Ceding Control

March 29, 2013

Gossip. We all do it, we all love it, we all live for it. The problem with gossiping is that we tend not to be extremely tactical about it; word gets out to the person that we’ve been talking about behind their back, and mahemy-chaos ensues. Gossip becomes more messy when it spreads and interpretations change — think of the “telephone” game which our teachers made us play as kids — and it’s never good for anybody.

How do we avoid being talked about behind our backs? The only answer which I can think of is that we’d need to disappear; go away and be forgotten. Humans are social animals and being anti-social isn’t incredibly good for our health, and we’re ceding control of our representation by having friends.

We like to talk about our lives, and by occupying someone’s time you’re a part of his or her life. Like it or not, right now I’m a minute of your day, and you have the right to rant about me to your friends. I can’t control what you say — you can outright lie about me — and I accept that I can’t speak for myself among your network.

Unfortunately, as I’ve recently found out, someone who I know personally can’t accept that people talk about him. He will live a sad life if he can’t accept that gossip is a part of it, and it would do you well to embrace back-talk against you too.

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