|Jennifer Betit Yen
A couple (very few, don’t worry; it’s not any of you) of people I don’t know well took it upon themselves over the last few weeks to really talk some vicious smack about folks they saw I was working with behind those folks’ backs. There is a big difference between helpful and confidential advice (“hey, I have worked with her before and she’s great but she tends to procrastinate so make sure you move her deadlines up a couple days from when you actually need the stuff and you’ll both be happier” – thank you! Good advice and made a working relationship easier and cut off problems before they even began) and behind-your-back slamming (“ohhhhh, I saw you are doing X project with so-and-so. How’s THAT going? I’ve heard so-and-so has no talent whatsoever and just leaches off everyone else. Do you think so? I heard so-and-so steals ideas. From who? Oh, I don’t know, but I have heard it from reliable sources. And I’ve heard all these other horrible things…blah blah blah.” Riiight. Just know if you’re just sidling up to backstab and gossip, I’m going to judge YOU and not the person you’re trying to crucify. It also puts me on notice you’re just as likely to talk that way about ME behind my back, which means I am going to be very wary of trusting you or, honestly, wanting to ever work with you. Again, real, helpful, constructive advice is awesome and I am grateful for it. Just trying to hurt other people because you’re jealous/vindictive/insecure/whatever is not cool. Obviously, we all need to blow off steam. I certainly do! For that, we have our core groups of friends we trust and we all know it’s blowing off steam and it’s not something to repeat or even always put that much stock in. Plus, we all have different styles and someone I work with well you may hate working with and vice versa – doesn’t mean the person is a bad person, just different working styles. So, please, nasty gossipy smack talk? Keep it to yourself and your BFFs.
Actor, Author, Attorney