Have you ever noticed how a single seemingly minor decision or action can snowball? A tiny bit of gossip shared with a co-worker, perhaps a rumor about someone else, may not seem like a big deal at the time, but can be hurtful or even harmful as it gains traction. It starts as a little pellet of snow, gains speed, and the next thing you know it’s rolling over trees and taking out everything in its path.
Spreading rumors or gossip really doesn’t help anyone, so why do it? Gossiping gives us a sense of self-importance as the person who is “in-the-know”. It also makes us feel better about ourselves, or our own lives, to judge someone else negatively. Many use it as a way to bond with others. Whether in social groups or with co-workers, the underlying message is: You are important to me and [the subject of the gossip] is less important. While it can be rewarding, the rewards are temporary and superficial.
Gossip ultimately creates distrust. If someone gossips to you about another person, don’t you walk away wondering what is being said behind your back? Gossip may bond people but it also breaks them apart. While it may leave us feeling a sense of connection with others, we can bond in better ways without the potential for harming others or our own reputation.
We all have choices as to how we handle information. Remember, only you control you! You decide what information to listen to and the words that come out of your mouth. True success can only be achieved by helping others up, not keeping them down. Be that hand up this week, consider your words and actions, be an achiever and make this week count!