“Gossip is Detrimental”

For as long as I can remember, I was always observant. Because I was always observant, it led me to becoming shy. Here’s why …

If you didn’t know already, I’m Fulani which is a West-African ethnic group. I truly do love my culture. But, based off what I’ve seen from my childhood years to now, I know that I am apart of a community that loves to gossip. Doesn’t matter who, they just always need someone to be the topic of discussion at all the social gatherings. They love to pinpoint flaws through judgement and share them with other aunties. To them, it’s enough to make hasty generalizations based off what they see and hear.

This is extremely toxic habit that is detrimental to not only the reputations that people have, but also to their self-esteem.

I personally grew up with the fear of being judged; I chose to limit what people knew about me by being shy. But of course, that didn’t prevent much because people will always find something to say regardless of what you do, good or bad.

There’s nothing that annoys me more than when a person swears they have me all figured out.

Listen … you know what I want you to know! You give people a slice of pie, and they start to think they got the entire pie! It’s natural for humans to keep specific details about ourselves in private, it’s just what we do. So what makes anyone think it’s acceptable to draw conclusions about you based off that slice of pie you gave them?

Gossiping of course doesn’t only happen in the Fulani community, it happens everywhere! I’ve seen it within professional workplaces, families, you name it! People paint their own pictures of others lives’ only based off what they know! The crazy thing is, we don’t truly know anything because we aren’t in that person’s shoes. One of our problems is that when we choose to gossip, we’re being selfish because we aren’t considering what others could possibly be going through! Words are powerful enough to make or break a person. Which side do you want to be on? Make or Break? Think about that before you decide to speak badly on someone.

We love to draw conclusions based off the little bit of details we know when we should be minding our business! We have to do better. This behavior will only negatively impact our moral and others’ lives! Keep in mind that other people have feelings just like you do!

If it wasn’t for my exposure to the gossiping ways of the Fulani community, would I have still been shy? Mmh, I guess we’ll never know.

This generation has one of the highest rates of suicide. Shouldn’t we help reduce those rates by avoiding gossip?

It may seem like what you say won’t cause any damage because of how you “small” you deem it to be. However, there’s no way to be sure! If you know what you’re about to say about someone isn’t good, just remain silent. It could all be so simple.

For your own sake, it’s best to stay away from people who make it their JOB to talk about other people. Why would you want to be around such energy? It’s not helping you; instead of taking two steps forward, you’d be taking five steps back.

P.S. For my Muslims, backbiting is a major sin; guard your tongue.

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