My new neighbors (and gossip)


#1

Some of you might know we moved (again) to a new townhome, and we absolutely love it. Love the neighborhood, the neighbors so far seem quite friendly, spectacular upgrades throughout the home, and just love the layout of our new place. There are a few drawbacks, but nothing we can’t cope with. No place is perfect. But this is close.

So, I went grocery shopping this afternoon, (hubby is working today:( ) and decided to have a little party with my kids to celebrate 4th of July. My husband took time off for the move, and because he is still relatively new at Disney, he doesn’t want to use too much vacation time.

Getting out of my car after the shopping trip, I noticed a group of people across the street, bbq-ing, chatting, music playing, and I waved. So, they yelled over…‘come on and join us.’ How sweet is that? Very sweet, indeed. So, my son comes out, takes the food inside, and I walk over with my dd. I come to find out from these folks that my landlord is gay (I kinda suspected but whatever)…that he hasn’t ‘come out,’ yet, and they proceed to talk about a series of other neighbors.:blush: I listened, they were very kind to offer me food…they said if I ever need anything, to come over. Truly, nice people. But, you know, I remember back in our neighborhood in PA–the gossip. The drama. Who knew what about who. So, I hung out there for a little while, and really liked the people I met. But, I didn’t know how to take this ‘information’ they were sharing.

I don’t want to judge anyone–but what do you do when people are gossiping? Is it gossip for people to talk about neighbors the way they were, or could it be seen as giving me a heads up on certain people? Just curious as to your thoughts.

I also felt sad about my new landlord…that he feels the need to hide his true self. I’m against homosexual lifestyle, but I would imagine it would be very trying for someone to lead this fake/double life, pretending to be straight, when he is gay.

Anyways! Happy 4th all…just wanted to share this, and see what you think.

PS: I think we might buy this place–the owner is open to that, and we are tired of moving around!:o


#2

I think it’s nice to ‘know’ some of the things about ones neighbors, but I don’t participate in the gossip sessions.

It’s great they were so inviting, maybe you can give them a good example of how not to act when you’re out with them in the future.

Congrats on finding a nice place to live. That can be a battle.


#3

In this situation you didn’t know what you were getting into, and I don’t think that you would have gained anything by pointing out the sin of gossip. Therefore the proper thing to do is to be the polite new neighbor and give the usual pleasantries and chit chat about how you are, ages of your kids, where you are from, etc.

Also, you don’t know if such talk is a common or rare experience and it could be a major error to jump to any conclusions at this early juncture.

If you are given information that is clearly gossip the Christian thing to do is 1) don’t hold it against the referenced person, and 2) don’t pass said gossip along.

The best thing you can do here is set a Christian example. Be a polite and helpful neighbor. Have play dates, invite them to your cookouts, share a beer, help each other as they help you. If gossip is brought up simply respond with something like (I had no idea about such-and-such) and/or subtly change the subject. Eventually, they’ll get the hint.

Oh, and I remember your earlier posts, so I am glad you found a place to your liking:thumbsup:


#4

People gossip to make themselves feel superior.

I went through the exact same feelings and emotions you did when my kids started at CATHOLIC SCHOOL – trust ME – some of the worst gossip you have ever witnessed. Or I have, whatever.

I just smiled, nodded, and/or frowned and shook my head, and just walked away. Keeping your mouth shut is the BEST way to go.

It doesn’t matter if your landlord is straight or gay – it’s not your business, nor is it your neighbors. :shrug:

Smile and nod, and if it gets ugly: frown and shake your head. Just DON’T GET INVOLVED.


#5

I agree. If people gossip about others in front of you, they’ll also gossip about you in front of others.

KCtheMommy’s reaction of smiling (or frowning) and walking away is indeed the best way to go, IMO. :thumbsup:


#6

totally agree! but I also agree with KC that Catholic school moms were the worst gossips I ever saw!


#7

I had a similar experience when we moved into the suburban/rural area we live in now (thank God, we’re moving back into the city when I start work in October! Nodding to one’s neighbors in the elevator! Just having to socialize with my own friends who DON’T gossip! Bliss!)

Anyway, these people not only gossip in a … frighteningly cruel way, they have all fallen out with everyone else. It’s incredible. Dh and me are the only ones even talking with each of these families, and they no longer talk to each other!

My technique for avoiding gossip, when I see any of them, is to completely ignore the information/defamation offered about the person (‘He gambles’, ‘She’s stupid’), and just say something positive instead, maintaining firm eye contact and smiling (‘I really find her honesty refreshing and like her as a person’). This tends to show them I don’t want to hear gossip, but in a ‘nice’ way.


#8

Keep these people at a distance. Be friendly, wave when you see them, but do not cultivate a friendship with them. Don’t let them know personal details of your life, or you will be the conversation of the neighborhood when you aren’t around.

I don’t like gossipy people.

You know, on here we often tell women who come on here and say "He’s a really great guy, but… " to ditch him.

Well, you are saying, “They’re really great neighbors, but…”. So… what advice would YOU give?


#9

Sounds like the group DH works with. It was a tradition in his military section at Christmas time to have a “Snowball”. A few people would get together for drinks at someone’s house then they’d go to another person’s house for a drink, take that person with them and head to someone else’s house and take them with them and so on, like a snowball rolling downhill.

It was usually an impromptu thing and you visited your friends but when the the new company took over and that military section became civilian the Snowball became an organized event and there was a date announced and a schedule of houses to visit – it was no longer simply friends visiting friends.

I went the first year and was appalled to hear the comments between each house. They’d leave one place, disparage the person whose house they were headed for then go in, drink their booze, eat their food and have them join the group and repeat the behaviour on their way to the next person’s house. Thinking that maybe it was an aberration I went again the next year and if anything it was worse than the year before. I even heard nasty comments about the person in whose living room we were sitting and the worst offender was the boss.

The 3rd year I refused to go and told DH that I felt sick to my stomach at the thought that we were inviting them into our home knowing that they were probably making the same type of revolting comments about us as they did about everyone else. He still went but when asked why I wasn’t there he replied that I found it too exhausting taking knives out of people’s backs. The last couple of years we deliberately left our name off the list and now the Snowball doesn’t happen. Nasty gossip ruined what had been a fun thing.


#10

I also agree with KC. And don’t overly chastise yourself. You walked into this blind.


#11

Good morning (or afternoon, depending on where you are living):slight_smile:

Yes, I agree with you all…I actually didn’t feel like they were gossiping, until they started naming different neighbors, and pointing to their homes. Not all of the couples did this, some just turned a head around, and then back around, and said nothing–others chimed in. I was thinking of having a bbq and inviting my family, and some of these folks–not all–and just getting to know those around me.

When we lived in PA, everyone ‘lived’ at everyone else’s house…I eventually broke away from that, and suddenly I was excluded of the going’s on, but frankly…I don’t miss that. I graduated high school many moons ago, thank you.:smiley: I started feeling like they were also speaking about me, since I backed away. I just thought we were all spending way too much time together as neighbors–you know it says something about ‘not spending too much time in one’s neighbor’s house’ in the Bible? I was happily surprised to read that it isn’t rude to keep some people at a distance, in God’s eyes.

Before I left yesterday, the one who was sharing all kinds of details about the owner of our townhome the most, said that if I ever need anything, if we need her to do anything at all for us, please to stop over, and she will be glad to help. I honestly think she is a sweet person, (ironically, a coworker of mine, when finding out where I was moving to, told me that she had a great friendship with a woman in there, who lives across the street from where we will be moving–ha–small world!) but, I sometimes wonder if people, like KC said, just want to feel superior, and they don’t know the hurt that gossip can cause. I agree that if I get too too close, who knows, I will be the object of their gossip.

Thanks for the posts people–great advice!


#12

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