Q: Dear Susie, There is a woman in my neighborhood who spreads nasty rumors. She’s done it for years, and some people don’t talk to each other because of her. So my four friends and I got together and decided to do something bad to her. We haven’t decided what yet and I feel funny about it.
A: Hopefully this column will come out before you do anything.
There is nothing more aggravating than nasty rumors. It starts in junior high, and some people never seem to grow out of it.
They love starting them, they love passing them on. They don’t love being on the receiving end of them.
But all of it is very energizing, whether you’re the one spreading the news. (Have you heard what Sheila did? It’s outrageous!) or whether you’re receiving the news (I can’t believe it! Tell me all about it…).
There’s even a lot of energy around being the victim of the rumors (Can you believe that rotten Tammy? I can’t believe she’d be that mean! She’s always been like that, remember the time she …).
I admit it: when I realize people have said untrue things about me, the first thing I want to do is call everyone I know and convince them it’s not true, and get them to side with me. What if someone believed that person? I’m a good person!
How could they do that to me? They’re so mean!
But here’s the deal. Negative breeds negative, pure and simple. I know, I know—it’s not fair, she’ll never stop, it’s hurting everyone, but here are some things to consider.
I won’t even get into the karmic ramifications of spreading lower energy stuff around—it’s just so bad, and really, what goes around comes around, and I really don’t want to be on the receiving end of karma (it’s already happened enough, thank you!).
What does that mean? Even if your neighbor starts and spreads the rumors, it will only hurt you if you return like with like.
By the way your question is stated, you already feel funny about it, so you’re tapped into your conscience, and that higher law of karma.
I’m interested in what you were planning to do to her. I’m hoping it wasn’t anything illegal (really bad karma), but still hoping it wasn’t too drastic.
When I tune in to your neighbor, I’m picking up on someone in a lot of pain. She doesn’t like being left out, and this is her way of feeling included.
Really, she’s the center of a lot of your conversations, isn’t she? So in some weird way, she’s an important part of all of your lives. She doesn’t feel worthy to just be with any of you, so she keeps herself on the outside by being a not-so-pleasant person (although on the surface she looks to be quite pleasant to your face), and feels like it’s enough just to have you all talking about her.
One practical suggestion is for all you who are on the receiving end to get together and make a pact not to listen to, or believe, anything this woman says to you. You don’t have to spend any time with her, do you? If no one has contact with her, no one can hear any bad things.
Another tactic is bluntness. If she starts in on one of your friends, interrupt her and say, “I’ll keep talking with you, but only if you don’t speak unkindly about _______.” If she persists, end the conversation. Period. If two people don’t dance, there’s no dance. Walk away. You don’t have to play.
You don’t want to be mean. You do your best, and try to be fair. I can understand your frustration, really, I can, but there’s this great scene out of the “Fifth Element” that has the dark star moving closer to Earth, and the head of the Army wants to shoot it with some missiles. The priest says no—hatred makes it grow, because the star is pure hate, and hate feeds off the hatred. The Army sergeant doesn’t believe him, shoots the star, and sure enough, it grows.
The answer to the whole situation? Love. Love is the only thing that can conquer hate. The same is true in this situation, like it or not.
What would be the perceived outcome if you were to answer hate with hate? Would that make anything better? Would everyone now be happy, or miserable?
So I’ll ask you: what can you all do to distance yourself from this woman? It seems to me that everyone is enmeshed, and really, there’s no one forcing you to interact or talk with the mean neighbor. And especially if you band together to not play into her game, it will be over.
My strong suggestion is not to do anything bad. Although it may temporarily feel good, in the long run it will make things worse, kind of like scratching your poison ivy. It’s bugging you, you’ve just gotta do it, no, no, you can’t take it … ah … that felt good to scratch. Aaaaaah! That hurts!
So put some spiritual calamine lotion on your neighbor poison ivy by sending her some positive vibes (Seriously—mentally say something like “I bless you and wish you only happiness in your life.”).
Calm yourself by distancing yourself from her lower energy, calm yourself with meditation or walking or spending time with uplifting, positive, kind people.
And keep listening to that small still voice that urged you to write in with your question. It will continue to give you good advice, because I think that you came to the same conclusion that I did: don’t do it.
Of course, you’re free to do whatever you please. Just watch the results and the consequences of your actions, because every action has an opposite and equal reaction, and in some cases, the reaction may be even greater than the original action, and I’m not sure if you’re up for that.
So whatever you decide, good luck, best wishes, and blessings to you.
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