It's Awful

Oh, how I hate gossip.  When it's about me, it just hurts, because it turns out to be either a secret that I don't want out or it's a lie that is just ugly and hateful.
When people gossip to me, I can feel their ugliness on the inside.  I don't judge the people they're talking about; I judge the gossiper.  What I think of them is usually that they are very unhappy and bored, and have bad manners. 
I recently moved, and I have two neighbors.  One of them is a very dysfunctional family that fights vociferously and often.  The other is an older lady who's been here forever, and lives alone, and is quiet and disturbs no one.  If I could blink and move one of them away, I would move the old lady.  She takes every opportunity to magnify and expose my other neighbor's problems, and I hate that.  I have started to just use a simple technique when I run into her:  She begins by talking about my neighbors, so I just don't respond to her at all, but as soon as there is a break for me to make a response, I counter with a compliment to her.  I tell her that her hair is pretty today, or that I like her jewelry, or I offer to help her with something she's doing.  It's very effective, I find. 
deleted deleted
Aug 12, 2007