Thanks so much for sharing your difficulty in some social situations where you feel torn between two ethical values. I’m sure that most, if not all of us, have encountered the same challenges. I certainly have!
Writing about the Fourth Precept, Vajragupta remarks (in ‘Buddhism: tools for living your life’ pg. 57,):
“Ethically skilful communication involves more than just factual truth… We are trying to communicate not just truthfully, but also with loving-kindness. We try to avoid harsh, unkind comments. I once heard about a woman who worked in an office where there was a lot of gossip behind someone’s back. She was eventually asked what she thought of that person. She replied that she knew that she had plenty of faults herself, so she tried not to dwell on the faults of others. The gossip stopped.”
This might be an example of how not to get involved in gossip, but in a helpful way, and without withdrawing or trying to make oneself seem “holier than thou.”
A more active process of workplace peacemaking is described in detail in Thich Nhat Hanh’s commentary http://dharma.ncf.ca/introduction/prece ... ept-4.html
on the Precept. Quite a long read, but I found it a helpful way of turning frustration and self-doubt into compassion, however small. And, along the way, because it is positive, it can also a remedy for boredom."