Gossip Me This

What’s the deal with gossip? I’ve found myself bonding with many a co-worker over a mutual dislike for others and I got to thinking about this evening. Why is ragging on other people such an enjoyable past time for me? I have a few theories.

I suspect that this is a way for me to show that I’m above the gossipee. I see their flaws, therefore I am infinitely more cool than they could possibly be. I think this goes back to my loser days of highschool and, ahem, now. I just want to be liked and so to prove that I’m better than somebody else, well, that improves my chances doesn’t it?

I’m so uninteresting myself, that I feel it necessary to discuss other people. This one doesn’t float so well with me, because couldn’t I just as easily find positive things to say about other people?

Do you find that you gossip a lot? What is it that makes you do so?


9 thoughts on “Gossip Me This

  1. I think you’re touching on such an expansive topic. We could discuss this forever. I honestly try not to gossip too much. I work in a place where there are 400+ employees. As you can imagine it is a breeding ground for catty conversation. Do I take part in it? Yes. To a degree, but at work I really watch who I am talking to mostly because I really hate hearing that people are talking about me so I limit my gossip to people that I know I can trust not to repeat what’s been said. Outside of work? Well, I think it’s just human nature. Or maybe I’m just telling myself that so I can feel better.

  2. I definitely gossip more than I should. Of course, I live in a small town, so I can blame it on that, even if it’s not a very good excuse. I think you’re right on when you say it makes us feel above the other person. It also gives us something easy and in common to discuss with others. Who wants to say, “So, what music have you really liked lately?” or “What are your favorite foods?” Those are boring. And discussing politics, religion, etc. are usually not a good idea. But coworkers are something you and others have in common. Plus, it’s easy to tell yourself that you’re doing the other person a service by warning them, or you’re finding out what to watch out for in another person. Or maybe you’re discussing that person so you can figure out how to help them. Yes, it’s easy to call it anything but gossip, isn’t it?

  3. Carly- I try and watch myself, but I so easily find myself slipping and just talking my little heart out about everybody else. I don’t know how to stop it!

    Caryn- Gossiping is definitely a bonding experience and I think that’s why it’s so easy for me. I find myself with nothing to say… so I pick on the others!

    Ellen- Hi .:) I know, I know, you left other comments but my stupid blog wouldn’t let you leave them.

  4. I’ve been thinking about this – and I have a different take. For my whole life I’ve been told it’s bad to gossip, that it doesn’t do any good and I’ve believed it. But you know what? I don’t believe it anymore. I gossip, and so does everyone else, whether they admit it (or realize it) or not. And I think gossip has a purpose. I don’t buy into the reasoning that gossiping makes you feel above someone or better than them. I have never found that to be the case. In fact, I have found that talking about others (good or bad) helps me form a better opinion of someone because I’m sharing an opinion with someone else. Sometimes I think maybe it’s just me that has a problem with someone, but when I talk to someone else about that person, I realize it’s not me, it’s THEM! And I’m shocked to find that EVERYONE else feels the same as I do! I dont think that means we’re better than someone, I think it means you’ve learned something about someone, and about yourself.
    Sure, it’s better to confront the person in question directly, but it’s usually better to get your facts straight before you do that. Gossip has actually cleared up misunderstandings about other people for me before. Not to mention it makes you feel good to get it off your chest to talk about it when someone does something stupid or something that pisses you off. I don’t think you’re feeling “better than” that person, I think you’re feeling relieved to talk it out, like women like to do when they have a problem.
    I’m not saying that talking smack about people behind their backs is always a good thing, but let’s put it this way – it’s definitely therapeutic, and I personally believe that it helps us learn more about relationships and about each other.

    Okay – flame me.

  5. Well, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing either. I only really hold myself back because I don’t trust (all) others to keep what I say quiet. As I said, I think it’s human nature, but you need to keep in mind that it’s been my experience that if someone’s talking to you about someone, they’re probably talking about you to someone too. I’m just cautious to avoid getting caught up in the drama that sometimes results from too much gossip.

  6. Good point Carly. I agree you can’t be too careful around workplace gossip because it can bite you in the ass. I’m an advocate for “Strategic Gossip” you could say.

    This is where a good girlfirend or husband/boyfriend comes in. They’re pretty good to gossip with. Hubby and I have a time period you’d be banned for more gossip if you told, and the time period is based on how big the gossip is. For example, “I have something to tell you, but there’s a five year ban on this one.”

  7. Carly- Yes, the concern that your words will be repeated is a certainly a valid one! That’s my biggest fear of gossiping, I think…

    Bex- I love the ban thing! That’s awesome.

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