- Women sometimes gossip when they want to get close to people. —Joan Gilbertson…
Feeling alone and lonely heightens our fears of inadequacy. In our alienation from others, paranoia grips us. We yearn to feel connection with someone, and gossip about another someone can draw two lonely people close.** We are bonded.
We need a sense of belonging, every one of us: belonging to the neighborhood; belonging to the staff where we work; belonging to the group we call friends. Knowing that we do belong fosters the inner warmth that accompanies security, well-being. And our fears are melted. The program’s Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Steps guarantee that we’ll feel the closeness we long for when we work them. Self-revelation strengthens our ties to the people we long to connect with Gossip loses its appeal when we know we share a closeness already. Mingling our vulnerabilities secures our closeness.
We need to be attentive to our judgments of others, be they verbalized in gossip or only savored in silence. These judgments act as barometers of our own self-image. Our security in knowing we belong, that we are one, relieves us of the need to judge others unfairly… Loneliness pushes me to behavior that even compounds the loneliness. Real closeness will come when I talk about myself rather than someone else.