Gossip: Creating Insecurity

gossiping-harmfulGossip — one of the most popular and enduring pastimes, an activity that spans cultures and generations. Most of us have engaged in it at one point or another. Although most people would deny the title “gossiper” and when consciously aware of it, try to stay away from gossip, many of us regularly participate in discussing rumors about others.

Even though many willing take part in gossiping, most people have been the victims of negative gossip. What makes gossip so irresistible? Those who study social dynamics and psychology claim that gossip helps to create a sense of community and bonds between people, warns against danger, and teaches lessons about morality. However, they acknowledge that gossip can be a double-edged sword — undermining the benefits it is thought to created.

Creating Community

Superficially, gossiping about others can serve to bring people together through the sharing of information and common knowledge. As with any discussion, people may find points of similarity in their views and interests and forms bonds as a result.

On a deeper level, however, gossiping creates mistrust between people. If someone will gossip about one person, what makes others safe from having rumors spread about them as well? In addition, the person being gossiped about feels anything but included or part of the community.

Teaching Lessons

Negative rumors make clear what behavior and situations will not be tolerated among a group of people. Those whose actions cause them to be the topic of gossip learn quickly what is acceptable or expected of them.

A greater lesson that may be learned is that of secrecy. While some may change their ways to more fit the community they are a part of, others may not change but simply keep their thoughts and actions to themselves. This further undermines the community and bonds that gossiping is supposed to create, as people feel they must keep their lives to themselves or suffer the consequences.

In my view, the most obvious impact of rumors and gossiping is insecurity. Both on the part of those gossiping and those being gossiped about. The cons far outweigh the pros, so I don’t take part in it, when possible.

What do you think of gossip? Have you ever been the subject of a rumor and what do you think the effects were?

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Gossip: Creating Insecurity

  1. Why don’t men do it?
    I will admit I enjoy listening to women when they are dishing the dirt.
    You find out all manner of useful things.

  2. I like the photo that you used. There is plenty of ethnic diversity there.

    I love hearing some good ole juicy gossip!

  3. I had been the subject of rumor before. But that wasn’t a rumor, it was a fact. Though that “rumor” was true, I don’t want anyone gossiping about it. I thought my secret was safe. I thought “we” had a deal not to tell it on anyone. I thought “that person” could be trusted, but I was wrong. “That person” told that secret to somebody. And that “somebody” spread the secret to everybody. My life was ruined. I felt bad during that time, but I already moved on. However, I didn’t consider “that person” as my friend anymore. I don’t want friends who don’t know how to keep secrets.

  4. Froggie,

    Thanks. Ethnic diversity is of course oh so important in all forms of media. 😉

    “I love hearing some good ole juicy gossip!”

    Lol. Best joke this week.

  5. Louise,

    But that wasn’t a rumor, it was a fact. Though that “rumor” was true, I don’t want anyone gossiping about it.’

    Right: rumors are rumors, whether they are true or not. It can still be hurtful to a person to have others talk about them behind their back.

    ‘ “That person” told that secret to somebody. And that “somebody” spread the secret to everybody. My life was ruined.’

    There must be some common human idea that telling one person confidential information is akin to telling no one…except it’s definitely not.

  6. I’ve been the subject of a rumor in high school. Luckily the rumor didn’t go far because many people didn’t believe the girl who was saying it. From it, she ended up looking stupid and having a few people confront her in my defense. Let’s just say she never started a rumor about me again.

  7. Billy,

    Sorry, your responses didn’t go through at first.

    Men gossip. I’ve been around men when they gossip. I guess they just gossip about different things and maybe tend to be slightly less malicious.

  8. Eliss,

    “Luckily the rumor didn’t go far because many people didn’t believe the girl who was saying it.”

    Don’t you love it when that happens? 🙂

    At least that was one negative rumor with a positive outcome.

  9. True, but it still hurt me because I thought she was my friend. Faux friends are the worst.

  10. Eliss,

    I know it is really hurtful: I’ve had it happen to me. It can take a long time to get over. That’s why I wouldn’t gossip about others; knowing the impact, I wouldn’t wish that upon someone else.

    “Faux friends are the worst.”

    Yes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s