In life, it is always advisable to remember how you define yourself as a person (character) and what you feel your own mission (plot) is. Other people’s stories can easily side track us from our desired path. If we are frequently sidetracked by other people’s stories, it can be exceedingly difficulty accomplishing the tasks that we have determined to be important to us. When we consistently place other’s needs before our own, we can wind up being frustrated and resentful.
The first step to getting where you want to go is to specifically identify what you want in life. Write you character and your plot! Who do you want to be? What do you want to experience? If you are not clear of where you want to go, you have a much greater chance to be sucked in to being cast as a secondary character in other people’s stories.
Gossip offers us interesting, emotionally charged story lines. As stated in the post on gossip, there are many social functions of gossip and not all of them are destructive. However, when listening to gossip, consider all the implications involved if you accept the gossip as fact. Will you start to avoid another character based on what someone told you they did? If you act in relation to a piece of gossip, will you become a part of the gossip storyline? If you spread the gossip or spread counter gossip of your own, you are now a part of the “sub-plot” related to this gossip. Many times, plots or character actions related to a piece of gossip can not only take you in a direction that you may not like, the course of action could be damaging. Shakespeare’s Othello is a great example of what can happen to you if you listen and act on a piece of gossip. I can tell you from personal experience that the times of my life where I let the voices of gossip become a part of my own personal story, I felt greatly dissatisfied about my life’s situation.
It is best to listen compassionately to the complaints of those that are close to us since the majority of the time our friends are seeking emotional validation. However, complaints can be poisonous if intricately woven in our personal narrative. If complaints become the format on how we engage in social narrative, our brain will consistently scavenge complaint worthy examples to enhance our complaint driven dialogue. If we consistently see other’s complaints as a call to action, we may drift from our own purpose and go on a quest to rectify our friends cause to complain. When listening to complaints, consider if this is the issue that you want to define yourself? Is this cause something that is consistent with my mission? Do I need to take any further action that listening compassionately?
Co-Dependency could be described as the habit of prioritizing other people’s stories. When one is “co-dependent”, that person defines himself or herself by the help or action that they take in relation to another person. With that being said, there is nothing inherently wrong with helping other people. However, it is dangerous to lose our own sense of self or character based on the needs of others.
Remember; beware of OPS, since it can take you off your own path. Define your character and stay focused on your mission!