Playing the Loyalty Card

I bet most of us have been in the position of overhearing gossip and knowing more than most, but keeping quiet.
When I was working in the bank, it was surprising the number of conversations which would stop in mid sentence should I come into close proximity, purely because I was a friend of the person they were discussing.
We used to go out for the occasional lunch or have a meal in each other’s homes (visitor took the pud) once a month or so, but we weren’t exactly what I’d term bosom buddies.
Imagine my surprise then to overhear the rumour that she had got her promotion by sleeping with the boss, and this was fuelled by an expenses claim for only one hotel room when they went on a course together .

I like a bit of gossip as much as the next person, but it’s a bit different when it’s someone you know/like/are friendly with or even better (or worse) actually YOU! I was the subject once and found it hysterically funny, especially putting the rumour starter in her place in front of her friends.
friendshipFriendship to me is important. We know a lot of people, but for us it’s not a given that an acquaintance is automatically considered a friend.
Hubby and I also agree it is not our place to join in discussions about friends, but it is quite amazing how speculation, word phraseology and a change in circumstances can generate such a variety of misrepresentation.

I’ll refer back to this post, and you’ll see what I mean.

I would like to consider myself a true friend. I may stand on the sidelines, but can usually pick up on certain things and I’m always ready to offer a shoulder or a friendly ear.
We all have our troubles, and sometimes confiding in someone outside the home is better than trying to express oneself within it and getting into yet another argument.
Outsiders may also see more than the cocoon of discontent, and a different perspective welcomed to realise that maybe all is not lost or that things will never change and it’s time to go in a different direction.
true friendOf course opinions may not be warmly received, in which case friendships disintegrate or terminate altogether and lead to divided loyalties. I had this when I divorced, and soon lost touch with the circle of friends we’d made as a couple.
Watching friends go through similar bad patches is difficult, especially if one has been a complete idiot and thrown everything away. It makes you want to grab them by the scruff of the neck and give them a good shake, but perhaps watching the after effects of their stupidity, listening to their moans and groans about the inconvenience and cost of change and having absolutely no sympathy, has its own reward for the onlooker.

friendAnd so we go full circle.
I may overhear gossip, but I never contribute. Outside opinions are bound to be compared and discussed, but if it’s about a friend of mine? You’ll get nothing from me.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have an elderly dog called Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
This entry was posted in friends, Just a thought, Memories, Opinions, people, Relationships and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Playing the Loyalty Card

  1. colinandray says:

    Hi Di – This is an interesting piece of writing because all the emphasis is on what you would/would not do for a friend. You would not contribute to, or share, gossip. Given that this has been preceded by the statement that you do like a bit of gossip, I am concluding that while you think it is totally wrong to get involved in gossip about a friend anybody else is “fair game”?

    I would like to respectfully suggest that gossip is always going to negatively impact somebody, and that somebody should be respected regardless of whether they are a friend or not. While some “gossip” may have a basis for existence, the greater proportion is generally considered to be pure speculation fueled by dislike, envy or some other negative association with the targeted individual.

    Compassion should have no boundaries… even if an individual made some “less than smart” decisions. As I often told my kids “I shall expect perfection from you as soon as I can set the example! You’re both quite safe for the immediate future!”

    • Another thought provoking comment from you Colin and I appreciate it.
      I don’t like to get involved in gossip, friend or not, and in some of the offices where I’ve worked, it runs rife and you can’t help but hear it. Some of it is quite intriguing or imaginative, and some quite daft, hence my curiosity / comment.
      Even in supermarkets or cafes/restaurants conversations can be overheard, some of which can be quite malicious in content, and I agree that some is born out of jealousy or dislike. Wasn’t there an instance recently where some girls were overheard discussing a friend in a not so very nice way, and a fellow customer left them a note which went viral on social media?
      There are always two sides to every story, everyone makes mistakes (I know I’ve made loads!) and it is up to the individuals concerned to decide where they go next. Opinions of one, if not both, are just that, an opinion.
      I’ve always tried to see both sides anyway but sometimes someone’s behaviour makes no sense.

  2. On a slightly different but related track (loyalties), my step daughter got a divorce last year. Unfortunately her new boyfriend and former husband overlapped. Although well in her 40s, she somehow thought that she could replace the husband with the boyfriend and all would be well. She learned a lesson in loyalties. Those big parties she had no longer happened as friendships splintered. There is nothing like a divorce to test loyalties. Even people not wishing to get involved prefer to distance themselves from both for a while. Since she already had a boyfriend in queue, sympathies went to the former husband.

    • I can imagine. After my divorce, so called friends were anxious about their husbands now that I was a ‘loose woman’. Only one couple stayed impartial, but after I moved away for eight years, so much changed for both of us in that time we had absolutely nothing in common when I ‘returned home’ and we lost touch completely.

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