The Assassination of One’s Character
I'm in love. I’m in love with the process and the changes that have become evident in my life. In fact, I love this process so much that I want to share with you guys a new lesson.
I know, the title is harsh but I promise you’ll get the full picture by the end of this post.
Recently, I was listening to an episode of Red Table Talk * with Gabrielle Union. Y’all I love me some Gabby! I grew up watching Bring it On and you can ask my best friend how much I geek out watching Being Mary Jane. So imagine my glee when I found out Jada Pickett Smith had a segment with Gabrielle?!
When Jada and Gabrielle began, they started talking about how their relationship fell through and recapping why they lingered in friendship limbo. How often do we find ourselves in these moments with others we’ve encountered in life?
Now fast forwarding, Gabrielle shares a truth that I, as a fan, never knew about her. She shared that previously she used to use negative language to belittle others when she ever felt that the attention she initially had was diminishing. How often do we do that too? Gabby used the phrase that I choose to title this post after: the assassination of ones character.
I want to talk about what Gabrielle said: assassinating one’s character. What does it necessarily mean to assassinate a character ?
According to urban dictionary:
Character Assassination is the act of attempting to influence the portrayal or reputation of a particular person, causing others to develop an extremely negative perception of him/her. By its nature, it involves deliberate exaggeration or manipulation of facts to present an untrue picture of the targeted person.
(What would we do without Urban Dictionary?!)
So now that we know what today’s title means, let’s talk about why it even occurs.
Not going to lie, I’m guilty of this just like every person out there. Heck, I remember how I used to point out what others were doing wrong whenever I was upset with the treatment I received. CA (character assassination) doesn’t justify anything so let’s not even go there.
Why do we do CA?
Honestly, there’s many reasons under the sun but I’ve come to notice that they can typically be categorized under at least one of these:
Insecurity/ Lack of Worth: at this age, I believe that as people, we tend to allow unresolved issues to dictate what comes out of our mouths. We are bound to hurt one another when we don’t address issues that cause us to belittle our worth.
Fear: similar to insecurity, when we aren’t aware of something or lack the understanding of who someone is, we tend to react in a less than positive way. I think history has taught us the truth behind why people allow fear to overtake them.
Jealousy: this one is just as toxic as the first two reasons. I’ve learned that when there’s jealously there’s love. (I know it sounds weird but follow me here.) In order for someone to be jealous enough to assassinate ones character, that person must be a fan. Jealously says, “I want what you have and since I haven't found joy in what I have I’m going to focus on you. I’ll do what I can to bring you to the level in which I see myself.” Now I’m not Jesus, but I will say that this reason has got to go! It’s toxic and harmful to all including the one who is jealous.
Just as as I said before, there are many reasons under the sun and I’m sure you guys can come up with more than I’ve listed. But I don’t want to spend too much time here because this post would take a month to finish. Let’s talk about how to catch and correct ourselves when CA happens.
Going back to the episode of Red Table Talk , Gabby said that one of the people that overheard her called her out. ( Y’all, if you have friends who will call you out on your mess with love, keep them! Enough said🙅♀️🏾!) Her friend asked her what she gained by putting someone else down. It’s harsh but I think we should all do it.
When we find ourselves talking poorly of someone else just to manipulate, over exaggerate, or even gossip ( speaking of someone without their knowledge, awareness, and ability to properly speak their truth) about that person we need to ask ourselves these questions:
If the person was here right now, would they appreciate what is being said about them?
Would I appreciate any of these things being said about me if the roles were reversed?
How is this benefiting me and my goals?
If you start getting embarrassed or ashamed by asking these questions, then just stop speaking about people. Point blank.
Yes, I went on a tangent a bit today but I promise I can explain why. The timelessness of me finally getting around to watch this episode of Red Table Talk and what recently happened in my life is impeccable. See I decided to share this post and place it in the life section because it’s relatable as...(Lord clean my mouth).
I was recently made aware of feelings from someone who I don’t know. This person brought it up to me that they haven’t had the best to say or think about me. At first I thought, "well that's unfortunate but at least you’re honest." Then after taking it straight to Jesus, I realized, we’re all guilty of CA especially when we don’t know much about each other. Though, we are all individuals who have the amazing blessing of thinking for ourselves instead of constantly allowing others to influence our perspective of others.
After really praying and thinking some more, I realized that at the end of the day, what we say about one another is a reflection of ourselves. We always have the choice to be better to each other and to ourselves, that’s what’s most important. As people, we all go through life in ways that really force us to grow. Maybe by recognizing that we are all guilty of CA, we can then take the necessary steps to become better men and women.
I’ll end with a link to the very video that inspired this post. Enjoy (may need to have a Facebook account to watch video):
Until next time.