Home  •  FAQ  •   Forums

It is currently Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:59 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: What exactly is GOSSIP?
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 4:18 pm 
Senior Community Leader
Senior Community Leader
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:00 pm
Posts: 3007
Location: Denver
I ran across this wonderful PDF file concerning the Four Agreements. (I am not at home right now and don't have access to my copy of the book but reading the PDF really sounds as if the text in there came straight from the book.)

Gossip doesn't always mean "the stuff we read in the Enquirer or other trashy tabloid rags." Gossip doesn't always mean "did you hear that Suzie's pregant from that one-night-stand she had at the bar last month?"

But thMerriam-Webster gives us:
* a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others
* rumor or report of an intimate nature

Many times, especially during the early stages of a recovery journey, a person will engage in gossip under the guise of "I need to share the truth in order to recover."

There is often an accompanying misunderstanding that, in order to honor the Agreement of Being Impeccable with One's Word, that facts must be overlooked to give the appearance another is blameless or golden. This is not the case.

We can share the truth so long as it is our truth to share. I can say "He was such an ass when he told me I looked fat in those jeans" which would be gossip because it's a "report of an intimate nature" - something that occurred between the two of us. Or I can say "I am trying to figure out how to handle insults without getting so emotional" which is about me and my truth. I've still managed to share that I had been insulted and I've shared that it upset me without dragging the other person into the discussion with this third party.

To share someone else's truth, we use their name and describe specific actions, words or deeds they committed.

To share our own truth, we leave names out of the story and we focus on the generic actions, words or deeds and the accompanying or resulting impact to us personally.

"He did this" or "She said that" is gossip, pure and simple.

"When faced with this, I feel that" is being impeccable with one's word and is NOT gossip.

We are definitely able to gain support, advice and insight from others without gossiping about a person.

So what about in therapy? It's one thing to avoid referring to a specific person or incident around the water cooler or during the morning coffee klatch but what about in therapy?

Don Miguel Ruiz does not necessarily address that as a concept, however, I would suspect that mere mortals would be sorely tempted to have a single place, one trusted source in which they could confide without such hyper-vigilance. That said, I think it would behoove the person (patient) - if possible - to maintain the impeccability. When we remove the extra-personal details (the gossip, the other person's name, the other person's specific actions) and focus solely on our own personal details (how we feel, what our natural reactions are to specific types of triggers or situations), I think we are then able to make much more meaningful strides in therapy and in our recovery work.

Why? Because by removing the extra-personal (from the extra parties not involved in the therapy session) and focusing solely on our own personal details, we are moving from micro (tiny details, individual items, specific components) to macro (big picture, the whole being, the entire Genuine Self.)

In the smart-alecky parlance, why would you want to pay for therapy to try to figure out someone else's reasons, motivations, thoughts or feelings?! I'd much rather devote my time and dollars to making myself into the best me I could possibly be. How about you?

_________________
Like BPD Recovery on Facebook.
Follow BPD_Recovery on Twitter.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What exactly is GOSSIP?
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 8:48 pm 
Community Member
Community Member

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:27 pm
Posts: 568
ASH,

This is a GREAT post.

I was reading somewhere, and I want to say in linehan's guide to DBT, but that might not be right, that people with BPD externalize so much that the stories and therapy sessions wind up being an excruciatingly detailed recounting of events; a long detailed story of other people's actions and what they said, etc rather than a focus on general themes of the internal world and dialogue of the client.

I can remember being like this because i grew up in a very abusive household. There was no explaining emotional and verbal abuse at that time, especially for a child or teenager/young adult.

It wasn't until much later when I heard the above and some other things that I finally realized 1) what therapy is for 2) why it hadn't worked for me.

i had spent so much time recounting what people said, and then did to provide context, because I didn't have the knowledge that I was being abused. I would just "tell the story" and look to someone to explain what i wasn't understanding, or more to the point, what was wrong with me that this was my lot in life. What I got back was a person who sat silent for 50 minutes and said nothing.

What a waste of time and energy for everyone. What was worse was that no one could frame my experience or provide a label for what I was experiencing. Therefore I could not move past it and went around in circles. Nothing was ever resolved or ready to be changed. i was stuck. So, of course that only confirmed for me that I was inherently defective. It was horrible.

NOW that I do understand what therapy is for and can participate as my own advocate, it's a whole different world.

Thanks for sharing this post. it's solid information and good thinking. It WORKS!!!!! IT WORKS!!! IT WORKS IT WORKS!!!!!!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What exactly is GOSSIP?
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 10:56 am 
New Member
New Member

Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:35 pm
Posts: 206
surreal wrote:

I can remember being like this because i grew up in a very abusive household. There was no explaining emotional and verbal abuse at that time, especially for a child or teenager/young adult.


Surreal,when you say there was no explaining the abuse, do you mean no explaining from your parents or no explaining from your therapists? If you mean from your therapists, why did they have trouble showing you that what you were detailing to them was abuse? What changed for you to understand that it was abuse if therapy didnt help?

I ask because I feel i am struggling with this. Not so much feeling stuck with gossiping about others and then not getting anywhere by doing so. But perhaps "gossiping" about myself (in therapy). I am feeling extremely stuck with what is talking bad about myself and what is taking repsonsibility.

I am not sure waht gossip is. By the strictest standards Ash outlines it would seem that 95% of conversation in life, 95% of almost everything verbal, 95% of what happens on these boards is gossip. I can see that and that makes sense. But I feel confused about that too. Maybe a better question is what is helpful? Sometimes it's helpful to share details and sometimes not. When it is and when it isn't, I'm not sure.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What exactly is GOSSIP?
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 5:54 pm 
Senior Community Leader
Senior Community Leader
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:00 pm
Posts: 3007
Location: Denver
My guess would be that, as a child or young adult, the emotional/verbal abuse made no sense so it lacked an explanation but I'll leave that for Surreal to address.

Liz94 wrote:
I am not sure waht gossip is. By the strictest standards Ash outlines it would seem that 95% of conversation in life, 95% of almost everything verbal, 95% of what happens on these boards is gossip. I can see that and that makes sense. But I feel confused about that too. Maybe a better question is what is helpful? Sometimes it's helpful to share details and sometimes not. When it is and when it isn't, I'm not sure.


What is helpful is what works. Sometimes we don't know what will work until we try something and evaluate the results.

It's hard for me to give you a decent example of the therapy/gossip conundrum without an example of what you're talking about to go from. If you gave me a simple "here's what I focused on for / said about this topic / situation in therapy" I might be able to give you an example of a non-gossip approach to the same topic or situation. (Unfortunately, it's been so long since I was in a therapy setting I barely remember any of the things I talked about in there or I'd use an example from my own life!)

Okay, in a slightly different mode (not in therapy itself), I'll use an example from my real, present-day life, with some details changed.

Quote:
Gossip Approach to Seeking Counsel (from a friend, spouse, therapist even)

OMG, Sally was just such a bitch to me. She got all shitty with me for no freakin' reason, I'm so over her bullcrap. She approached me and asked me how to french braid hair and I told her the steps - section into three pieces, weave them over each other, bringing additional pieces in with each weave until all the hair has been incorporated. She actually started arguing with me about it! Bitch, why do you even bother asking me for advice when all you want to do is argue about what I'm telling you? Fine, if it doesn't make sense, I'll try explaining it another way or even walking you through it but then don't argue with me that it's still wrong. It's a freakin' French braid. It is what it is. I didn't say it was a fishtail braid or a reverse French braid. If you want to know how to do those things, then freakin' ask me how to do them rather than arguing with me that the French braid I'm telling you about isn't a French braid because it doesn't look like the fishtail braid you saw the other day at the mall! God, she is sooooooooooo infuriating I just want to smack the crap out of her. I totally cannot stand that wench. Someone else needs to deal with her stupid-ass bullshit cuz I am DONE with her for good!


Quote:
Non-Gossip Approach to Seeking Counsel (from oneself, friends, spouse, therapist)

I feel extremely frustrated when someone asks me something and then argues with me about it, especially when we're talking about something that is factual. It feels very invalidating - as if they felt like they made a mistake coming to me because I'm too stupid to know the right answer so they have to correct me & set me straight. I got a lot of that invalidation as I was growing up and it's a hot button trigger for me. I would do well to remember to separate my stuff from their stuff. The next time it happens, I could simply ask "If you knew the answer already, why did you ask me?" If it continues to be a treand or habit with a specific individual, I could also be clear about my feelings: "When you ask me something and then argue with me about it, I feel invalidated and it makes me angry." If it further persists, I can take steps to set & enforce boundaries with that person: "I've told you that arguing with me after specifically seeking my input feels invalidating and angers me. If you ask me something and then proceed to argue with me about my answer, I will walk away or hang up the phone."

_________________
Like BPD Recovery on Facebook.
Follow BPD_Recovery on Twitter.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What exactly is GOSSIP?
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 9:09 am 
New Member
New Member

Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:04 pm
Posts: 137
That was a really helpful illustration. Thank you.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group