Addiction to Gossip

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A member of Inner Bonding Village asked the following question:

“I’m a little confused. My mother is visiting me, and sometimes we have a nice time together. But often her way of bonding with me or anyone else is to talk about other people’s problems. Most of the time I find it draining. It feels like she is never happy and uses her ‘caring’ and problem solving abilities to avoid something else.”

The questioner’s understanding of this situation may be exactly what is happening – his mother is likely using her addiction to gossip as a way of connecting with her son and avoiding her own emptiness and aloneness that is the result of her self-abandonment.

I had a phone session with Gil over this very same issue.

“After Mindy and I come back from a social event, or have a social event at our house, we often spend time gossiping about other people, judging them fairly harshly. I don’t know why we do this. It kind of feels good at the time, but after I notice that I feel badly.”

“What feels good at the time?”

“I guess it feels good to our ego wounded self to feel like we are one up to these people, and it gives us something to connect about.”

“And what feels bad after?”

“I think it doesn’t feel good to my inner child to think badly about others. He doesn’t like me to be judgmental and it makes him feel kind of empty.”

“What do you think you are avoiding feeling when you are gossiping with Mindy?”

“Well….I think that most of the time I’m not as caring toward others as I really want to be, so I end up feeling kind of alone and empty and lonely around other people. I want to connect with them but I think I’m so afraid of rejection that I hold back. Maybe I gossip with Mindy to try to feel better, and it works for the moment, but then I end up feeling worse.”

Gossip is like any other addiction – it is a way of avoiding responsibility for your feelings, and can be used by the wounded self as a way to connects with others. The wounded self has numerous ways of trying to connect with others other than being truly authentic and caring, such as drinking together, smoking pot together, ridiculing others together, or even using things like food to get a sense of closeness without having to be authentic. Gossip is another one of the ways the wounded self tries to connect and get filled up externally when you are abandoning yourself.

“Gil, it sounds like you want to connect with Mindy but that you don’t know how to do it without gossiping – is that right?”

“I do want to connect with her and others, and I’m not sure how to do it.”

“The problem is that it is hard to connect with others when you are disconnected from yourself. It ends up being a vicious circle. You disconnect from your own feelings, which makes your inner child feel alone and abandoned inside, which then leads to a fear of rejection, which then leads to you holding back who you are. This won’t change until you are willing to practice staying present in your own body with your own feelings and taking responsibility for them rather than avoiding them with gossip and other addictions. This is what the practice of Inner Bonding® is all about – learning how to take responsibility for your own feelings so that you have love and caring to share with others.”

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover addiction-free joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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