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    May 2010
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Swamp Talk

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on May 19, 2010

It is the murky, nasty, unattractive gossip that goes on in circles.  It could be in the workplace, the PTA, at school, or your supposed “friend” circle.  It is something that unfortunately exists almost everywhere you go.  It is absolutely not productive and it’s only purpose is to cause harm.

“Did you hear…?” or “I heard…” or “did you know about?” might sound a bit cliché, but really, it often happens like that.  Sometimes the information being passed around is factual.  The question really lies in the intent.  Who is being helped or harmed by the sharing of this information?  Why is it important to you?  If you are passing this information around to others without a helpful purpose, will people trust you with their private information?

Not everyone has negative intent when sharing information.  So I am not talking about those situations, but we all know about rumor mills.  I once heard it called “swamp talk” and it stuck (no pun intended).  It is an accurate description for the rumor mill phenomenon.

If someone is gossiping with you, you have a choice in how you participate.  There is no one right way.  Passing it on is definitely a wrong way to handle it.  You can listen and not encourage (if you are conflict avoidant, this will more likely be your response); you can tell them to stop before they go further (strong and important to do if you can muster the back-bone to do it); you can challenge them on how it is not helpful and point out the hurtful nature of their actions (probably the least likely, but just as important as telling them to stop).  There are many ways to do this.  I am curious about your experiences with this.  Please feel free to post things you have done, seen or heard were effective (or ineffective).

Standing up to negative behavior is always a challenge.  Minimally, I implore you to stop the chain of negativity by not participating in passing the swamp talk along.  You always have a choice.

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts.  Won’t you share yours?


One Response to “Swamp Talk”

  1. As a person who’s ears have rung, I generally have two methods of dealing with it….either I completely ignore it (and I mean making a commitment to self to not let it become important enough to even want to know) or I directly confront it to nip it in the bud. usually you know that is just imaturity and malice and ignore it. Love you blog! (re-posted from Facebook…with Michelle’s permission)

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