What Motivates People to Gossip?

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Before we even address the issue as to why people gossip, lets discuss briefly what is gossip and that will lead us straight as to why people do it. Websters Dictionary defines gossip as often malicious talk; a person who spreads sensational or intimate facts.

Now, if gossip is sure to end up hurting someone or several individuals, then, what motivates people to gossip? There are many reasons why people feel compelled to gossip, therefore, humiliating and putting others down. Sometimes people do it out of spite, just because they can. Other times people gossip because they feel they will benefit from its end result, such as possibly looking better in front of the boss in a working situation. But the true, deep rooted reason, and psychological studies have proven it, is the feeling of superiority that results from such vicious spreading of information. The person feels superior not only because he/she feels that they have information to offer that the other person does not have, and we all know that knowledge is power, but also by gossiping about someone else, the gossiper feel as if he/she was a much better person than the subject of the gossip,

In fact, just recently I was reading a book titled A New Earth, Awakening to Your Lifes Purpose, written by Eckhart Tolle, and in one of his chapters he addresses this very issue. Mr. Tolle talks about how a persons ego has a lot to do with the gossiping issue. It seems like some people, more than others, suffer from such a bad case of inferiority that they will do whatever it takes, including passing gossip around, to make themselves look better in front of others, and therefore, feel better about themselves, no matter at what cost. People will gossip about things that actually happened, but it is in everyones best interest should really be left alone and not discussed further. They will gossip about tings that happened, however, will stretch it some to make it more juicy and, therefore, cause more of an impact when disclosed. Ultimately, people will gossip about something completely untrue, however, making up such a story causes such a rush on the gossiper because of the power surge he/she has just experienced, that they cant contain themselves and just spit it out.

All gossip is bad, even the casual gossip about not so important issues. However, when people spread gossip with malice, lets say mostly because they just dont like the person they are gossiping about and would do anything to see them ruined, that is when gossip can have a totally devastating effect on the victim. When people gossip not just to pass the information, but to actually hurt somebody, they will continue to harp on the information and even make up more information to accomplish their goal. I think people like that, even if they have been the source of some gossip at one point or another themselves and know how it feels, will not cease until their mission is accomplished. Personally, I think that is when the gossiper becomes evil.

We have all fallen victim to rumors and gossip at one time or another in our lives, but anybody who has been a victim of some ill founded gossip which has resulted in their image, reputation, and even their lives being torn apart, know that the effects of wicked gossip are sometimes irreparable, or at least they seem to be. Picking up the pieces after such an attach is not easy and quite painful. Anybody who has lived in the public eye such as Hollywood stars, public figures, political and non-political, have felt the wrath of gossip at some point. Sadly, though, for some reason the public goes on assuming that these people just let it slide and dont let the gossip affect them. When in fact, in reality the gossip affects them as anyone else, eventually taking a toll in their lives. It is much easier to accuse, point fingers and have the populous believe you, than when you are the accused and you are trying to defend yourself. Nevertheless, for some reason people rather believe the facts in the gossip than believe the, often times, innocent who is the focus of the gossip.

There is not one single person in this earth who has not been guilty of wrong doing in one form of another, so again, why should people gossip if at some point it may come back to them? In fact, there is a very old wise saying that you should not throw stones if you live in a glass house. So, while we all live in glass houses, why do people insist on continuing to throw stones at somebody elses glass house?

Guiding thoughts, guiding words, for guiding minds .maribelclarissa


Posted on Mar 20, 2011
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