Express Yourself

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February 26, 2009

Why do people think that I’m a “goody goody”, just because I refuse to gossip with them?

Question: I’m a friendly fellow, and I’m happy to stop and spend a few minutes with you to discuss the general things in life — weather, sports, movies, music, and so on. When the “conversation” turns to talking smack about others, and backstabbing, whispering, drama, and gossip, then I want nothing to do with it . . . and I’ll tell you that. So, why am I being attacked for minding my own business? Some people actually think it’s a character flaw when you don’t enjoy gossip.

Answer: You are being attacked for your so-called “goody goody” behaviour because when you refuse to stoop to their level, you are reminding them that their behaviour is inappropriate; in short, you make them feel guilty for gossiping. To compensate for their guilt, they try to make you feel inferior to them for not “joining in” on their gossip, by attacking you. You’re safe to stay out of the fray, regardless of how awkward it may feel. Remember: those who gossip with you will gossip about you; no one is safe from office backstabbing, unfortunately. Continue to be friendly, as the non-gossip chat does make you “part of the office team.” However, stick to your guns about the gossiping, don’t be sucked in by their remarks.

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