A pledge to end shit-talking

The other day I was out to tea with a friend I hadn’t seen in almost a year.

We were catching up on our celebrations and of course, places of challenge.

At some point during the conversation when we were sharing set backs and blocks, my friend was telling me about a  painful experience that had happened to her a few weeks before.  Of course my heart ached for her and all I wanted to do was sit with her and be present to her feelings.

And then, she moved from owning her sadness to ripping apart a woman who was involved in the experience.  I was so wrapped up in her story that I didn’t notice at first how she had shifted from her own internal process to placing blame on another.

And the truth is, sometimes we just need a safe place to rant.

But, 5 minutes past and this sacred container started to feel like high school.

Judgements being tossed around.  Assumptions become truth.

And at a certain point, she said, “I know this doesn’t feel like sisterhood, but….”

BUT on she went, shaming another woman who she actually really doesn’t know.

At a certain point, I stopped her so that her back to her place in this hurtful experience.

The truth is, every painful experience reflects to us places that still need healing.  And when we point the finger outside of us rather than looking at our own actions or miscommunications, we are missing powerful moments of growth.

Now, don’t get me wrong.   As I said, sometimes we need a tender-hearted person to hold space as we spew out annoyances or angers at another.

But, when you are on a path to discovering your truth, the conversation always needs to come back to how you showed up (authentic, fear-based) and why you might have acted in certain ways (fear, anger, guilt).

As women, we are taught through movies, commercials, and really any mainstream marketing advertisements to bash our sisters.  To compete.  Bully.  Shit-talk.  Somehow, we have learned that this makes us feel better than.

I have noticed that when I gossip it is because I am feeling left out or unseen.  I may feel less than and by taking down another, I feel better.  (The crazy truth is that I actually feel worse by engaging in this act.)

Not the best way to heal and evolve.

In true sisterhood, which is something I believe we are all desiring, we see another woman as powerful and beautiful, even when she can’t see that for herself.  We see her in all of her faults and understand that she has navigated through wounds and betrayals.  We see that we are actually the same –  our stories may have different characters and scenes but ultimately similar feelings.

This can be exhilarating.  It can be freeing.
It can also be downright vulnerable and uncomfortable.

This way of thinking asks us to take self-responsibility and erases lack from our minds.  It asks us to be inclusive and empathetic.

As I sat down to write this, my intention was to provide a guide on catching yourself when you are bashing another woman.  But, the more I felt into this, I realized that what would be even more powerful is to create some sort of agreement.

There are thousands of women on this list and what might happen if we make a committment amongst us?

This shit-talking has got to end.  It is keeping us in an endless cycle of shame and fear.

So, if you know that you have tendencies towards gossip and tearing another down, I invite you to:

  • Place one hand over your heart and one hand over your wombspace.
  • Read this out loud.

    I pledge to honor and respect other women.  I will fully embrace both their challenges and joys.
    I pledge to trust my sisters.  I know that they want to best for me and have my back. (This is a big one so pay attention to what comes up for you!)

    I pledge to minimize my gossiping.  I will do this only in a safe space and after the rant, I will return to understanding and learning about my own role in this experience.

    I pledge to support other women return to their center if they are pulled by shaming others.

    I pledge love.  For myself and others.

  • Acknowledge your courage for choosing to shift your behavior.

Thank you for joining me in this sacred pledge.

I feel like maybe today, we can take a chunk out of this massive indoctrination called Shit-talking.

In the comments below, please share your thoughts:
Your own experience belittling/shit-talking another.
And your commitment to shift this behavior.With Love....
And Remembering the Ways of the Feminine™,
Joanne Ameya

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A pledge to end shit-talking — 8 Comments

  1. Mahalo Joanne Ameya for sharing this beautiful truth. I had this same conversation two days ago with a friend who was continually bashing someone. I told her that communicating in this way didn’t feel like it was serving the highest good or honoring anyone involved and that if she needed a safe space to talk about her feelings I would be available. I am holding space in my heart for her because she was not ready to take responsibility for the communication and shift. This is so important for all of us. Blaming holds us in our shadow.

  2. What a powerful post! Thank you, my heart thanks you for articulating a very important truth that I even reminding of sometimes. I pledge to minimize my shit-talking and to compassionately hold my sisters accountable as well. There is so much power in owning our place in our story, especially when we feel we’ve been wronged and/or victimized. There is grace in every single experience we encounter on this journey, and we need each other to help us recognize that sometimes. Aho, Sister Joanne. In Love…

  3. Joanne, this is an amazing post. I love every word you wrote and fully agree that the s–t talking definitely needs to stop. Thank you for sharing your incredible wisdom. xoxo

  4. “The truth is, every painful experience reflects to us places that still need healing.”

    really? “Every” one? being raped? Being beaten by an intimate partner? Being harassed by police? Having bombs dropped on your village? being sexually harassed at work?

    Sorry, but that’s new age BS and I’m pretty surprised that you would repeat it.

    • Thank you Jules for bringing attention to my wording.

      Yes, it is not black or white.
      Everything in life has the gray area in between.

      Being raped, violated in any way, tortured, harassed, victimized… these are horrific and damaging experiences for any person to go through. These carry the energy of domination and submission. One being powerless or helpless while the other receives some pleasure or acknowledgement of Self in this destructive act.

      What I am talking about in my article is the place where, as women, we have learned to blame other women, rather than taking responsibility and accountability for our own actions. This involves experiences where we are participants making conscious choices… ie, actively choosing how we are engaging in the world. (this does now mean experiences where we have no voice because we are being perpetrated).

      I hope that clarifies. Again, thank you for bringing my attention to this.

  5. This brought up a lot for me. I could write about how I too have held space for women as they rant and gossip and gently suggested compassion, as a response. But, I am so very guilty of belittling my sisters. I do it a lot, and every time I am left feeling worse and ridden with guilt yet my behavior doesn’t change. I keep spinning my wounds. I defiantly hold a lot of blame, but it spills over and out of me and I can’t help myself from putting blame on others and shaming them. This post has inspired me to really commit to stoping this behavior. Tears pouring down my face as I say this pledge out loud. “I pledge to trust my sisters, I know they want the best for me and have my back” uh yea that is a big one! I have to admit although I do want desperately to believe this; I do not feel this. It brings up so many past & current wounds of lack, abandonment, shame, bullying and I keep spinning. This is good I think. Now that I have acknowledged these blocks I can identify the tools and medicine to get over them, dissolve them, heal them, all of that. Thank you JoAnne for sharing these musings and deep thoughts and this pledge. I am a blubbering mess as I type this, and I am grateful for this release. In deep reverence, from a broken women, putting herself back together one piece at a time.

    • Gretchen,
      I am incredibly moved by your honesty and your willingness to change your habit.
      And sister, we have all been there and done this before so please be mindful of any shaming or bashing of yourself.
      You are certainly NOT broken. You are seeing a pattern that has been conditioned into all of us, and you are so
      beautifully choosing another path, another avenue.
      This is time to inquire and see why you fall into this belittling trap. And work on these wounds.
      I am holding you in my heart and sending you SOOO much love.