A Essay on Gossip

Topics: Psychology, Gossip, Sociology Pages: 2 (488 words) Published: April 20, 2008
Eleanor Roosevelt once said , “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Discussing people? In simple words it means ‘gossiping’. So just why has gossiping earned such a reputation? Why is it that when the word ‘gossip’ is used, it is done so mostly in a negative connotation? Why is it that every major world religion cautions against gossiping? Is it really that bad? The correct answer is ‘no’. It is ignorant to discredit gossip as an unnecessary social evil. Gossip has numerous benefits – at an individual as well as a social level. Let us start with the absolute basic. Why do people gossip? They gossip because gossiping is enjoyable. Many people gossip just for fun or to blow off steam. As unimportant as it may sound “to blow off steam” is very essential for the maintainance of normal social behaviour on the part of individuals. “Bottling up” one’s feelings and emotions is far worse than clinging to moral highground and abstaining from gossiping. It is a well known fact that a few people who do so end up becoming frustrated and find other ‘not-so-moral’ ways of venting emotions. Gossip also serves as a method of diplaying trust. When you gossip with someone, you and the person you are talking to are displaying reciprocal trust. The people you choose to gossip with are people you trust not to use the information that you are sharing against you. It is also a way of saying that you consider the other a person a confidant – that he or she is the one with who you can be open with – it shows closeness. This brings me to my next point. Gossip encourages social bonding. The people you gossip with become part of a group – everyone else is outside of the group. Suppose I gossip (in the ‘bad’ sense) about person A with person B. It shows that person B and I have a similar opinion about person A. It is a very well known and proven fact that the bases of most friendships are commonalties in opinion, commonalities in...
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