When people talk about you behind your back

Earlier this week I heard that someone was talking negatively about me and I went straight into my default thought of – humph, I won’t be speaking to her anytime soon!  And, of course, I questioned the motives of the person who shared the news of the negative comments – why would this person tell me this?  Just to make me feel bad?  Ugh.  In any event, I thought about trying to respond differently this time around because I’m pretty good at the default, this situation having occurred more than a few times in the past.  Of course I know how to be mad at someone who’s been talking stuff about me!  But what if I tried to understand that person’s perspective?  Let me be honest – that didn’t work fresh off the news.  I’m still working on that one.  But I did decide I would try to treat that person exactly the same because after all, it’s not that big of a deal, right?  And also because I would never want that person to know she got to me.  More importantly, I chuckled when I thought about how it might make her go a little batty wondering why I was being so nice and acting as if nothing happened.  Ultimately, what I arrived at is this:  she just isn’t worth it (the time spent thinking about her and what she said, I mean) and nor are her petty little comments.  I was giving her too much time, too much credit and too much of my power.  I didn’t agree with what she said and to dwell on it would give it some credence, some validity.  I think it was that thought that resonated the most with me – the fact that she can have her opinion, voice it, heck she can scream it from a mountaintop.  But it doesn’t mean one thing to me because I don’t agree with it, it’s not my truth and I don’t need to invest myself in what she thinks.  Ahh, sweet freedom.  I refuse to be caged in and restricted to what others think.  Now if I can just remember all that the next time someone talks bad about me and it gets back to me . . .


Nicole Hancock Husband is an attorney and Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (“CPCC”). Nicole graduated from Howard University School of Law in 1996 with a Juris Doctorate and from Ohio State University in 1993 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, with a Finance/International Studies double major and Spanish minor.