Free Yourself From Gossip and Anxiety

Jinmin Lee
Word Garden
Published in
2 min readMar 13, 2024

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What you get: Become completely free from gossip and anxiety

Your input: Reading this article for 2 minutes

Is that a good deal? Decide if learning this is worth your time right now. Your time and attention are valuable.

This is what one of the most influential philosophers, Martin Heidegger, has to say about anxiety and gossip.

Comfort

We live in our own world. We live in the same house, meet the same people, do the same job every day. We feel comfortable in our daily routine.

Something Feels Off

However, sometimes our environment suddenly feels strange to us. Maybe the lighting feels off or something doesn’t seem right. I’m sure you’ve felt this at least once.

All of a sudden, you don’t feel as though you’re in your routine, even though you can’t pinpoint what has changed. Heidegger calls this unhomeliness.

When you feel unhomeliness, you feel unwelcome in your own world. Unhomeliness is anxiety. It’s different from fear; you feel anxiety because you realize there is nothing that binds you to your daily routine and comfort.

You’ve been doing your daily tasks like a robot, yet now you realize in this moment that you don’t really have to do any of these tasks. You notice that you’re FREE from your responsibilities, despite what you’ve been telling yourself.

Nothingness

For Heidegger, nothingness (das nichts) and freedom go together. You are free because there is nothing that makes you truly do something.

Nothingness Is Good

But don’t be anxious about nothingness. It is the moment when you have the most creative freedom to evaluate your own life. It’s an opportunity to take a step away from focusing on menial tasks to seeing how your life is unfolding.

Death, the Ultimate Nothingness, Kills Anxiety and Gossip

Nothingness should comfort you. Death is the ultimate form of nothingness. Death makes us notice our individuality because no other human can save us or die for us. Heidegger claims this should bring a sense of serenity: freedom from your routines, expectations, and even unhomeliness/anxiety.

He says that nothingness sets us free and gives us the courage to ignore gossip and useless chatter (gerede) of others.

Conclusion

Embracing such nothingness and making anxiety into a friend frees you from the effects of gossip and smaller routines that don’t matter on the brink of death and nothingness.

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Jinmin Lee
Word Garden

I dare to tell you how you should live life through stories from philosophy and classics