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.