How do I make amends to those whose backs I’ve talked behind? The list of people I have harmed is long enough to begin with, and if I’m to include all the times I hurt someone with secretive malice, I might never finish writing.
Step 9: made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Gossip. It’s so bad that often the admission is a worse betrayal than what was actually said. It’s basically admitting, “Hey, I know you thought I was on your side, and most of the time I am, but the other day I felt like knocking you down to size a bit, just so I could feel better about myself. You know, superior. Now I’m all about cleaning up my side of the street, so there you go. No hard feelings, right? Boy, do I feel better.”
For quite a while I assumed that attempting to amend my gossiping was a sunk cost. What’s done is done, and dragging my harsh words out into the light isn’t anything more than my ego in reverse. Here’s another chance to take a swipe at and justify my condemnations.
So, here’s what I’ve figured out, and I have no idea if it works or is even appropriate: I don’t apologize to the person whom the venom I spewed was about. I go back and apologize to the person I told the gossip to. It’s basically admitting the same as above, but without all the self-righteous anger.
Today: I’ve hurt people without their knowledge. Try to make it right without their knowledge.