M: Rice is bothered why his girlfriend likes to gossip rather than to talk about ideas. She is now getting on his nerves. Is it the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) or is it her? Rice, it is her. And you too. The ECQ just highlighted your differences. You and her talk a lot but you have just found out that you do not share the same things to talk about. The ECQ has made everything go awry.
DJ: It’s possible that she feels safe around Rice. Rumor mongering is an indicator that she has nothing better to do with her life, that she’s not occupied with the more important things to invest her time on. Perhaps, it’s out of envy, too. Nonetheless, it does reflect poorly on her. Given our access to information these days, knowing which information is fake or real is both a challenge and a possibility. We just need to be discerning, to research before forming our opinion and to actually talk about it.
M: They say familiarity breeds contempt. Rice, you now noticed the lack of sparkling conversation or dearth of intellectual ideas when you talk to your girlfriend. Maybe you need to stop talking to each other and talk more about each other. There is a difference. I always believe that if you have nothing good to say, keep quiet. And if you cannot keep quiet, find something good to speak about.
DJ: Is this behavior more pronounced during the ECQ? Research shows that people who gossip tend to have a higher level of anxiety. He can try changing the subject if the topic is about what somebody ate for dinner, for example, or posted on Instagram. If it’s about fake news, he can encourage the behavior of verifying her sources by inquiring first where she got such information. Rice has a point if he’s wanting to sew buttons on his girlfriend’s mouth. Time spent talking about these things would have been time better spent on ideas, or on activities, like a hobby perhaps, that they can do together.
M: We do not always talk of ideas, concepts or theories. Let’s be honest. We talk about people, specifically other people. But hopefully, it is not gossip but to see what is good in them or be inspired by what they do. No one has the monopoly of intelligence. We can learn, even from the simple and unlearned. All it takes is humility. And the patience to listen or forbear.
DJ: Spreading a rumor is like eating five kilos of steak in one go. Juicy for some in the beginning but it generally leaves people feeling icky. She’ll recognize this too when he lovingly gives her his feedback. Unless it’s already a habit she has practiced for ages. It’ll probably be easier to dam a river than to stop her from gossiping. It’s understandable if Rice is not liking this side of her. But what about the other side? There’s got to be other great things about her that made him fall in love with her in the first place. Now which side weighs more? He can take it. Or leave it.