Gossip. We’ve all been there. It’s pointless, immoral, unpleasant, and often false, but still many encourage and engage in it.
We see gossip everywhere around us. Our neighbors, our colleagues, and even our friends and family members like these idle talks.
Yeah, we’re aware that it’s immoral and immature to talk about people behind their back, but sometimes we just can’t stop ourselves from doing that.
Moreover, once we start paying attention to and spreading rumors, it becomes difficult to stop.
A common reason why we sometimes indulge in this malicious pleasure is jealousy. It’s difficult to resist the temptation not to start spreading gossip about someone we’re jealous of. For example, if someone’s bought some kind of a gadget or a car which we’ve always wanted to buy but couldn’t because it’s really expensive, we can easily feel envy. So, what happens is that those who are mature, confident and mind their own business won’t see this as their failure. On the other hand, many will start talking things like: “Oh, do you really think he/she could afford buying the newest Android smartphone with their salary? Who knows where they got their money from?!” Most probably, if the target of the gossip is a girl, a comment like this one will follow: “She must have a sugar daddy.”
Psychologists explain why people gossip.
Unfortunately, people engage in gossip very commonly. Many psychologists have studied the reasons for which people gossip and the effect of this idle talk on both the person who’s gossiping and the target of the gossip. Laurent Bègue, a social psychologist, says that about 60 percent of adults’ conversations are about a person who is not present at that particular moment. She adds that a big part of these conversations is just judgments which don’t last long.
We know gossip is a devious thing and it’s never done out of good intentions. Yet, we can’t help indulging in this. Well, why is this so?
The thing us that gossip helps some people create social bonds as the dislikes which people share with others can build stronger relationships than shared likes. Two people will show that they share the same sense of humor and values when they say something negative about another person.
One more reason for which people spread gossip is that they feel excited when they find out a secret about someone else. Many won’t resist the temptation or urge to tell the secret to who knows how many more people.
According to the psychiatrist Frédéric Fanget, people spread gossip as a mean to share their insecurities and worries. For example, if a woman doesn’t feel sexy enough for her partner, she can ask him indirectly to compare her with another woman. In this way, she can get a reassurance that she isn’t less sexy than other women.
Additionally, many enjoy making other people curious by revealing some information which is supposed to remain a secret. By using this trick, they become the focus of the conversation.
This phrase can stop gossip right away, psychologists reveal.
Gossip is a risky and vile thing and it can make you look really bad. It’s something which will hurt the target of the gossip, but it’ll also hurt you.
So, next time, when someone tries to involve you in their gossip session, make sure you reject the offer. Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette expert, says that the best way you can do this is by asking that person why they’re telling that thing to you. This is something they certainly don’t expect and you’ll take them by surprise. In this way, they’ll also know that you don’t find the topic of discussion interesting. You can even try changing the topic and talk about something else. Idle talks are not what interest you.