Why You Should Avoid Gossips, Buttinskies, and Busybodies

Whether it’s the nosy classmate who’s never short of personal and intimate questions about your private life, the workplace gossip who never shuts up and always seems to know your business before you do, or the spying neighbor across the street who forever peers through her window to spy on the neighbors outside, these kinds of people can be a real hemorrhoid to those of us who only want to be left alone and allowed to live our lives in peace.

I even had one woman ask me how much I got paid and how much I paid in rent or mortgage? I know. The nerve! Right?

After the shock wore off, I politely told her that she was getting too personal and that I didn’t share such private information with anyone, not even my family members. Oooeee! She didn’t like it.

These types often leave you shaking and scratching your head because you just can’t believe anyone would have the chutzpah. Especially if you were raised to mind your own business like I was.

Understand that these people can be bullies too and their gossip, butting-in, and having a constant nose stuck in your life can be a form of attempted control. Bullies will often ask you these kinds of questions to embarrass or humiliate you.
And anybody who openly asks you such questions has no respect for your privacy, and you should deal with them accordingly.

But! Because they can’t seem to control their own lives, they wish to control yours, even if it’s nothing more than to cause an annoyance or embarrassment.

Though the years, there was always that one neighbor who would sit on their porch all day and watch not only my house but the other houses in the neighborhood as well. So, on a good note, I can’t say that I was left out but was in good company with most of the other neighbors in my community.

Many of the others in the community weren’t short of complaints about the lady and we had a nickname for her- “Mrs. I-Spy.”

Nevertheless, although I’d get annoyed by her a few times, I couldn’t get angry with her like many of the others. Mrs. I-Spy was disabled and could barely get around. All I could feel was bad for her because I knew she wasn’t a happy person. Who would be if their health were deteriorating to the point of barely able to perform activities of daily living? And home health was scarce back then.

And on the days when she couldn’t get outside, she’d have her grandchildren watch the neighbors then go back inside and give her a report of the goings-on in the others’ yards and the traffic in and out of their houses. It’s hilarious when I look back now.

I can honestly say that if there were a burglary or trouble nearby, she’d have been the first to see it and call the cops. So, there’s a silver lining to all this. Thank God for nosy neighbors because they do serve a great purpose!

My classmates in high school, not so much. I had very little respect for them because most of them were nosy as hell! They would watch me closely and eavesdrop on any of my conversations. They always had an ear cocked. At Oakley High School, the walls had ears!

Always in my business, questioning me on things that were so trivial yet to them was a huge deal. They would even ask me the most personal and embarrassing questions.

“Have you started your period yet?”
“Are you a virgin?”
“How is your boyfriend in bed?”

These kinds of questions made me cringe! Naturally, it upset me back then and I’d only storm off. But if one of them had the audacity to do that today, I’d only laugh, make fun of and humiliate them. And I’d enjoy humiliating them.

Today, I wish they would and give me the chance to show them I’m not as slow as I used to be and almost nothing shocks me anymore. Understand that when you’ve been bullied, you learn quick wit very quickly because it’s essential for survival.
I’ve known other adult survivors of school bullying and we’re the most quick-witted people in the bunch! We have to be!

With that said, you must realize that even in the adult world, you’re going to have people who have more nerve than a bad tooth- those who will pry into your business and openly ask you personal, even embarrassing questions. You might as well prepare for it now because they’re everywhere!

Many of these people had parents who were the same way- mothers and grandmothers who would tell them to watch others and report back to them. I know this because of watching Mrs. I-Spy do the same many years ago. So, it’s safe to say that nosiness is a generational thing with many. About ninety percent of my classmates also came from nosy and overbearing families as did many coworkers I’ve worked with down through the years.

And it’s these kinds of people you should blow off and wave away like that pesky little fly that keeps buzzing around your face.

Don’t get angry with them. Just shake your head and pity them. Because it’s those types who really need to get a life and often don’t have one. Or, if you’re a smart-ass like I am, take the opportunity to have a little fun with the person- catch it, throw it back at them and shame them with it.

And why not? They asked for it.

8 Reasons Why You Should Let Them Talk

gossip rumors lies talk

Gossips are everywhere! Too many people worry needlessly about what people are saying about them. But here’s the thing, people talk. They’re going to have something to say about you until the day you die. Get used to it. Better, yet embrace it! Love it!

Here’s Why:

1. When people talk about you, they make you relevant! Good or bad, it means you’re an exciting topic- you’re not dull. Remember that it’s much better to be good or bad than to be boring.

2. When people engage in petty gossip about you, it means that they can’t get you off their minds. Somehow, someway, positive or negative, you’ve made an impact on them. You’ve stirred emotions up in them.

3. When people talk about you, it means they don’t have lives of their own and are obsessed with yours, which means your life must be more exciting than theirs.

4. When people talk behind your back, they reveal much more about themselves than they do you. Remember the old proverb, “Great minds discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events, and Small minds discuss people.”

5. When people can’t shut up about you, you’re the one who’s in control of them. Because you occupy a large amount of space in their minds, you’ve affected them profoundly and with little or no effort.

6. The people who blab about you expend a lot of their energy on you while you get to save yours. They’re thinking of you without getting so much as a thought from you.

7. When you’re the topic of others’ discussions, it means that they’re your fans, only they don’t know it.

It’s important to reframe the situation. And smile as you’re the hottest topic around! Haters make you famous!

8. In a nutshell, when people can’t stop running their mouths about you, it only means that you have a tremendous amount of power over them and you didn’t have to make an effort to get that power! Yay, you!

So don’t give their talk any validation by reacting. Just sit back and be amused by the talkers, provided it’s just petty gossip and not defamation. I’ll distinguish between the two in a future post.

People Are Gonna Talk. They Always Will.

gossip talk backstabbers

But remember. It’s nothing personal!

And it’s a fact of life we need to accept. And the sooner you do, the better off you’ll be. are going to talk about you until the day you die. And it’s something that we all not only need to accept but be okay with if we’re ever going to grow as human beings.

And here’s another fun fact:
Everyone gets talked about, everyone! Even the best of us!

If wealthy celebrities and politicians get bashed and put down, you’re only fooling yourself if you think that you don’t or shouldn’t. But why should you care? Why should you give a crap what people say or think of you?

You really are worth it

During high school, everyone bullied me terribly and talked about me like a dog. It used to upset me. It used to make me angry or sad. I won’t lie, having people say horrible things about me, tell lies, and put me down? It hurt.

As an adult, I even worked around people talked trash about me. But I realized that most of them didn’t matter anyway.

They didn’t pay my bills.

They didn’t sign my paycheck every week.

They weren’t anyone I cared anything about.

Outside of the job, they had no bearing on my life.

I sometimes look back and ask myself, “Damn! Why did I ever concern myself with it? Those morons weren’t even on my level and weren’t worth two cents.”

gossip talk rumors lies

The point I’m making is that most people are a dime a dozen. They really are! And nine times out of ten, the reason they’re so busy squawking about others is that they’re bored with their own lives and have nothing better to do.

And the sooner you realize it, the sooner you’ll stop caring and the happier you’ll be. When you stop being so concerned, you’ll no longer be a slave to the approval of others, and you’ll set yourself free of any anxiety.

The only opinions you should place that kind of importance on are those of your God, your family, and your closest friends.

Anyone outside of that isn’t even an issue. the opinions of God, my family, and my closest friends are the only ones that matter. The rest is just a waste of energy and mind-space.

How People Can Believe Lies About You

education, bullying, social relations and people concept – students gossiping behind classmate back at school

If you’re a target of bullying, I almost certain that you’ve had bullies tell the most outrageous and outright ridiculous falsehoods about you- lies which were laughable at best. And shockingly, everyone in the place actually believed that garbage! And you wondered, “How could anyone with even a lick of sense believe such moronic tales!”

It seemed as if everyone around you was smoking crack. They’d have to be to believe such tripe!

Judgemental girls tauting fellow student

Understand that anytime you’re a target of bullying, you’re at your absolute worst!  Anyone would be a total emotional wreck under the extreme pressure that bullying brings. Anytime a person is bullied by everyone, it doesn’t matter how strong they are, how brave they are, how beautiful, how awesome their personalities are. They will eventually be overcome with exhaustion and taken down.

If you’re bullied long enough by enough people, you’ll only be able to stay strong and withstand it for so long. Because we’re all human, and no one can hold up under that kind of stress and adversity forever.

Bullies instinctively know this. So, they increase the abuse until you begin to crack. You will be overwhelmed with so many emotions. You’ll be completely paranoid- and with good reason!

You’ll be furious; you’ll be terrified, shocked, confused, and stressed to the extreme! You’ll have periods of crying. Your appetite will be gone, and you’ll get very little sleep. You’ll have your hair falling out and your stomach will be in knots. You’ll have excruciating headaches. At times, you’ll feel nauseated and even vomit!

Should it be any wonder that people believe everything they hear about you?

They’ve seen you morph from a cheerful, reliable, responsible, and reasonable person to a stressed out, hot mess of a train wreck who’s barely able to function, much less concentrate on schoolwork or job projects.

Here’s another thing:

Joseph Goebbels, who was the minister of propaganda to Adolf Hitler, said it best when he made these statements,

“Tell a lie once, and it remains a lie. Tell a lie a thousand times, and it becomes the truth.”

“The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.”

Believe it or not, people will believe the big, outlandish lies before they accept the little white lies that make more sense. If we hear something about another person, especially if it’s something huge and horrible and it comes from a person we trust or who has a little bit of power, we may feel shocked and disbelief at first but we will eventually believe it.

And the reason we end up believing it is that the repercussions of severe wrongdoing are so enormous that we don’t want to think that anyone would tell such a big fat lie about someone if there isn’t some truth to it.

We cling to the belief that if a person is audacious enough to make such an accusation about another person, then somewhere, there must be evidence to back it up. Otherwise, they wouldn’t dare make such bold accusations and risk being proven wrong and made to look like a fool!

So, we hold on to the idea that where there’s smoke, there’s fire and allow caution and speculation to supersede any logic. And if we expect trouble to come from a specific place, that’s where we’re going to look.

And when we look for a specific thing, we usually find it.

Also, if a lie goes against the target’s character, we’re more likely to believe it strictly because any story of hypocrisy has a certain amount of shock value and entertainment to it as long as the story is about someone else and not us.

We’re more prone to believe a big fat lie because it frightens the crap out of us. When people hear a lie so big and outrageous, it makes them wonder if they ever really knew the target at all. And the idea that someone they know could do such a horrible thing scares people to death.

Is it all making sense now? Great!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Be Very Careful What You Share

If you are a target of bullying, never share anything with anyone- not even your best friend. Because, in a situation like this, you cannot afford to trust anyone. I don’t care how close you and your friends seem to be. It’s still not a smart move because you never know when your bullies will succeed in turning your friends against you, and those friends become willing participants in bullying you.

So, never divulge any info that’s private or personal- anything you wouldn’t want to be known.

Examples of things better kept private are as follows (Some of these are no-brainers):

1. Your sex life, or lack of.

2. A drug addict in your family.

3. Any medical conditions or diseases.

4. Any mental illnesses.

5. Any legal troubles- even as minor as traffic tickets.

6. Family issues- divorce, child custody, births, deaths, etc.

7. Your past (if you’re old enough to have one).

8. Past abuse you may have suffered.

9. Your personal info.

10. Email and passwords to social media accounts.

11. Names of your family members.

12. Never brag about your daughter’s beauty pageant or your son’s perfect grades.

13. Your views about the recent scandal at school or work.

14. Your hobbies and interests.

15. The TV show you watched last night, especially if it’s a slasher show or filled with hot-buttered sex.

16. Never talk about politics! Ever! That’s a no-no subject!

 Bullies are already looking for dirty laundry. So, why air yours? When you’re a target of bullying, the less they know about you and your life, the better.

Let Them Talk All They Want

Gossips are everywhere! Too many people worry needlessly about what people are saying about them. But here’s the thing, people talk. They’re going to have something to say about you until the day you die. Get used to it. Better, yet embrace it! Love it!

Here’s Why:

1. When people talk about you, they make you relevant! Good or bad, it means you’re an exciting topic- you’re not dull. Remember that it’s much better to be good or bad than to be boring.

Businessman not listening to nonsense.

2. When people engage in petty gossip about you, it means that they can’t get you off their minds. Somehow, someway, positive or negative, you’ve made an impact on them. You’ve stirred emotions up in them.

3. When people talk about you, it means they don’t have lives of their own and are obsessed with yours, which means your life must be more exciting than theirs.

4. When people talk behind your back, they reveal much more about themselves than they do you. Remember the old proverb, “Great minds discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events, and Small minds discuss people.”

5. When people can’t shut up about you, you’re the one who’s in control of them. Because you occupy a large amount of space in their minds, you’ve affected them profoundly and with little or no effort.

6. The people who blab about you expend a lot of their energy on you while you get to save yours. They’re thinking of you without getting so much as a thought from you.

7. When you’re the topic of others’ discussions, it means that they’re your fans, only they don’t know it.

8. In a nutshell, when people can’t stop running their mouths about you, it only means that you have a tremendous amount of power over them, and you didn’t have to make an effort to get that power! Yay, you!

So don’t give their talk any validation by reacting. Just sit back and be amused by the talkers. Petty gossip is just that- petty!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullies, Rumors, and Gossip

Gossip is purely judgmental and includes hasty generalizations about the target’s character and private life, which has nothing to do with the school, community, or workplace. The purpose of gossip is to control the target’s status by demoting the target on the social hierarchy.

Another purpose of gossip is to justify any punishment of the target by promoting a collective view that the victim doesn’t deserve respect, dignity, or humanity, but only abuse and hostility.

 And once a target is viewed to deserve abuse, others will always escalate it!

Gossip has another benefit. It tightens group connections, gives higher status to the people who are privy to the negative information, and sets expectations and norms in the group as to how they should treat the target.

Through gossip, the group establishes, maintains, or changes social infrastructures. Gossip promotes unity and shared negative perceptions of the target. With the use of it, the group will foster justification for hostility. Therefore, no one in the group considers their actions as bullying. They will only say that the target “deserves it” and say they were reacting to “an evil enemy.”

People tell others to keep it secret, but they also ask them to inform the group of any new information and updates that concern their target.

Realize that it serves to provide bullies reaffirmations that their perceptions of the target are correct, that the target deserves abuse.

Gossipers will often cover their bad behavior with a slight confession of guilt by beginning their sentences with things like,

“I know I shouldn’t say this, but…”

“Poor thing…”

“Bless her heart…”

 They will acknowledge that the target is a human being, but only because this gives them the green light to go on talking and helps them to feel less like the creeps they are.

gossip rumors lies talk

It’s true that reputation doesn’t equal character. But it can effect life. Understand that the rumors may, in fact, be false and there may be zero credible evidence to back them up. But if pure speculation best fits the bullies’ goals, that’s what they will go along with.

In the late stages of gossip, all bystanders will become willing co-conspirators. Gossip brings scandal, which means to assassinate the target’s character, integrity, mental fitness, and worth as a student, worker, neighbor, or human being.

Anyone who questions or disbelieves the lies will immediately become an object of bullying as well. Nobody wants to be isolated, so this forces others to stay in line with the running narrative.

And if the target attempts to defend himself or speak out against the abuse, it will be used against him.

Unfortunately, at this stage, the only way for the target to ensure his safety and escape the abuse is to leave the toxic environment and go to a new place where he can start anew, establish new connections, and reinvent himself.

Remember the character, Chris Chambers, in the movie “Stand by Me.” Although he was a great kid, he was considered a rogue and a thief. Remember the scene where he was crying to his friend, Gordy, telling him about how he got his bad name and wishing he could go somewhere where no one knew him.

During the conversation, the character of Chris Chambers, played by River Phoenix, tearfully tells Gordy that a member of staff took the lunch money out of the teal but he got blamed for it solely because of his family name. It was heartbreaking to watch.

And sadly, that happens a lot. In a majority of cases, targets must leave the school, company, or community to heal and to rebuild their lives.