According to Timothy Hallett of Sociology Department Of Indiana University,
Gossip can be defined as “The unsanctioned evaluative talk about people who aren’t present”.
As per many views gossip can have various connotations, whether positive or negative. One thing is for sure that gossip is something which is present across all cultures and pretty much in all social classes of our society.
Although adults advise us otherwise, it is so hard to resist the temptation of gossiping.
There are many perceptions about gossiping, some people think that it is totally annoying. While in some social groups it has been perfectly accepted. But if we dig in deep, you will find that these chats might just be a good thing, atleast according to science. Read on and discover why !!
According to the Sociology experts, gossip is not such a bad thing after all. In the words of Professor Hallett he says “I wouldn’t advocate a no-gossip policy” and adds “The point is, if you know how gossip works, you can manage and control it”.
If you were to ask Pope Francis, he is someone of the opinion who believes that gossip fills the heart with bitterness and also positions it.
To answer why exactly gossip is good for you, we would illustrate our point through an experiment conducted by University Of Groningen.
So to understand the fact why people take so much pleasure discussing the failures, achievements etc, this study was an interesting pick. In this experiment, the subjects (both men and women) were asked to recall the last time they heard an interesting piece of tittle-tattle about someone they knew.
Followed by this they were also asked questions on what made them interested in the gossip and how it impacted them as a person.
Whether you believe it or not the results were astonishing !! What the researchers found that gossip helped people to compare the behaviour of other people with their own behaviour. This also helped people in improving themselves.
One more thing that struck the researchers was that it made people more confident about themselves. This is like re-enforcing and evaluating the right kind of behavior.
One more interesting thing that came out of the study is that gossip did not impact men and women in the same way. Both the genders interpreted gossips in different contexts altogether.
According to Elena Martinescu from the University Of Groningen, Women who were subject to negative gossips were found to have a higher self protection mechanism.
This is because women do not want to experience the same kind of fate that the person who was the target of the gossip experienced. The picture was totally different with respect to the men who were studied.
Men were more likely found to be threatened by the positive experience of others. So any piece of gossip highlighting competition, as seen by men was something they all feared.
What We Know From This…
The experts also added that gossip was only a medium for people for precise, but indirect social comparison. This information also proves to be something very vital which we use to reflect on our own behavior.
What the researchers suggested is that there is no need to eliminate gossip from our life. And after all it was not a bad thing.
She added that we should “accept gossip as a natural part of our lives and receive it with a critical attitude regarding the consequences it may have on ourselves and on others”.
One more interesting study revealed that women who have regular conversations on constant intervals are found to be happier and healthier.
The reason why this pattern is observed so much in women is because of the hormone present, common to their species.
Its called “progesterone”. The secretion of this hormone during gossiping is the reason why women love gossip so much. So in that way gossip can also be seen as a healthy exercise for women and not just as an evil social tool.
The Reason Why Gossip Is Considered Bad…
Even after all of this, the general notion about what society thinks of gossip remains negative.
It is something which is mostly discouraged.
Beth Weissenberger an experienced person in the corporate world and the co-founder of Handel Group said that the very first thing she does while consulting is to totally ban gossip out of the system. She also said “Gossip is a manipulation, It’s a form of being a chicken ”
What we learn from the above said conclusions and experiments is that, if gossiping only helps you to analyze situations and know about where people are, then it is pretty functional and acceptable. But if it is used as an instrument to invade some one else’s privacy or harm somebody’s reputation, then it is not something that you should be particularly be proud of. Understanding when to gossip and when not to will also make you a better person.
What we finally conclude from all of it in scientific terms is, if used rightly then gossip will surely make you a better person. Am I the only one who feels happy knowing about this ??
If you are that someone too, then let us know in the comments area. For more enriching content keep coming back to Stories Of World. Till then, just have fun and keep sharing.
For our post on why being lazy is the best thing in the world, click and visit our other article here.