Person A did x with Person B. Person B isn’t happy about x and vents her frustration to Person C. The venting evolves into gossip between B & C then persons D & E join the “conversation.” A has no clue that B was ticked off about something. B feels “better” because she confided in a “friend” and even more powerful because she assumes she has others supporting her.
Why in the hell do we resort to this adolescent behavior as adults? I can understand why adolescents engage in this. They’re still learning how to interact with each other and deal with their feelings about a variety of social situations. As adults, what do we gain from this?
Well, it makes us feel like we have some kind of power. We think we have someone else on our side that validates our feelings. I mean if whomever we talk to doesn’t disagree with us, then we must be in the right?
We make the mistake of assuming that the “friends” we choose to listen to our issues about another individual must agree with us because they didn’t say anything against us. As a result, we feel empowered, and because of that feeling of empowerment, we continue to talk about other individuals. It’s a vicious cycle of a delusional form of power. We tear others down to make ourselves feel better.
We avoid confrontation and conflict because it makes us feel uncomfortable. It’s so much easier to talk about Person A then to tell them why you’re unhappy with them. Conflicts don’t get resolved by gossiping to others about the situation. Uncomfortable or not, go directly to the person you have an issue with and talk to them. You gain more respect and deeper trust by going speaking directly to them.
What goes around comes around. How you treat others will be how you’re treated one day.