This week has been super busy and it’s only Wednesday! Yesterday I went to a networking lunch and had quite an experience. I ran into a lot of people I know and like and some I really don’t care for. I also met some new people which is always nice. Except when it’s not.
My table included, among others, 2 women who had nothing nice to say about anything. One in particular criticized the flyer on the table because it was “too busy.” She’s not wrong, but who cares? Why focus on that? She then proceeded to make comments under her breathe and ugly faces when a man joined us. She told the other woman she needed back up handling this guy because he is so rude and awful. The other woman agreed that he’s terrible and she’d “keep him in his place.” All of this they said openly to a table full of people they didn’t know. The man they were speaking of couldn’t hear because he was talking to someone at the table behind us.
Eventually, he switched to the other table to continue his conversation. Once he moved the two women loudly exhaled, voicing their relief that this dreadful man wouldn’t be sitting with us after all. Little did they know, this man is a good friend of mine. Yes, he is loud. Yes, he is quite blunt. He’s kind of a lot to take and he knows it. He’s also a really great person. He goes out of his way to help people even when they can’t do anything in return. He’s funny. He’s honest and he doesn’t spread peoples secrets all over town.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard people say something about him. I usually don’t say anything because it’s typically very lighthearted. Like I said, he’s a lot. This time felt different. There was nothing joking or goodnatured there. They were rude and nasty and it really pissed me off. I couldn’t hold it in. I asked if they’d ever said any of this to his face or did they just stick to talking about him behind his back. Both said it’s nothing they wouldn’t say to his face. When pressed if they actually had done so, they insisted they had. I later found out that was not the case. In fact, in recent months, both had reached out to him for help with their businesses. He obliged.
What I didn’t say to them, because I didn’t want to start a lecture, is that by sitting there trashing him, all they did was make themselves look bad. After that one experience with them I have no interest in getting to know them better or working with them in any way. I was not the only one to feel that way. If they’d paid more attention to the people who were sitting at their table they would’ve seen the discomfort on their faces. In fact, a couple even made comments about how awful they were once they were gone.
I don’t pretend to be perfect. There are people I really don’t like. Sometimes I gossip. I have a biting wit. Let’s be real, I have a Mean Girls themed blog. This isn’t preschool. It’s the real world. We are not all going to be friends and that’s okay. But spending your energy trying to pull others down only hurts you. Now these two have a group of people who don’t want anything to do with them. And the guy they talked about? Of course I told him! Now if they ask him for help, he’s going to turn them down.
That’s karma. Or to put it a deeper way, your actions release positive or negative energy into the universe. Energy is not created or destroyed, just transferred. So focus on trying to give off positive energy when you think and speak. Good things will follow and people won’t be talking about you behind your back. Or at least fewer won’t.