Being an only child, I have always been a good listener. Sometimes too good a listener.
My whole life has been spent mostly around adults, a lot of that time I was supposed to be off playing or doing my own thing while the adults chatted amongst themselves.
As I grew older and became an adult myself, my love for listening and learning did not subside.
But it was different now. Now I was old enough to understand what was being said, to understand the backstabbing, the gossip and everything else that goes on.
Over the years I have heard quite a few things that I knew I shouldn’t have, I’ve heard some things I wished I hadn’t have.
Thankfully some of the things I have heard over the years have been erased from my mind, well, I guess they’re still there and I just need the right (or wrong) trigger to bring it all back again, but I’m quite happy to continue forgetting some of the things I have heard.
Some of the most hurtful things have been the workplace gossip that went around after a former workmate and friend took advantage of me. We worked in a small family business (neither of us were related to the owners of the business), he seemed like a lovely guy, very quiet and softly spoken but when he got me on my own- he didn’t seem to understand that No means No. I was young and naïve at the time so was ashamed at what I had let happen to me so I tried to keep it all a secret. I felt it must have been my fault. Soon after, the gossip started. It went around like wildfire crossed with Chinese whispers. Things were blown out of proportion, imagination went wild to make it sound better for him (I guess)… I had to end up leaving that workplace.
Other more recent things I have accidentally over heard include extended family gossiping and bitching about each other and then when they are in each others company, they act all sweet towards each other as though they’re the best thing on Earth.
I don’t like this at all and find it hard to trust these people. I mean, if they are talking like that about other members of the family, what are they saying about me!? How can I trust a two-faced person? I honestly don’t think I can. I tried to gently hint that people may not be as sweet as they seemed but anything I said was brushed aside, or I’d be told I was just being silly, or that I was jealous because I didn’t have the same relationship with the other person as what they had.
Another thing I “heard” was actually on social media.
I had an acquaintance who was spreading rumours about me and I just happened to stumble over some of the posts she was writing about me and plastering around a major social media site. Apparently she had been warning everyone about me, saying they should stay clear of me as I was a mentally retarded person who could not be trusted and how I had so many problems, etc.
My true friends have stuck by me as they realised what was being said about me was all lies. Those who took her side and believed everything she typed were soon unfriended and blocked.
I have been fortunate enough to accidentally hear some good things being said about me. It feels exceptionally great when you realise people do actually realise what you do, or when people do take an interest in something you do and tell others about how great it is.
For someone with a very low self esteem, they couldn’t overhear anything better. The only thing that would be better than overhearing someone talk nicely about you is for someone to tell you how much they enjoy what you do, how much they appreciate what you do.
It’s all well and good to ASSUME that they know they’re doing a good job, but if they’re never told they are… how do they know they are?
From my experiences- both positive and negative, I have learnt that honesty is the best policy.
It’s best to approach a person and have a quiet word with them about any problems or issues that may arise.
Get the information straight from the horses mouth.
If you accidentally hear something you know you shouldn’t have it can be hard to look the person in question in the face again without having strong feelings towards them. The feelings could be mixed or straight out love or hatred for example- it all depends on who said what.
If you feel good about what someone says or something they do, or if you think they do something really well- please, please TELL THEM! It might very well be the only positive thing they hear that day, that week, that month or even that year.
**This was written in response to today’s Daily Prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/prompt-sleep/ **