking voice? Or what about your boss who drives you nuts because she’s always dumping her work on you….were your thoughts loud enough that she could hear you call her a bee-atch? Or how ’bout the time you passed that gossip about the girl at school you didn’t even know….and it turned out to be totally false information? Why is it we think bad thoughts about people, talk negatively about people, or say awful things? Are we just plain mean?
M. Farouk Radwan in the article “Why Do People Talk About Others” lists 5 reasons we talk about other people:
- Lack of Courage
- We Really LIKE That Person
Radwan writes that those who talk about others when they’re not there are demonstrating a personal flaw and a need to figure out WHY you talk about other people….and then work on exchanging the bad habit.
According to Positively Present in “Stop Judging: 4 Reasons, 5 Things, 6 Ways”, the 4 reasons we judge are because we are:
- Scared or intimidated by that person we’re badmouthing
- Lonely and bond with others while trash talking
- Seeking to change our own lives, so we are quick to judge somebody else
According to the article 5 things judgements do are:
- Hurt other people
- Make yourself feel worse
- Perpetrate stereotypes
- Add Negativity
- Encourage you to JUDGE YOURSELF
So what do you do? Positively Present suggests you can:
- Pay attention to your thoughts
- Look for the positives
- Avoid stereotyping
- Stop judging YOURSELF
- Focus on your OWN life
- Remember how it feels
It seems that we’re not necessarily mean people. We are human folk struggling with our insecurities, our reduced self-worth and a need to belong. Thinking or talking poorly about or to somebody reflects nothing about them…but it does let people know what is REALLY going on inside of us. Talking or thinking poorly about another person is the same thing as pointing a finger at someone else. Remember….there are still three fingers pointing back YOU.
Want to be happier? Change the behavior.
Yes, people reveal more about themselves when they gossip than they do about others they might be talking about. And yet…there’s something so human about it. We’re imperfect creatures. Nice reminder to step it up a notch!
Carol Cassara recently posted…How to teach a dog agility
Thanks your stopping by, Carol! I think the biggest thing I’ve learned so far in our challenge is, although any one of our 22 bad habits may be unattractive or unappealing to others in our company, the true impact is how it makes us feel and were not conscious of it. I’ve discovered a significant difference and were not even half way through our challenge.
Carol – thank you for your comment. The month of July we have put effort into exchanging bad or unhealthy behaviors for more positive behaviors. Gossip, speaking meanly, or just internalizing the meanness in our heads comes back to bite us.
It’s a good reminder to all of us to work on being more kind.
That is very true. Wish I could say I was perfect here but I’m not. Definitely know that when I talk negatively about someone else, I end up feeling worse about myself. This is a good post!
Pam Houghton recently posted…How I will waste time this summer
I think we’re all in need sometimes to back it down a notch when talking about other people in a negative way. Striving to do much better.
Thank you for your comment, Pam!