Abuse Survivors: None Of Your Beeswax!

One of the things targets of abuse (esp. in childhood) get "trained" to do is be extremely hard and judgmental toward themselves. This, believe it or not, is BETTER than the other thing that might have happened: becoming a Narcissist.
It's about a thousand, maybe a million times harder to heal if one has developed the disorder of "Narcissism" as a result of a dysfunctional or traumatic childhood.

One of the things many survivors tend to do is be SUPER HONEST ALL THE TIME, and think of being forthcoming with information as MORALISTIC.
Survivors often go to the extreme with trying to "be honest" and "straightforward" by giving TOO MUCH information, and giving personal information to people who don't need to know those things.

Survivors often develop a habit of NOT PROTECTING themselves, sacrificing themselves for the sake of principal, and SHAMING themselves severely whenever they go outside of the strict parameters they have set for themselves.

Survivors often live on the edge of shame all the time, and will often shame themselves for normal human behaviors, feelings, and small mistakes or sins.
Shame is a weapon when used inappropriately, and controllers, abusers and manipulators use it OFTEN, both to control others, and to make themselves look "good" in comparison to someone else - (project shame onto a target and everyone else near them looks like they don't "deserve" to be shamed because they're so "good").

Survivors often BUY INTO THE PROJECTION OF SHAME that someone else placed on them, and will end up being "honest to a fault".

This is NOT an implication or statement that DISHONESTY IS OKAY. That's a completely different thing.

"Honest to a fault" for an example would be to reveal to a new neighbor that you used to have cockroaches, even though they've been cleared out for three years. Or WHY you were late to an important meeting, (you stepped in dog dirt, your stocking ran, your hair got caught in the curling iron brush) when you could have just said "Sorry I'm late". Or telling a new acquaintance about an abusive relationship or childhood, or telling a relative about an addiction to shopping for clothes.
"Honest to a fault" means TOO MUCH INFORMATION when it's not necessary, and thereby sabotaging one's goals by inadvertently painting a less than positive or strong picture of one's self to other people.
People for the most part ARE JUDGMENTAL of other people, in a negative way, and we usually end up finding out the HARD WAY after the fact, after we've said "too much" to the wrong person.

A person who has Narcissism issues will put your once having had cockroaches at the top of a LIST they are compiling about who is a "loser", and probably tell anyone they can in order to paint you as such (for no real reason except that's their hobby, because they lack inner self-esteem).
A person with Narcissism issues will latch onto your reasons about why you were late, and pin them on you like you are one of those "bumbling" people who "can't keep it together", and they'll also use that as ammunition against you.
A person who has Narcissism issues will use the information about your having been abused for several things: To JUDGE you, as if the abuse was YOUR fault; As free information about you that reveals that you are probably an easier "target" for manipulation, since you've been abused before; As free information about HOW to manipulate you, gain your trust, and bully you; and as "ammunition" against you in the future.
And of course a relative with Narcissism issues will blow your shopping addiction to extreme proportions, using it for gossip and slander fodder, using it to manipulate you, and turning you into a family Scapegoat.

Stop giving away free information that's NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS!

Here's a little window into the mind of a Narcissist-gossip: I once had some neighbors (not close friends) who seemed to be acting strangely, as if they were angry, as if we had done something wrong to them. Finally I asked the husband if we had done anything to offend them, and he answered back in a snappy tone, "You people think you're too good to talk about the details of what's going on in your life like everybody else! You're too private! We don't even know how much money you have! And what do you DO all day when you're in your house?!"   ......Okay? That's what's going on in their heads. They were ANGRY that we didn't give away our lives like the National Enquirer, so they could use the tidbits to talk about us. And yes, these neighbors were particularly "gossipy", they always had some criticism to say about random neighbors and people in the community, and the nicer the target was, the more criticism they had about them. But people like this are NOT RARE, they are actually VERY COMMON, much more common now that the Media has created a poisonous vortex of TEACHING young people that Gossip and slander are "normal" for so many years now.

Healing our boundaries means we WILL and DO learn not to self-sabotage by giving away too much information about ourselves and our lives, and we WILL and DO learn what information is "okay" to reveal, WHO it's okay to reveal it to, and what is none of anyone's business but our OWN.

Gossip: A "Chick" Or "Hen" Party Only? Or Do Roosters Attend That Party Too?

It is of popular opinion that gossip is a women's domain, however, those who really pay attention to the manipulations of humans know that this is quite a MYTH.

Slander, smearing, and implying negative things about another person are perpetuated by manipulative individuals who are EITHER male or female.

It is very important to differentiate WHO we are referring to here; we're not talking about ALL MEN, or ALL WOMEN, not by a longshot. There are PLENTY of MEN AND WOMEN, thank the Lord, who DON'T participate in this nasty pastime of purposely spreading and believing negativity and lies, and ruining people's relationships, families, reputations, and careers. This article refers to only those people who are participants, be they male or female.

A "Scapegoated" person is someone who has been targeted in this way by SEVERAL people, especially over TIME. Girls and women are more often targets of Scapegoating, by both males and females, for the simple fact that it's EASIER. People seem to LIKE to gossip about girls and women, because OTHER people tend to jump on the bandwagon out of envy, resentment, and jealousy; people are less likely to stand up for a girl or woman who is being slandered. And ALSO because people generally don't FEAR REPRISAL or RETALIATION from targeted girls and women, while they do tend to fear reprisal from men, so that's a HUGE reason why manipulative people tend to target females more frequently than males.
They don't think that anyone is going to kick their ass or sue them, even if they're trashing someone's daughter, sister, girlfriend, wife, female friend, or Mom.

People who target others for gossip and slander are usually doing it for only a couple of basic reasons: Because they envy the person's possessions, life, looks, talent, success, etc.;  so they seek to destroy those things and turn others against them;
because they are jealous of the person and the person's other relationships with other family and friends, so they seek to destroy them;
or because they have betrayed, manipulated, or abused the person, and they don't want to get caught. (Destroying a person's reputation means no one will believe them when they tell what has been done to them.)

Sometimes, a sociopath or psychopath will slander/smear a target because it's part of a larger plan to get or accomplish something specific; this has been done often for political, military, or financial GAIN.

Gossip has been very much a "sport" of individual manipulative male members of the species since the beginning of time. It's definitely not, and never has been, a female-only creation. In fact, you could say that GOSSIP is one of the things that men actually really do seem to be BETTER AT than women, in general, because men who gossip and spread rumors tend to be more clandestine and nasty about it, more manipulative, and less obvious.
For example, time and time again throughout history it has been demonstrated that a manipulative man is more likely to be able to lie and imply convincingly enough in order to even turn a son against his own mother, more easily than a woman who manipulates is able to turn a daughter against her own father.

"Yet another study recently conducted by global research company, Onepoll, revealed that men spend an average of 76 minutes a day chatting and gossiping with their friends or work colleagues, compared to just 52 minutes for women.

It's the way of the world, and has always been. Gossip is how Kings have persuaded their subjects to believe that THEY are worthy to sit on a Royal Throne, and that someone else was NOT (including their own brother, sister, or parent).

"A ‘smear campaign’ is a collocation used to define an active and concerted attempt to blacken the name of a person or organization. The aggressor uses a number of tactics, including rumors and false statistics, in order to question the target’s morality." ~Wisegeek

A 20th century example of one of the biggest smear campaigns in recent history that affected many was Joe McCarthy's famous "mission" against Communism in the early 1950's.
"Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public face of a period in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion. He was noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers inside the United States federal government and elsewhere." ~(wiki)

Manipulative people have been targeting others in this way since recorded history, and writers have been illustrating this behavior forever. The EASIEST WAY to turn a person against another is to IMPLY that a person has "questionable morals", or is mentally or morally unstable.

Gossip is ANCIENT. It's how military leaders have persuaded hundreds and thousands of people, even millions, to participate in risking their lives to fight an enemy that none of them have ever seen or spoken to.
It's how government officials convince voters to vote for THEM, and not their opponent.

The greatest irony about it is that Smear campaigns and gossip are ONLY COMMITTED BY people who DO HAVE "questionable morals"! A person with ETHICS and INTEGRITY does not try to get one person to believe negative things about another, and get them to have a lower opinion of them.
And ESPECIALLY about a person who is a family member or friend.
~So when a person, MALE OR FEMALE, gossips about another, or tries to make it SEEM like another person is doing "questionable" or "immoral" things, they are revealing THEMSELVES to be of "questionable morality", and should be watched carefully, with caution.

(Obviously, venting or seeking advice about a relationship, or the way a person is treating them, is completely different, but it's discernible from gossip because there is no implication that the person is a "bad" person, and the goal is NOT to convince the listener to NOT TRUST or NOT LIKE the person, or have a lower opinion of the person, or turn on the person. The goal of a person who is venting or who seeks advice is NOT to create "factions" against a person, or to spread malicious innuendos or lies and damage their relationship with the listener, or their reputation. If there is an allegation of ABUSE, then a professional counselor should already be involved, and also the authorities. ABUSE should never be part of some lame GOSSIP campaign, it's a very serious matter.)

Here's how you can tell very quickly if the real agenda is GOSSIP when someone is accusing someone of being a "terrible person":
Because, they DO NOT WANT a "Neutral Party" involved... especially someone who would be able to see THROUGH their manipulation and bullying.

Gossip has been used since humans have used spoken language to paint a very good picture of one person, and a bad picture of another person, in order to MANIPULATE people into liking, trusting, and believing one person, and distrusting another.

Businesses large and small have succeeded and failed based on gossip alone throughout history, and today as we speak.

Gossip is used to manipulate people into turning against their own Kin, their own friend, their own parent whom they love, and their own spouse.

Gossip is used all the time to turn entire groups of people against one person whom some manipulative and malicious person happens to be jealous or envious of.

Believing gossip is one of the human species' most common daily mistakes, and almost all of us have done it at one time or another, even believing rumors and complete fiction about people we know we should be much more loyal to than that.
We tend to lose our integrity quite easily when it comes to believing a person who is implying negative things about someone else, even someone close to us.
It is, unfortunately, one of the problems that humans seem to be very susceptible to.

~Soap Operas have been LOADED with the blatant act of gossiping for years and years as part of practically every other plot, and they are among the most popular forms of entertainment.
~Popular music has been LOADED with gossipy, slanderous lyrics forever, and no one even seems to NOTICE, including those that are getting lampooned or debased.

~There are Talk Shows and Reality Shows on television that are completely based on Gossip and smearing, and no one seems to have a CLUE.
~The number of gossip magazines are at an unprecedented height of popularity.

And yet, everyone FLIPS OUT for some reason when the Gossip Gun is turned on THEM, even though they've been fully participating in trashing others whom they DO or DO NOT know for YEARS.

We aren't very good, as a species, at simply STOPPING gossip and slander in its tracks by simply not buying into it when someone says something negative or IMPLIES something negative about someone else.
We are more likely to go along with it and blindly believe the person, instead of simply saying something like "Now wait a minute, why are you saying negative things about that person? And why are you trying to get ME to believe them?" 

We seem to LIKE to believe negative trash-talk and implications about others, because most of the time we don't even TRY to find out if the gossip and smearing had any TRUTH to it.
Not even if the person is one of our relatives, classmates, neighbors, or fellow church members.
The LAST thing we do is actually ASK the targeted person, but that's because we fear that we'll find out that it was complete baloney, and then we won't get to be one of the Judgers anymore. PLUS, we'll be EXPOSING the little gossip and slander RING that we've been participating in.

So we throw members of our own community or family under the proverbial bus, and just go along with it.

And then we complain that the world is screwed up... and we freak out when someone does that same thing to US.

No, Gossip is not a "Woman Thing", not by far. It's a HUMAN thing, and it's pure manipulation.