When 14-year-old Elle moved to a northern LA suburban high school, things were not easy. Not only did I have to navigate a new school but also a new family and culture. Anyway, there was this girl in PE. She was rough not only around the edges, but everywhere. She accused me of stealing her PE shirt when mine was brand new and I had the receipt for it. She reported me to the locker lady who I then asked if I looked like I can’t afford a $10 shirt. Fair enough, she said. Fourteen-year-old Elle was already spicy in those days.
The problem was I didn’t have any friends. A group of kids adopted me and helped me adjust to the vernacular, far away from the formal almost British English I grew up learning. In weeks, I picked up the slang and hints of a valley accent. The bigger problem was apparently this group of kids were friends with “the girl.” I saw her around, ignored her, did my own thing. I never talked bad about her to my newfound friends because I was the newcomer and surely will get the boot should any drama arise.
It didn’t take long for the group to notice her shitty attitude. She picked fights with just about everyone and no one liked her. She even got into a cat fight with one of the girls during lunch break (it was that type of school).
Anyway, the moral of the story is: Talk no shit about shitty people. They will let others know all by themselves.
A few benefits:
- You avoid conflict. If you make the mistake of venting to the shitty person’s friend, you’re screwed.
- You are seen as temperate and will be taken in high regard for not shit talking an obviously shitty person. “How was she able to hold it in?”
- You don’t give the shitty person any of your energy. Even thinking about them is already too much energy wasted.
- It is not satisfying to hold it in. Talk to your therapist. Keep a journal. You don’t need to tell others your thoughts if there is no purpose to be served.
- You may have to bear being around them.
An exception to not talking shit is definitely if spreading such information will prevent financial ruin/ physical harm for others. If so, you have a duty to talk shit.
This wisdom still carries to this day. Just tonight, my partner got a message from a dear friend’s son asking if his dad’s new fiance will be at a party, and if so, he is not attending. She has been unpleasant to me, and from the looks of it, to everybody else, also. We didn’t need to gather and talk about her. She let us all know of her shittiness individually. How considerate of her.