Gossiping, Helpful or Hurtful
What is Gossiping?
Lets be honest. Gossiping and spreading rumors are pretty much one in the same. They can be both positive and harmful. They can both cause intense emotional pain or elation. There are situations where gossiping can actually be a good thing. Believe it or not. Gossiping can actually be good for our brains. It can also be very damaging in certain circumstances.
Do you think that a bunch of colleagues chirping away at the water cooler are merely gossipers wiling their time away? You’d rather focus on the memo you have to turn in by the end of the day, wouldn’t you? Perhaps you should think again. By avoiding gossip, you could be missing out on crucial news. What if your company’s CEO is having a nervous breakdown? Maybe there’s hush-hush talk about imminent layoffs? Truth is, gossip isn’t all bad. In fact, it’s necessary for our survival. At least, that’s what research over the last decade has concluded.
Types of Gossip
Gossiping can come in different types. There are three types of gossip, good, bad, and bad that turns good. Knowing that gossiping is good for our brain and that we spend between 60-80 percent of our time doing it, there needs to be a greater focus on good gossip.
A study at the University of California, Berkeley showed that gossip helps people exchange important information about intruders and unethical people within a community. “Gossip gets a bad rap, but we found that much of what we call gossip is driven by a sincere desire to help others.”
Positive aspects of Gossip
So I am going to focus on the positive aspects of Gossiping. It can be used to find out about other people or things that may or may not fit in with your social circle. It can be used as a way to discover the behavior of others that you may or may not agree with.
Unfortunately, gossip can also be used in a vicious, and mean way. It can be used to harm other people. It can be used to get back at someone who has caused you some type of pain. But gossip is now being considered by scientists as a way to learn about cultural norms, bond with others, promote cooperation, and even, as one recent study found, allow individuals to gauge their own success and social standing.
Physical effects of Gossip
In a recent study conducted by Georgia State U. One group looked at prosocial gossip (the good kind) that helps with cooperation among a group’s members. In the first study, 51 participants were connected to a heart rate monitor. Their heart rates were observed while they watched the scores of two players involved in a trust game. It was evident that one player was playing unfairly, and so the results showed that heart rates of participants went up when they witnessed the act of cheating.
The results also showed that heart rates went down as their frustration eased during the act of passing along gossip. “Engaging in gossip, warning another about this person, can temper their frustration and elevated heart rate. So, in this way, gossiping can make you feel better. You might even say it’s therapeutic.
Gossip Can Even facilitate Friendship
A Dutch study showed that gossip facilitated friendship among co-workers who gossiped. Too much gossip, however, did not help people attract more friends. So, with this in mind, go ahead and gossip — it is good for your heart and may even help you land a top-notch career opportunity!
Gossip affects us; it either tickles us or makes us shudder. But did you know that different kinds of gossip affect us in different ways?
According to a study published this year and carried out on a random sampling of men and women, the subjects were generally more pleased to hear positive gossip than negative news. However, they were more distressed by negative gossip about themselves than about other people like their friends, acquaintances, and celebrities. Not many surprises there.
Gossip acts as a self improvement tool in another way. Positive gossip about ourselves gives us the motivation to carry on with our good behavior or sustain positive habits. It also provides us with hints about acceptable behavioral traits within the context of a particular society.