Did you know that 60% of our adults conversations are about someone who is absent? and most of them convey some kind of judgement?
We all know that we should not blame or speak ill of anyone and none of us want to be perceive as a spiteful tongue. But rare are those who leave the conversation when it gets spicy or “interesting”…
What’s happening is that when we speak ill about someone who is not here we are actually trying to meet an important and honorable need that we have. We are trying to communicate the norms and our values to the group. The need is good but the strategy may not be the best. By accusing others or blaming them we are in fact attempting to create some kind of control system and as a result it is even said that we can uncover a group’s values by listening to their gossips.
We also tend to gossip and blame others because we have a need to feel reassured about our own normality and our belonging to the group.
The question is: do we want to continue to do it ? is it really working for us ? is it truly serving our greater good ?
To help us find news ways of relating with each others I want to share with you a story that my mother shared with me when I was a kid. It was actually clipped on the wall in the restroom in my home in Normandy so we could ” meditate” on it !
And now about 20 years later I am finally understanding the wisdom within the story and how to apply it to my own life ( that’s why you should never give up on your children !)
Socrates’ story with the three sieves.
One day, the old wise Socrates walks down the streets, when all of the sudden a man runs up to him “Socrates I have to tell you something about your friend who…”
“Hold up” Socrates interrupts him “About the story you’re about to tell me, did you put it trough the three sieves?”
“Three sieves?” The man asks “What three sieves?”
“Let’s try it” Socrates says.
“The first sieve is the one of truth, did you examine what you were about to tell me if it is true?” Socrates asks.
“Well no, I just overheard it” The man says.
“Ah, well then you have used the second sieve, the sieve of good?” Socrates asks “Is it something good what you’re about to tell me?”
“Ehm no, on the contrary” the man answers.
“Hmmm” The wise man says “Let’s use the third sieve then, is it necessary to tell me what you’re so exited about?”
“No not necessary” the man says.
“Well” Socrates says with a smile “If the story you’re about to tell me isn’t true, good or necessary, just forget it and don’t bother me with it.”
I love this image of the three sieves because it is a very practical way to filter our conversations and to decide at what level we would like to contribute.
I deeply believe that the words that we use can have a huge impact on our lives. They are shaping our thoughts, our actions and behaviors and as a result they are creating our reality.
Love and Respect,
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“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit” on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com