|“A true friend stabs you in the front” – Oscar Wilde|
Growing up, it was drilled into my head that if you have nothing nice to say, it’s best to say nothing at all. While out and about the other day, it dawned on me how important this actually is in day to day life. The friends of my friend were discussing the behavior of a mutual friend of theirs. It quickly became clear to me that this person who was the focal point of our conversation was evidently someone who enjoys gossiping about others given that several members of the group had had what they believed to be close secrets revealed by this person to others.
Two aphorisms that float around immediately came to mind:
1. Great minds talk about ideas, Average minds talk about things, Small minds talk about other people. – Unknown
2. Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. – Unknown
Whenever I meet someone, I listen to both what someone says and what they don’t say as well, because language matters. Logically, if someone is trying to gossip with you, odds are they’ll gossip about you later on down the road. Personally, I believe that if I ever must discuss someone, I only talk about them as if they were actually present in the room, so then that way I am certain that I would never say anything that I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying directly to them as well. In this way, those who know me come to realize that my judgement calls on someone’s character are sound, as access to my opinions on anything that matters is something that is gained after my trust has been earned.
Silence will always be your friend if you’re trying to make a good first impression, because the worst that can be said about you is that you were quiet. A wise person will see that your silence speaks volumes. At the end of the day, if small minds must discuss you, wouldn’t you rather they have as little to say about you as possible?