The biggest pet peeve I have is when people talk smack about others behind their backs.
They make it their life’s mission to sabotage and bring you down rather than focusing on how they can be better and kind people.
I’m sure we’ve all had this happen to us at one point or another whether it’s mean girls on the playground, bullies, gossipy co-workers or jealous colleagues.
Last year, I encountered this with a former colleague. We didn’t end things on a good note for various reasons (you’ll have to catch up on my past rule of life lessons), but she still kept dibs on what I was doing as an entrepreneur even after I unfriended her on all platforms.
When she learned a mutual friend of hers and I were collaborating on a project together, she didn’t come to me. Instead, she went to my friend and told her not to work with me because I’m not a good person who can be trusted. Apparently, I didn’t know what it meant to collaborate with anyone even though for the last 16 years of my business, all I’ve done is collaborate with others to build it.
I thought about this for several nights wondering whether to confront her about spreading gossip behind my back which I knew would lead to a nasty argument, but I gave my word to our mutual friend that I wouldn’t who wasn’t supposed to tell me (wow, just like high school days!).
While having breakfast with my friend and mentor who also knew of her, I mentioned what was happening and his advice to me was this. “Tisha, take the high road. It’s not even worth it.”
This woman didn’t have any ground to stay on. It was her opinion of me because truth be told, she actually let our collaboration fall apart, not me.
Because my reputation means more to me than anything and I’ve built it solely on two factors – trust and relationships.
Her mutual friend and I? We still collaborated on her event last year because she got to know me and trusted that I would show up, which I did time and time again.
The one spreading rumors? Yep. Nowhere to be found. She actually left my friend in quite the hiccup at the event because she knew I’d be there showing my support.
People truly amaze me.
If you’re caught in a situation similar to mine where you’re the one being gossiped about, here’s my best advice. Take the high road as my friend suggested. Keep being you, doing you and showing up. Don’t pay attention to what they’re doing to your character because they’re only ruining theirs. It’s not you they’re making a fool of. It’s them and word spreads.
Rule of Life Lesson #123: