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Dear Breakup Girl,
I think I am a huge gossip, and it makes me sick! I live in a
small town where people always talk about each other, and it's not uncommon
to hear people chatting it up about who did what and when, etc. It just seems
that if the saying "what goes around comes around" is true, then I'm in trouble.
I have friends who accuse me of blabbing secrets all the time, one in particular
(we are going on a road trip together in a few days, and now it's going to be
tense) who has accused me a few times in the last weeks.
I think it's so hard where I live (a) not to be "in the know"
and (b) not to blab about it. Many times, I do not even remember saying anything
in the first place, which makes it worse, because I look even less accountable
and more shady.
How, oh how, can I redeem myself without becoming the kid who
doesn't come to all the parties because of my big mouth? I don't want the attention
and authority of being a large bank of information, but it seems I'm getting
tomatoes thrown at me after I open my mouth.
If you started that Britney-Justin thing
just to get Gregoire's attention, you
are in trouble.
Naw, don't worry. 'Cause I heard from own
Belleruth that there totally
is hope. She says: "Kudos to you for acknowledging your mouthy ways. Here's
the thing: people blab and gossip as a way of establishing quickie intimacy
with each other. It's a way of trying to connect, and also of establishing one's
social value as a keeper of goodies -- gossip is social coin, after all. Problem
is, as you have discovered, that kind of currency tends not to work if unregulated.
Unless you can prioritize what you blab and to whom, you've got trouble."
And now -- you heard it here! -- Belleruth
actually writes the heretofore unwritten rule of gossip!
"You have a very, verrrrry close --
and small, like one or two people -- circle of intimates. These people you blab
to, but not about. You have a large circle of close but not verrrrry close friends.
These you are very careful about. You blab about them only to your tiny circle,
but the understanding is that it goes nowhere. Your tiny circle has to be trustworthy.
And trusting. (Then there's the general population, and usually there,
dish is dish. You're not betraying anyone close.)
By the way, it's always a good practice to
screen out the flat-out gratuitously mean-spirited stuff and just leave it alone
-- it just contaminates anyone who passes it along.
Anyway, perhaps the real deal here is that
you might be lacking that tiny circle. If that's the case, there's where you
need to look and work."
To that end, make sure you know, Erin, that
you've got something to talk about other than, say, others. That your life offers
more to revel in than rumors. That you've got something
going for you other than what they're hearing from you. Okay? And you did
hear that from me.
Belleruth and Breakup Girl
P.S. Click below for more dish on dish.
"All my boyfriend wants to do is fish!"