Monday, February 24, 2014

Make oneself trustworthy

I know a person, let us call her Nirmala (or Niranjan), who would be very nice when talking to you. She will listen with rapt attention to all that you say, nod her head approvingly and make sympathetic interjections to goad you to reveal more. She would appear very friendly and give the impression that she is trustworthy. In a trice she would have mesmerized you into pouring your heart out to her in a couple of meetings telling all the things that you would have normally kept to yourself. But for her responsive demeanour and the easy affability, Nirmala is the worst gossip who cannot bottle up anything. She would rush with excitement to whisper to others one by one not just what she heard from you but embroider it with half truths and embellish with imaginary stuff to make up for a good story. She would caution them against revealing to anyone else.

 You would be shocked one of your friends casually commiserating with you in hushed tone about your personal matters. Once bitten, you would be doubly shy of talking to Nirmala. You will avoid her like a plague like so many others whom she had befriended earlier. But she is not deterred and would go for new quarry. She never realized that she is an inveterate gossipmonger detested by all who knew her. Yet she was not able to change herself to earn the trust of the people. She never realized that half truths are nothing but slander and spoilt one’s reputation. The gossip spreads wildly. It is like a feather pillow that is cut open and the feathers allowed flying in all directions. You can never collect all of them back even if you wish to. Apology does not help to restore the damaged reputation or the revealed information private again.

The point is that each one of us is tempted, though not to the extent of Nirmala, but to tell others sometimes what has been told us in confidence. There is a counterfeit satisfaction in showing off that we are privy to some secret and know a little more than what the other person knows. The intention may not be to harm but nevertheless the act of betraying the confidence is bad. It is in us to control the way others respond to us by conducting ourselves in trust worthy manner

“A true friend never breaches the trust of his companion or stabs in his back. He is trustworthy and reliable.”


  1. Very true, it is good to listen when someone wants to confide in you becaus e you are making them feel wanted, but then what is the point in judging it and talking about it to others, who are we to talk really, it especially happens in family gatherings, I hate it.

  2. embroider it with half truths and embellish with imaginary stuff to make..........
    How true.
    The Nirmalas of our society do not realize the harm and menace caused to others. Gossiping to the extent of maligning someone is bad and the person indulging in it has to be taught a lesson.

  3. And true person and true friends have become a rare specie.

  4. When Yudhisthir heard that Karna was his brother, he cursed all women that they will never be able to hold any secrets and so it seems from that day no woman is able to hold any secret. BUT this trait I have seen in men too. I wonder who cursed them :P
    I find it easier to limit myself to talking on common issues rather than personal ones. Best is the temple where each is busy with either listening or doing seva

  5. So many Nirmalas and many Niranjans live among us, and most of the time we don't realise them for who they are. Well written post, KP sir :)

  6. Many Nirmalas are there in our own families and surroundings. Once we know them we do our best to be careful not to reveal any sensitive information to them. Very rarely we come across people who are genuinely concerned about us.

    Very well narrated post, Partha Sir!

  7. If there are no big secrets that we need to guard zealously, there is no need to be afraid of Nirmalas. Secondly, everyone has something called 'reputation' attached to them. People will not trust - especially what is said by Nirmala-type of persons - without cross-checking.

    Gossiping damages the person who indulges in it, more than the target about which they are gossiping. Eventually, they'll have to face the consequences of their actions.

    Destination Infinity

  8. So Many Nirmalas around that they tend to make us like them. But it is for us to refrain from entertaining such people, let us not forget u need two hands to clap!

  9. A very close family member of ours is a real gossip monger.All of us keep her at a safe distance and never confide in her or even tell her anything about anybody.
    There is a reason behind this: this person feel a little insecured, and and feels that people would give her more respect if she revealed secrets of others which she is privy to. And later she would go around saying sorry to everybody, but she won't really be sorry , for she would be back again with her stories about others. We use dot feel sorry for her as she is our family but as she continued to cross the limits, we all keep a safe distance from her. So now she has no one to gossip with, and is left feeling really isolated.
    It is a psychological condition, and unless that person wants to really come out of it, cure is not possible. They have to have self respect, and self esteem, which they can have only by loving themselves wholly.
    Nice topic to which many of us can relate to.