4 out of 4 stars
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We have all been involved in gossip in one way or another. Whether the gossiper or the subject of the gossip, almost all people have felt its effects and have suffered unnecessarily at the hands of this seemingly silent offender. In his book Gossip, Amir Fathizadeh looks at the intricacies of gossip and how it can destroy entire lives.
The word gossip has hugely negative connotations. There is obviously a reason for this. Gossip is something that people use with various motivations, as is highlighted in this book. The reasons range from the urge simply to complain, all the way to the deeper need to the feel superior. It’s really interesting to go through these reasons, especially with the thought in mind of, ‘Have I ever done this?’ It makes you take a hard look at yourself, and that’s not an easy thing to accomplish in a book.
I especially enjoyed the real-life stories that Fathizadeh included. These stories accentuated his notions and made it easy to understand his exact points. At no time did he point fingers at perpetrators of gossip labelling them as terrible people, but rather made it a priority to outline WHY the gossip came about from both sides. This emphasises his underlying theme of simple empathy.
It’s easy to call attention to how gossip can ruin lives and the exceptionally negative impact it can have, but what is truly great about this book is that there are various ways to combat it. Moreover, how to prevent it from originating from you as well as stop it going further. Fathizadeh goes into detail about what to do when confronted with a potentially malicious piece of gossip and shows exactly how it should be dealt with. I really appreciate this because it is by no means airy-fairy advice. He gives hardcore, step-by-step instructions. This is excellent because it can easily be applied to everyday life.
The conversational tone adds to the list of things that make this book wonderful. Amir Fathizadeh is funny! And he shows it in his advice. When talking about how technology (cell phones in particular) is taking over the social world, he writes, ‘Whereas the tongue used to be among the most powerful muscles in the human body, thumbs are on the rise to challenge that position.’ Small things like this soften the tone of an otherwise very touchy subject.
Let me say that this is a book that everyone should read. It is a quick read that is jam-packed full of really useful tips on how to be a better person. With all the nastiness in the world, it’s important to look at oneself every so often and take active steps to become someone that people genuinely like and want to be around. If you don’t want to be that person, then maybe try a nice fantasy book. Gossip is something that a lot of people are guilty of, myself included. After reading this, I know that I will keep these lessons in the back of my head and be mindful of the things I say. With all this being said, this is an easy 4 out of 4 stars for me. The best part: not a single grammatical error.
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