Why Do We Gossip?
Gossip is idle talk or rumor that is discussed without consideration or thought to the potential negative effects upon the person(s) being.
Most of us have an intense interest in the doings of other people.
Positive side of Gossip
1. British psychologist Robin Dunbar of the University of Liverpool in England suggested that gossip is a mechanism for bonding group members together. In the distant past, when humans lived in small bands and meeting strangers was a rare occurrence, gossip helped us survive and thrive.
2. Sarah Wert, of University of Colorado at Boulder, and Peter Salovey of Yale University have proposed that gossip is one of the best tools that we have for comparing ourselves socially with others.
People who were fascinated with the lives of others were simply more successful than those who were not, it’s very common behaviour, says social psychologist Laurent Bègue. ‘About 60 per cent of conversations between adults are about someone who isn’t present,’ he says. ‘And most of these are passing judgment.’
Gossip builds social bonds because shared dislikes create stronger bonds than shared positives.
‘Our appetite for gossip is insatiable,’ says the critic Nicholas Lezard. ‘Sometimes, the heart sinks as we hear the words “Don’t tell this to a soul”. Saying bad things means you risk looking bad, so a gossip shows that they really trust the person they are talking to. This then makes the other person feel more inclined to share their own secrets.
Gossip allows us to talk about people who aren’t present; it also allows us to teach others how to relate to individuals they have never seen before.
Where does this nastiness come from? ‘Being mean begins at an early age when children compare themselves with others,’ says psychoanalyst Virginie Megglé. she continues. ‘To reassure themselves they are normal, they say bad things about anyone who is different’.
Negative side of Gossip
We all know it’s wrong to gossip, and no one wants to seem malicious.
Gossip can quickly lead to distrust. It leaves the victim unable to defend themselves, and can leave a trail of suspicion. ‘Once a person’s reputation is tarnished, it’s very difficult to reverse that,’ says Bègue. Interestingly, research has shown that we judge negative information to be more revealing than positive facts, and retain it better.
The troubling aspect of gossip is that it is a strategy used by individuals to further their own reputations and selfish interests at the expense of others. This nasty side of gossip usually overshadows the more benign ways in which it functions in society.
King James Bible.
Ephesians 4:29 - Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Proverbs 21:23 - Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
……………….“ Gossip is the very antithesis of intensity and earnestness. To talk about another, pleasantly or viciously, is an escape from oneself, and escape is the cause of restlessness. Escape in its very nature is restless. Concern over the affairs of others seems to occupy most people, and this concern shows itself in the reading of innumerable magazines and newspapers with their gossip columns, their accounts of murders, divorces and so on.
As we are concerned with what others think of us, so we are anxious to know all about them; and from this arise the crude and subtle forms of snobbishness and the worship of authority. Thus we become more and more externalized and inwardly empty. The more externalized we are, the more sensations and distractions there must be, and this gives rise to a mind that is never quiet, that is not capable of deep search and discovery.”………………… ----- (J.K)
The Town Gossip
The Town Gossip: “Nasrudin, I just saw some men delivering a huge tub of stew.”
Nasrudin: “What’s it to me?”
The Town Gossip: “They were taking it to your house.”
Nasrudin: “What’s it to you?”
4. www.SciAmMind.com - Can Gossip Be Good? by Frank T. McAndrew
7. 200+ Mulla Nasrudin Stories and Jokes Rodney Ohebsion