We have all done it. At work. With friends and family. Even with strangers.
It’s probably the number one topic after the weather.
It generally makes for easy conversation.
Why do we gossip?
Feeling of superiority
When you feel bad about yourself, talking bad about someone else can make you feel superior.
Part of the group
If everybody else is gossiping or spreading rumors, you tend do the same thing in order to fit in.
When you know a secret, or are the first person to hear a rumor, it can make you the center of attention. Which in turn makes you feel important.
Control or power
Certain people like to be at the top of the popularity scale and one way to get there is by reducing the “status” of another person. They like to control their popularity by controlling how people see others.
Jealousy or revenge
If you’re jealous of someone, you might gossip about that person in order to hurt him or make him less ‘good’.
It’s the #1 reason why people say they spread rumors.
Why is it bad for you?
When someone punches you, it hurts. But it’s over after a little while.
The effect of bad words spread about someone is much larger and lasts a lot longer.
Rumors are a form of bullying referred to as “relational aggression.” Gossip is often used to hurt someone, break up a friendship, or make someone less popular.
Gossiping is like sending a signal that the person is outside of the group, and somehow less worthy. You’re making fun of that person or pointing out negative things about him or her. It lets others think that it’s acceptable to make a person feel inferior.
We trust our friends, and gossiping and rumors can break this trust.
Letting a rumor influence your behavior is like letting someone else make a big decision for you.
If someone tells you that a person is good or bad, will you let them decide for you or will you find out for yourself without prior judgement? If someone tells you that it’s the recession and they have seen many friends fail when they tried to start their own business, will you let that influence you to not start your dream?
When someone tells you gossip, rumors or something negative about someone else, you become reactive towards that person. Your opinion is a reaction to the gossip. You did not create that opinion yourself.
Why to stop?
Gossiping (which is a form of complaining) builds your ego. It makes your ego stronger because it makes someone or something else smaller. It makes you right. You become bigger.
Actually YOU don’t! Only your ego does.
Creative versus reactive
When you let gossip and complaining influence your life, you let it (or someone else) take charge. You react to the information, you store it and live according to it. When you stop complaining/criticizing/gossiping you become stronger than your ego, you are in charge, you are creating your life, your surroundings. You are no longer reacting, but creating!
When you stop gossiping, your conversations become deeper, less superficial. You create better, profounder relationships with people.
Ditch the complaining, gossiping habit and the Universe will change around you. Complainers and gossipers will no longer find a listening ear in you. They will ‘spread the word’ elsewhere. And all these positive and curious people start coming into your life because you are so much fun to be with.
What do you call the state of no complaining, no criticizing, no gossiping? Just plain old happiness.
When you get rid of the gossiping negativity, a ‘creative’, ‘positive’ and ‘deep’ energy surrounds you which can move mountains. When you take this energy into a group (your family, work), that energy becomes contagious and magic starts happening.