Now don’t tell me, “I don’t have to read this because I never bitch.” Really now! As much as we love to deny it, we all do. It’s therapeutic. It’s de-cluttering. It’s detoxifying. It’s introspective. Men love it. Women love it. There is enough statistics out there to support high prevalence of bitching in both sexes, so no gender issues there.
But like a famous dialogue in a Hindi film which translated as, “Even if you do something unscrupulous, do it scrupulously,” I believe there are ethics of bitching. There is an unwritten code of conduct, an underlying morality to the whole thing, and hence, I am taking the trouble to write out the ten commandments of bitching:
1. Thou shall have (at least) a mental list of “People I will bitch about” and “People I will never bitch about”. It doesn’t matter how many people are in the former list, but there have to be at least five in the latter. There have to be bitching exemptions for everyone, no matter how many flakes and twerps you know in real life.
2. People from the former list can migrate to the latter, but the reverse should not be possible, unless you’ve had a major fallout or discovered that you have been bitched out royally by a member of the latter.
3. Be consistent. Pick a few bitching targets and stick to them. If they qualified in the first place, they will make sure you always have enough material. Don’t randomise your bitching, because then, no one will take you seriously.
4. Thou shall not bitch about someone and then shower accolades/superlatives about her/him the next day, even if the audience is different. You are not a credible bitcher anymore if you do that. There has to be a bitch quarantine period for things to simmer and settle down before you apply your antidote.
5. Have some integrity: which means, whatever happens, never bitch to the one you bitched about.
6. Never try and undo a bitching in haste. Which means thou shall not bitch about someone and then ‘like’ everything they say or do on Facebook soon after. Have some credibility for heaven’s sake.
7. Everyone has a bitch fatigue point, which means you have to draw the line at bitching somewhere and move on to other stuff, else you will be classified as "one who always bitches."
8. Never put all your bitches in one basket. Which means you should have different people to bitch about different things. One for work, one for social life, several for husband/boyfriend, one for family, one for miscellaneous..
9. Thou shall not bitch about your BFF, no matter what happens.
10. Though shall never bitch in writing. No text messages, no email, no social networking site; nothing that can be printed or displayed. There is nothing more crude than documented bitching. Leave it to the gossip columnists.