Friday, September 10, 2010

She Said What?

I've been mulling over a personal situation and I hesitate to write about it, I do not want to make the situation worse, and yet, I'm hoping I can put something out there and get a bit of productive feedback.

In the past 18 months I've been accused of spreading rumors - hurtful rumors. Those who know me know I have a big mouth and I love chatting with a lot of people, so it wouldn't seem at all unlikely that I would be chatting about other people. The truth is that yes, I do sometimes say things I shouldn't or I don't speak up when I should. The other truth is that I do not purposely say things that are malicious (ok, Steve is the one person I do not censor myself with at all and that is because I trust him and know he takes everything I say with about a cup of salt).

What I've been mulling over is that in both scenarios I was accused instead of asked. This makes me think of the times I've heard that someone has said or done something and I take it as truth without checking with the person of whom it is being said. I know I've misjudged or too quickly judged others unfairly and the lesson I hope to take from this is to always check with the person who supposedly said or did whatever it was that is in question.

I also realize that there just isn't much I can do about people saying I said something or misinterpreting what I did say. I put myself out there and at first I contemplated just ceasing involvement with others to eliminate such situations, but I do not want to live in fear or not live because of fear. There will be times my sentiments will be misconstrued and times I will say something I shouldn't have - but hopefully those will pale in comparison to the times I can use my words to better a situation.

People talk about others, that's reality. I like to think that most people, even if they say unkind words about others are not really out to hurt anyone. They are expressing their opinion based on the filter they use to view life. It definitely can be hurtful to hear that someone has said something about you, but again, question the source and question the person who supposedly said it - unless the person just isn't someone you choose to have in your life, then let it roll.


  1. Wow, another thing we have in common! This was an awesome post. I have such a need to be understood and have my say. It is really strange to me when I try to get understood or add my opinion how it can turn ugly. That has been a hard life lesson... sometimes (a lot of times) I can't fix it, I can't be understood, but I can't not be me.

  2. Makes you wonder how others are hardwired when this can happen in group situations also. You may hear something completely different than the person right next to you. I have realized that those who are looking for boiling waters will find them and gleefully repeat it in their "view". It's just another way for them to be involved in the process.
    Then it's time to throw a "cautionary" flag their way until they mature......and that's a good thing :)

  3. Linda - I think so much out there is misunderstood, we assume things, we read something into a situation what wasn't intended, etc. Open, honest communication...that's the way to go!

    Steve - first, is this Steve Warren? It is amazing how our perceptions taint things and how we use our baggage to assume people's intent. Ah, to be clear in our communication, such a noble idea!

  4. I guess I'm one who if somebody tells me something another has said I don't take them at their word because it is hearsy, they could easily be misinterpreting and also adding their own spin to things. I listen politely, let them get off their chest whatever injustice or slight they may have perceived and move on with my life, even if the person was telling me something nasty another person has said about me. I guess I just don't buy into that.

    Maybe it's idealistic of me to think that my friends would have the courtesy to ask me for clarification on things they have heard I said, maybe I've lost friendships and not even known it over this very thing but I guess I am not a dweller on such details.

  5. Typically, I just listen, listen, listen and keep my mouth shut, mull things over and then if I feel the need at that point to talk about my own opinion (or if I am asked), I will.

    I really only talk about things important to me with people I have developed trust to do so.

  6. Honesty. I think this is the basic element that is missing in most of these misunderstandings that you posted Heather. Whether someone else is not being honest - either with themselves or with others - or you are not being honest with yourself or others, lack of honesty is the root of all malicious communications. Lack of honesty is the cornerstone of fear; fear is the cornerstone of maliciousness and hate.

    While living an honest and truthful life is not an easy path, it is a path that avoids this turmoil - honestly! ;)

    I live my days honestly. I speak and act with honesty of character and purity of heart. People may misunderstand my way, but if they ask about why or what I have said or done I know that I can honestly tell them what my feelings and motivations were.

    Of course, my circle of friends is not large - well, not any more! However, my circle is honest and true. If I learn that something has been said of me, I will speak with that person(again, as you said, if they are an important part of my life) and attempt to resolve any ill feelings or hurt emotions that that person may have.

    If we are honest with ourselves about our own emotions and actions then we can be honest with others as well. Only from a place of honesty can we truly communicate with those about whom we care. Only from a place of honesty can we fully live our lives and be the people we wish to be.

    Thank you for your post and I hope that in your life you will find less maliciousness and more joy. I hope you will celebrate your days and honestly live them to their fullest.