When I was growing up my Mom & Mam-Ma (southern for live-in grandma) always said emphatically, "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say ANYTHING AT ALL." Well to be honest, this advice went down the tubes the minute I moved out of the house. We all decide some where in our heads that it's okay to dish with our best girlfriend or a family member, "they won't tell anyone else." Famous last words.
Over the years my feelings on this topic have waxed and waned, mostly I've always admired others who refused to dish. My favorite example of Non-Negativity is always my friend Vicki. If you called her and recounted something ugly that someone had just said to you, she would deflect negativity with an "Oh, she's probably just having a bad day, I'm sure she didn't mean that." I once heard a friend say to someone when they were expressing feeling disliked by another person, "What makes you think you're so dang important that it's all about you ?" Pheweee! That's a bomb and a half but one hundred percent food for thought.
FAST FORWARD as life fleets by me faster than a bullet speeding to age sixty, I have come to some hard realizations. One, is that the things you will hear people say about our friend Vicki is that she was sweet, giving and she always deflected negativity. Yes, she's gone from us now. Which brings me to the next thought. TWO, Life is Fleeting and Junior High is Over. What do I want to be said of me when I am gone ? What will be my legacy ? Will it be Sweet or Junior High Caddie ? And Three, I have absolutely no idea what is truly going on behind the scenes in someone else's life. Because of that, I want to choose to think that whatever is going on that made someone behave in a less than pleasant fashion has nothing to do with me at all. Therefore I won't take it personally, I'm really not that important.
OKAY, that was a bunch of super heavy duty stuff. So, I'll end on a funny note. When my Mom and I are feeling that feeling of the need to dish, but wanting to be sweet instead. We dig deep into the Mam-Ma Archives remembering the instruction of "If you can't say something nice.." ( I hope you read that in your best southern voice). We look at each other and say, "Well, she does have nice teeth !"