I love to tell stories. Clearly. Sometimes I admit, that my zeal for a good story outshines the interest of the story itself. Maybe the trouble is that I just like to talk.
My father tells stories too. I have many fond memories of laughing for hours as he talked about his around the world adventures. Around the world is a place that I have never been.
Poor Bratty gets the brunt of my stories, you know, since we spend at least 8 hours per day together. Sometimes, I'll be right in the middle of telling her another one when she turns and asks if I am talking to her. That's when I realize that I'm speaking to hear myself speak and it's time to shut up. She isn't being mean, she really just doesn't always know when I am addressing her and not my computer.
A week or two ago, a friend told me something that I would ordinarily repeat. When I opened my mouth to mention it, you know, just telling stories and spreading the news, I stopped myself.
For the first time, I realized that I was about to pass along a story that wasn't mine to tell.
I would never call myself a gossip. Nosey, absolutely. I love to hear a good story as much as I like to tell them. But not a gossip. Gossip is malicious and mean, right? Something I don't want to be.
But it isn't always, is it? In fact, Merriam Webster defines gossip in three ways. a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others. rumor or report of an intimate nature. and chatty talk. What I thought of as chatty talk though, might have been a rumor or report of an intimate nature. And I had become a person who reveals personal or sensational facts about others.
Wow. That's some ugly lint growing in my navel.
So I have been making a concentrated effort not to be the repeater of intimate details that are not my own. I've caught myself several times. Funny thing is, while I'm not repeating the stories, I find that I'm also a little less nosey. I catch myself perking up at a juicy bit only to walk away with the reminder that it's not my business.
I can tell MY stories all I want. But I don't want to tell other people's stories anymore. It's gotten quieter around here.