One of the most important things to me in any relationship is trust. Trust that I am in a safe place to share my hopes, dreams and secrets. Too many times I hear people repeating conversations and stories about other people. Is that really gossip? No one likes to be called a gossip. But what is really considered gossip? Miriam Webster defines gossip as, “a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others.” Is the key to this definition habitually? I am not sure. What do you think?
Through the years I have also come to realize that sharing information about anything, even when it may not be gossip, isn’t always the best thing either. What if I am stealing someone’s “thunder”? What I mean by thunder is sharing news, whether good or bad, with other people before the owner gets the chance. I have really tried to adopt the motto: “It isn’t my story to tell.” When someone asks me what I know about blank, or so-and-so, I try to say it isn’t my story to tell. Why? Maybe the information was given to me but I never asked if I could tell other people. Perhaps it was exciting news. Why not let the recipient of that good news share it and let others see their excitement?
There is a reason people don’t usually tell secrets to children: They spill the beans. Or do you know someone that if told something that within the day most everyone in the family or office will know about it? If asked by your co-workers, friends or family how you are with keeping secrets what would they say?
Am I perfect at this? Not even close. I am a very chatty person by nature so this has taken me years to develop. Especially when it is with close friends and family. With acquaintances I find it a lot easier to not say anything. I used to say, “I don’t know” but this, to me, is actually lying. I don’t want to lie to people because that erodes trust as well. So for me saying, “it isn’t my story to tell” is a good way of saying they should check with the person directly involved to find out what has happened or will happen.
We are all in this journey of life together. Be trustworthy. Be kind. Be authentic.