George Harrison, my favorite Beatle, has a song called Devil's Radio. It's what George calls G-O-S-S-I-P. (The YouTube link is at the bottom of this post, along with the lyrics.) George got it right. The Devil's Radio.
Why do people do it? Why, especially, do women do it----to one another? And how is it that a woman can always tell when she has been the subject of talk at lunch? Answer: Women who gossip give off weird vibes. They hold back after they've gossiped about you. Maybe they even ignore you altogether. One can usually tell. A sure sign is when someone has been cordial before, but then they suddenly shut down. Friendly one week, silent the next and the next and the next and the next. It makes a person wonder.
If a woman is wise, if she has the power to discern, it isn't hard to put the pieces together. Another slam-dunk clue is when people in the same circles all start shutting her out. Do they think she won't be able to tell? There is also the clue of who is in charge. Who is calling the shots. It's usually the one who's been around the longest. Maybe she's lived in the neighborhood the longest, or been in the office the longest. That is almost always your queen bee. But then again, sometimes Meanie-Queenie gets tired and starts passing along some of her queenly responsibilities to another---one she deems as close to herself as possible---one who is her kindred spirit. They collaborate and conspire. New people come into the circle of influence and if they can be bought, they will be. Meanie-Queenie will babysit, bring dinner, clean the flooded rug---if one will tune into her radio station. If a person will be on her team, shun whoever Meanie-Queenie has decided deserves to be shunned.
The new people in the office or neighborhood aren't necessarily to blame. Meanie-Queenie is very charismatic. She could make a cobra go to sleep with her songs of loving charity woven with huge chunks of untruths and misrepresentation. Everyone seems to fall under her spell. She even teaches others how to charm so her legacy goes forward. Years can pass even, and the tales still are told. People who never even worked in the office when something happened will take sides with Meanie-Queenie, never even having met her 'adversary.' The songs continue. Like the bad station the bus driver loved and you were forced to listen to every single day on the 30-minute trip to and from school. Smart women put in their own earphones, turn up their own music, and tune out the gossip of others.
It's one of the 10 commandments, not to gossip: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." But people, especially women, keep it up like it's an Olympic sport and there are thousands of gold medals to be won. Why do they do it--the ones who love it so much? Is it because they've never been hurt by it? Is it because they have been hurt by the Devil's Radio and now it's their turn?
What can a woman do if she finds stories about herself playing on Top 40 of the Devil's Radio?
1. Stay away from the offenders. Consider them a bomb in a mine field. Now it's marked. Keep your distance.
2. Be civil and respectful when forced to mingle, but be guarded.
3. Don't gossip about them---do not become like them.
4. Realize that a person who gossips is really a miserable human being and so give them your pity and your empathy.
5. Pray for them.
6. Ask God to give you strength to make a blessing come from it.
7. Try to see the blessing that being the victim sometimes can be. Now you know who are not your friends, so you can look for new, genuine, honest, and kind friends. They are out there.
9. Put your energy into positive things. Get back to your hobbies. Read a really good book. Serve other people. Set a good and happy example that gossiping is not the sport of a good woman.
10. Be a good woman yourself.
The Devil's Radio is blaring more loudly than ever, it seems. The only thing we can really do is turn it off, one radio at a time. We turn it off by refusing to play the music of gossip. It's everywhere. It has become a plague. Let it be your guide to the good friends that are out there. Look for the women who don't share things about others to you, which is a pretty good sign they will never share things about you to others. Look for the good. It is there. Be gentle in the world. Be happy. Play your own music that you make yourself. Make your own playlist. Don't do what everyone else is doing. The Devil's Radio is for the lazy, mean, weak, and unhappy people. They can have it. The Devil's Radio was made for them.