Women and gossip
July 6, 2007
Women and gossip

At some point, many of us have settled in with a friend to exchange some gossipy news. And, doesn’t the news always seem juicier when it concerns someone we just can’t tolerate? I’ll choose not to wait for an answer and continue quickly by saying that, as we grow older, age and experience should temper our ways and teach us that gossip is simply a cruel attempt to draw attention to, make fun of, laugh at, and joke about someone else’s misfortune.{{more}}

If you’ve lived through and seen enough hardship and you’ve come to understand human nature, then you’ve probably come to understand that nothing is juicy about gossip. You’ve probably come to realize that all human beings go through struggles and that when you actively seek out and spread information about the misery of others, chances are your turn is coming-which will make you the object of future gossipy news!

But, why else shouldn’t we enjoy a good gossip session at someone else’s expense?

Gossip is always negative and most likely false. Have you ever heard anyone gossip about something good? Gossip relays half-lies-at best-about someone’s misfortune, the results of a bad decision, or an unfortunate event that changes a life. Sometimes it’s an attempt to discredit someone who thinks, looks, or acts differently or someone who has attracted attention simply because he or she is in a better position socially, financially, spiritually, educationally, or professionally than the gossiper happens to be.

It’s a sign of insecurity. The next time you hear someone involved in a conversation that you think is gossip, look at the person who is spreading the malicious, backbiting information. Chances are that that person is probably dissatisfied with certain aspects of his or her own life (even if they appear to be confident and composed on the outside). People who are comfortable with who they are and where they are headed don’t have time to discuss insignificant, demeaning information. Remember Eleanor Roosevelt’s saying, “Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”

It can destroy reputations. Unfortunately, somebody is always willing to listen and repeat what they’ve just heard. And gossip spreads like wildfire. False information about someone can potentially destroy a person’s reputation, and we all know that a reputation is the most valuable currency a person has to spend in the business world. Once a reputation is tarnished, little is left. Are you willing to bear the burden of having helped to destroy someone’s life and reputation by repeating information that has a high possibility of being untrue? Are you ready to be accused of slander?

We’re just as guilty. If you listen to gossip and say nothing, are you guilty of participating in the defamation of a person’s character? I would say, yes: our listening gives the gossip monger an audience, and without an audience, gossip isn’t gossip. Walk away or speak up, but don’t just sit idly by in “innocence.” Your silence quietly condones this despicable behavior.

Men do it, too. A common misconception is that woman are the only ones who gossip! Not so. Humans do it-men and women and children. Besides, even if men gossiped more than women, would that make the behavior acceptable?

Those are only a few reasons why we shouldn’t enjoy a good gossip session at someone else’s expense. So when someone comes up to you and says they’ve got a juicy piece of gossip for you, they are essentially insulting you and telling you that you are a person who enjoys destroying others. Is that true? Is that who you are?

Karen Hinds
Workplace Success Group
Toll Free; 877-902-2275
Tel: 1-203-757-4103