As a child or as an exercise in your workplace, did you play a game of secrets? A game where you all sit in a circle, then you whisper a sentence in the ear of the person next to you. That person does the same to the person next to them. When it comes back to you, it is different than what you said.
You are at work, and a new girl starts. You like her and think you may become good friends as time goes on. But you start hearing stories about her. These stories are people gossiping about what they heard.
They say she was fired from her other job because she wasn’t any good at it. They know some individuals who use to work with her, and she was sleeping with the boss who is married. They say she had an abortion from that relationship.
You immediately start to form a different opinion of her. The thoughts of friendship fly out the window. You don’t want to be friends with someone like that!
The real story is; her boss was sexually harassing her. She went through the proper channels to report it, but her boss owned the company. She decided not to fight it anymore and put in her resignation. The boss had her fired saying she had stolen from him. He called Security and had her escorted off the property.
It was already dark outside; she was crying and upset, so she decided to walk home. Her home was only six blocks from her work. Her mind was thinking about the things that had happened and not on her safety. On her way home she was thrown into a dark alley by a man. The next morning she decided to take the “Morning After Pill.” She knew she could not take a chance nor could she raise a child.
After a lot of counseling and a tremendous amount of lost time, she is at your place of work and has to face the gossip and lies.
What will you do? Will you listen to the stories of deception they tell you? Will you let those stories form a negative opinion of her? Or will you stop worrying about what others say and get to know her to develop your views?
The story I have told is fictional, but it is not so far from reality. Any part or all of it could have happened to any person today. People can be mean and unkind. People gossip about anything they think may get themselves attention.
Yes, gossip is about personal attention. If you tell some juicy gossip everyone will be seeking you out to see if the story is true. You will appear to have more friends for a short time and feel more important.
We all need to give others a chance at life. We need to look for the good in others until proven wrong. Yes, some of those people may be evil but when you take a relationship slow you will know who they are.
Please be kind because the new person in your office may need a friend just like you. She may have gone through some tough times. She may need your kindness to be able to forgive herself for the horrible things that were not her fault.