Posted by: Judy | January 27, 2015

Meme debunking…

“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

What a brilliant way to ensure no one talks about your insane behavior.

Did I say that out loud?

I used to quote this. I know exactly what I was thinking when I quoted it. I felt oh so superior to everyone else. I never talked about anyone. I rarely talked about events. I kept my conversations to ideas.

Now, the brutal truth:

I didn’t talk about people because I didn’t know that many people. I was also gaslighted so severely I had no idea if what I said was the truth. It was safer to say nothing.

I didn’t attend many events. Crowds are not comfortable. The avoidance pattern meant I didn’t have to deal with people, but it also meant I didn’t go a lot of places. There were no events to talk about. There was also the problem of how much I could or couldn’t remember. I didn’t remember a lot.

I talked about ideas. Unfortunately, most people prefer a balance of subjects. Some prefer more of one than another, but most people like to talk about a variety of things, not only ideas. The truth is: People that only talk about ideas are generally seen as aloof. I know because that’s how I was described… putting it nicely. Not so nicely, I was called a snob.

Holding to the quote, I also cheated myself.

I had to learn that there’s value in the other topics but they actually require more thought.

Talking about ideas requires no action, no judgment, no real involvement.

Talking about events requires action and involvement.

Talking about people requires judgment, involvement, and actions.

We judge every day. It isn’t a bad thing. There’s a difference between judging and condemning. Wise judgment is absolutely necessary. However, to develop wise judgment, you’re going to make a lot of stupid judgments along the way.

It is because we are willing to discuss the narcissists in our lives that we are able to discover the truth and make healthier choices.

Being involved in events adds extra ties within relationships. As a fan of Lord of the Rings, I have instant acquaintances with other fans.

Ideas are great. Talking about them is enriching. However a constant diet of steak and lobster becomes boring, and sometimes you just want some mac and cheese.



  1. Great post. I used to believe that I couldn’t talk about my parents and I felt silenced. You are right, there is a difference b/w judgment and condemning. I think also talking about people involves emotions and feeling.

    • Yes, something we weren’t allowed to have. ((TR))

  2. I thoroughly agree. The problem with a lot of these memes is that we don’t know the context in which they were said. For instance, what did E.R. mean by “events”? Was it social events, political events, historical events? You could hardly say that people who discuss historical events are “average minds”. Same with “people”, what did she mean by “discussing people”? Was she talking about people whose conversations are only geared towards “he said, she said” or what so-and-so did and where they went to? There’s a huge difference in discussing people in those terms or discussing people to understand behaviour. People can be an inspiring example, would discussing that be the work of “small minds”?

    I’m really enjoying your posts on debunking memes. Looking forward to the next one. xx

    • Excellent point. Too often, people take what they want from a short quote and think everyone takes the same meaning as they do. Gossip isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it’s people talking about how they can help someone in need. Glad you’re enjoying the debunking. I’m enjoying the opportunity to explore what I really think of them… why do they feel not quite right…

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