In the Four of Cups we see Psyche with her jealous sisters on either side of her who are filling her head with all kinds of negative ideas about her future husband Eros. They're telling her Eros must be some sort of monster if he's made her promise not to look at him when he visit her in the dark of night, regardless of how loving he is. Her sister's ramblings do bring to the surface some of the doubt that Psyche herself is having and is left to contemplate on what to do in order to restore her own sense of stability. She could react with apathy but her love for Eros is too deep to ignore, in spite of her doubt.
If I say to I don't give a rats butt about what others think, that isn't the whole truth. I think we all care what others think to some degree, if we didn't we might be running around naked around the house and even answering the door that way, because there are of course social norms that we adhere to within reason.
We like being well thought of and respected, but as the old adage goes, you can't please all the people, all of the time. Inevitably we are not going to be liked by everyone, regardless of who we are, what we do, or how we behave.
Yesterday I went to town with a good friend and the topic of gossip came up. Living in a very rural small community you can be certain there is going to be lots of gossip and talk, some good, some negative. I compare gossip to a silent fart. It might seem innocuous at first. It wasn't actually heard and so no once notices, but then the stagnating effects become apparent, which can be deadly. Something seemingly insignificant at first, can cause some very significant far reaching affects.
I ask myself, why do people gossip or repeat things that may or may not have any portion of truth? I expect there are numerous reasons. We've all gossiped at some time or another and I don't think it's all necessarily always a hurtful activity, but a very human one, and is a pretty strong indication we are bored with our own lives, and is often referred to as divine discontent. Generally speaking though, I think it's safe to say gossip usually involves the devaluing of another.
My wise mother once told me something that I never forgot. She said when people repeat negative things that other people have said about you, there are three implicit reasons. They are jealous., or get some kind of pleasure in seeing how you react, or they are very insecure within themselves, and in someway it makes them feel better to know someone else is being made to feel less than. This made a lot of sense to me, and I keep it in mind when ever I'm tempted to say something negative about another person.
If I find myself around those who engage in negative gossip I have to first be very aware that I'm not part and parcel to the same, and as a wise elder once told me, the best response is to say , " Well that's your opinion" and simply walk away. I think this is a good suggestion. However I do think about what was said and why, and whether or not there is an element of truth in the comment. I also ask myself if there is anything constructive I can do about it. Sometimes there is, but if not I'll choose to walk away and try not to get too upset.
My friend that I spent the day with yesterday, concluded that many folks gossip in negative hurtful ways because at some point in their lives they were very hurt, and they carry that with them, and project it onto other people. They're left with that remaining feeling of not belonging, and being an outsider. This makes sense to me, because belonging is the greatest basic need that all human beings share. When this need is left unmet it leads to our divine discontent.