Sandrine Rattan writes a weekly column called With Women In Mind
“Conversation is three women stand on the corner talking. Gossiping is when one of them leaves.” – Herb Shriner
Within recent times, the International Women’s Resource Network (IWRN) has been bombarded with complaints from women voicing their limited tolerance for the continued infestation of gossip, particularly from their female colleagues in the workplace.
Let me start by stating quite categorically that both the IWRN and I strongly denounce any type of gossip as this is deemed to be a form of psychological cancer. Your choice to speak behind the back of another female who may have offended you in one way or another is symptomatic of insecurity and emotional weakness which can land you in trouble if not carefully managed. At the IWRN, women are thought to be each other’s keeper rather than each other’s destroyer.
Various elements within world economies continue to crumble at the seams to the extent, that families are being affected, and therefore, women need to become more sisterly and community-oriented so as to strengthen our vulnerability.
Speaking about others constructively is well-accepted, however, once negativity and hurtful statements are introduced the conversation becomes toxic and does not augur well for neither you nor your target. Gossiping is tantamount to dealing with one’s own emotional challenges and insecurities through venting about others.
In fact, some women are so versed, that they skilfully engage in gossiping about another female in their very presence. It’s also a hurt pill as all parties involved are hurt by the painful and sometimes untrue statements that are advanced. When you gossip, you clearly demonstrate that you can’t be trusted, and your honesty and integrity can also be challenged.
Research has shown that the primary cause of gossip between women is jealousy, which brings along its own challenges of hatred, anger and bitterness. Removing gossiping tendencies begins with cultivating a positive mindset that says ‘I am a unique and successful woman’.
Remember we all possess unique and different characteristics, have different aspirations with different time speeds in our life’s journey. Feeling jealous towards someone else, only increases negativity and darkens your spirit. Instead, channel jealous feelings towards some deep introspection asking yourself some deep-seated questions such “Am I satisfied with my current destiny in life?”
“Should I change my profession to something else that I am really passionate about”? “Am I enjoying adequate levels of psychological freedom?” Keep in mind that the world has room for each and every woman, and there is no need to harbour ill-fated feelings towards your colleagues, to the extent that gossip becomes your preferred approach in responding to those feelings. In the same vein that there are toxic substances such as acid, etc., by the same token, there exists psychological toxins, and gossip is indeed one that should avoided at all times.
Sandrine Rattan is a communications and branding consultant/author/empowerment builder and president of the International Women’s Resource Network (IWRN) Contact: [email protected] or [email protected]