This is another word I have never quite understood. As a child I was told talking about someone behind their back when they are not around is gossip. Then I was told it was saying bad things about them behind their backs and they are not there to defend themselves. Mom would tell me how wrong it is but only to turn around and tell me what an asshole my dad is and what a jerk he is. Confusing so it must be okay to do. My high school therapist called it non-compliant. I think that was his PC word for hypocrite. He was a therapist so he had to not say bad things about people, he was a professional so he had to use kinder words that didn’t sound bad. I learned then non-compliant meant not liking what someone does but you do it yourself or not caring if someone does something to other people and you tell them to do it to them but yet when they do it to you, you get mad about it. He called this all non-compliant. But Dr. Phil would sure call it hypocrisy because it’s his own TV show so he can say things the way it is and be non-politically correct. But he can be harsh and the truth hurts sometimes but people do want to hear it so they go on his show for it. But I also find it sad how some people don’t know how to get help or can’t afford it and the only way to get it is to be on his show and air their dirty laundry to the world. Now back to the word gossip.
I remember saying in my therapist’s office I was gossiping because I was saying bad things about other people and he laughed and told me it was different what I am doing because I am in a safe place for it and nothing leaves his office what I say. By law he isn’t allowed to tell other people what I told him. So I learned that gossiping is okay if done in a therapist’s office.
I have noticed my whole life everyone talked about other people and anyone who claims they don’t gossip are probably lying. I am sure they have talked about an issue they have with someone at work or in school or their teacher falsely accusing them of something and punishing them for it or do they just bottle everything up inside and never talk about their feelings? So no one knows they are having problems at work or being bullied at school. Everyone just assumes that person has a fine life and everything is going good for that person. But as an adult I have learned gossiping meant different things for people. Everyone had their own definition of it. Not everyone considered it gossip if done in a therapist’s office. My husband told me if I got upset at work and came home and talked about it to him, it wouldn’t be gossip because he isn’t going to tell everyone about it. My mom told me last year gossip is when you talk to someone and they tell everyone else about it what you told them. Talking about someone isn’t gossip if it isn’t spread. So that means I can talk about my boss at work to someone and it won’t be gossip if that person doesn’t go to everyone else repeating what I said.
I remember when I lived in Montana, this one employee there who had been working there for four years all of a sudden vanished. She never came back to work and I found it so strange she was gone. No one knew where she went and my boss was so secretive about it. One day I made a joke saying maybe she went to jail and I got told by another co-worker I was doing slander and trying to spread a rumor. I learned then what caused rumors is telling a joke about someone and it’s slander. So she was going around telling everyone I was trying to spread a rumor about Sai going to jail. My boss told me then she quit her job because she didn’t agree with something. I felt relieved and was glad nothing happened to her and she was alright. She didn’t get falsely accused and go to jail. They all had me worried over nothing. Sometimes it can be a crime to care about someone. But I also have been told online a few years back you have to be careful when you talk about someone. I learned than when I did the joke a work I have to be careful when I joke because what if someone walking by had overheard it, they would have assumed that is what happened to Sai and tell others about it and pretty soon lot of people in town think she went to jail. That is how rumors start. A harmless joke can do it. Fast forward years later on Wrongplanet, someone told me my co-worker was an idiot and it wasn’t slander I was doing. Okay so what exactly is slander then?
Back in 2010, when there was an online drama that happened from Wrongplanet involving a corrupted mod, I was still upset by it and I kept on talking about it and I got told I was doing gossiping and spreading rumors. I learned then I was to keep things bottled up and deal with my own OCD thoughts because it’s gossiping and spreading rumors if I talk about it. I am to do it only once and then keep it bottled up. I was told on Aspergic talking about it to different people was gossip. But lot of people don’t like to hear your problems over and over and they expect you to move on. Most people can talk about something that upset them and then they get over it after they have discussed it but for people with OCD, that can be hard. They can’t get rid of those unwanted thoughts and even talking about it doesn’t get rid of the feelings and those unwanted thoughts like it does for most people. But I was told this was gossiping if you don’t do it once and you do it over and over. Now fast forward later on Wrongplanet again, there is thread going on about people gossiping and if we do it or not. Someone made an interesting post there and it gave me some insight. She wrote she thinks there is a difference between sharing something with a friend about your dealings and what is bothering you and true gossip is doing it for mean spirited kicks that may spread untruths and speculations that may border on slander. She posted two examples, one that would be gossip and one that wouldn’t be gossip.
It gave me some insight and it made me think if my intentions may have been misread and I took it all literal. I remember being accused of twisting her words and I then didn’t understand what was she saying then if I am twisting her words. I also think when people accuse me of twisting their words, it’s because I am right and they don’t like it. That was a pattern I had noticed online. I don’t realize what I do can come off across to someone and how they may see it. I always assume they will see it my way and then I am shocked when they got it all wrong and are they stupid? Online it’s hard for everyone to interpret how people are feeling because there is no tone of voice, there is no crying, you can’t see them crying, you can’t hear their tone, all you see is text. I wonder if I was being misread and I thought they knew how I was feeling and what I was going through because I was talking about it so I assumed they knew how I was feeling so when I got accused of trying to spread rumors and doing gossip, I learned it was gossiping and then I learned I was only supposed to tell it to one person and to no one else and I am to bottle it all up. So what did those people mean then? If someone has OCD so they have a hard time moving forward and moving on, is it really gossip if they keep talking about it? I can see now why anyone would call it such because most people just move on after ranting about it to one person and I just learned it was called gossip if you do it to different people. But is it still gossip?
I remember when I first learned the word manipulative, I had my character goofing off while they were getting ready to leave for the airport and she was pretending she was dying of a heart attack and her mom told her this was rush hour, not acting class so she stopped. My mom said that was manipulative. I learned manipulative meant acting when it’s not acting time. I learned as an adult she may have misread my intentions in the story because manipulative means trying to get what you want by trying to deceive someone and trick them. My character wasn’t pretending to die of a heart attack to get what she wanted, there was nothing she wanted. She was just pretending to die of a heart attack being all goofy. So that was why I always was confused when she called it manipulative because who was I trying to fool in the story, what was my agenda, what did I want? It took me years to understand this word too and I think I get the word now and I finally figured out my mom was wrong and she probably misread the character’s intention. She assumed wrong.
I still think gossip means different things to people. Something may be gossip for one person but not gossip for the other.
As the person on Wrongplanet wrote, all human communication is complicated. If I get accused of anything, how do I know if they are correct or if they are just misunderstanding the situation so they used a word wrong. I remember when my mom took the computer away for three weeks, I was so mad at her I didn’t look at her or talk to her. My therapist called this manipulation. So I learned when someone does something to you you don’t like, it’s manipulation if you refuse to talk to them and look at them. But what if this wasn’t correct? He told me it was manipulation because I would cut it out right if she gave me back the computer? But people on wrongplanet have contradicted it by mentioning things like if their parents took away their special interest, they would have meltdowns and punch holes in walls and stuff. So it made me think what if my therapist was wrong and he misread my intentions? What happens if you do give these aspie children back their special interests? The meltdowns would stop right and them punching holes in walls and their other destructive behavior. They don’t call this manipulation. Or what if they are just being politically correct by not calling it that? But I may never know if my therapist was wrong or if the people on Wrongplanet are wrong. Who’s right? My therapist or them?