I often ask this question. Nearly every day I find myself engaging in a conversation about somebody. Unfortunately, too many of those conversations are negative. I’ve noticed that when I speak negatively about a person I feel superior to her, or, maybe I should say, I’m trying to make myself feel superior to her. It’s the ultimate ego trip: try to put someone down while I pump myself up. Of course, that’s a twisted way seeking self-worth and validation, and it’s based on fear — fear of never being good enough.
I believe fear is at the core of those calculating conversations that we enter casually, armed with our hatchets so we can cut people down. While I’m vilifying you and shedding light on your inadequacies, I’m hiding and ignoring my own inadequacies. I’m going to call attention to your trash because I don’t want anyone to see my trash. It’s so much easier for me to point at your mess than it is for me to clean up my own mess.
The solution is simple: mind my own business. If I take all the energy I use to cut people down, and, instead, use that energy to challenge my fears and heal my pain, I would flow through life much easier and have so much more to share with people. That’s how I want to live my life. Don’t you?