Yesterday, on the CBS hit The Talk, Sheryl Underwood revealed a secret. Sheryl took us on a moving, standing-ovation journey about how she reacted when her friends' true feelings of her--uncensored-- were revealed on a conference call they didn't realize she joined.
Sheryl admitted that although it stung to hear their true opinions of her, she ultimately triumphed by taking in what they said and forcing their opinion to make her better. Sheryl never revealed that she heard the conversation uncensored and has since worked with Queens of Comedy fame, Sommore (now on BET), Adele Givens and Laura Hayes without shade or shame. Academy Award winner Monique (Precious, The Parkers) whom Sheryl was being considered to replace on the tour was not present on the call.
Sheryl concluded her motivational story with being bruised but not broken. Ultimately, she used that hurt as motivation and that occurrence is why she sits where she sits today-- on a National Network television show that is kicking butt in the ratings and with its competitors.
The world, including me, stand in applause of Sheryl's triumph, not only because of what happened but how she handled it. This is a true boss move and lesson for us all, not in the what but in the how Sheryl spoke of her ordeal. As we all know there are three sides to every story: yours, mine and the truth. And the truth is Sheryl wasn't disparaging to the women she felt had been to her. For we don't know from what hurt and/or pain the remaining Queens of Comedy spoke from. We don't know if Sheryl ever said anything to hurt them. However, in Sheryl telling her story, why they said what they said didn't matter. She grabbed the lesson, took charge and forged ahead, victoriously.
Many people are sharing similar stories all over social media. Many of us directly or indirectly feel Sheryl's pain and recall the hurt when we've heard something about ourselves we weren't supposed to hear. But what do you do when you are the person doing/did the talking?
I was that person. I thought I ended a phone call with a friend. After pouring his heart out about a current situation, I began to speak in a disparaging way about him and his choices to my husband. My wise friend hung up, later called and left a message. "Toni, you didn't hang up the phone... you had a conversation that I wasn't supposed to hear..." I was embarrassed and mortified. It didn't matter if what I was saying had a ring of truth or not. The truth was that I was gossiping and being less of a friend.
I apologized immediately. Today I realize that I don't know if I apologized for what I was saying as much as feeling sorry for being caught saying it.
Here's what I know for sure... whether on the receiving or giving end of gossip, jealousy, hating or whatever one labels it, if IT is not edifying, necessary, solicited or can't be said about and to the person directly... maybe it shouldn't be said.
And if you are on the giving end, woman or man up, apologize and discuss from a place of truth mixed with love. And maybe, just maybe the friendship can be salvaged if so desired. If a continued relationship is not desired, be a boss and work it to your advantage.
This is Toni Staton Harris Checkin' Up and Checkin' In on what it really means To Be A Fly On The Wall...
Please share your stories about when you've been a fly on the wall, on the receiving or giving end...