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Gossip

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Hostarius, May 12, 2020.

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  1. Hostarius

    Hostarius L I G E T I C

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    Well, if you clicked on this thread title hoping for something juicy... then I'm sorry to disappoint, but I'd like people to share their general perspectives on this. It's something I'm interested in, particularly with regard to reifying the 'rules' of what most people would be comfortable with. So...

    - What constitutes 'gossip' to you?
    - If it means simply 'talking about others when they aren't present', does the nature of the sentiments expressed about them make a difference? I.e. if it's positive or negative.
    - How do you feel about gossip or 'gossips' in general?
     
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  2. Korg

    Korg ▄ ▄

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    I don't like gossip. But what I find particularly distasteful is the collective air of self righteousness that comes with it. Watching the details of others personal lives get spread out like evidence at a trial, complete with deliberating jury and deep analysis of their character makes me angry. Everyone is disgusting and wretched and none of us want to be exposed for how much; if you want to share gossip you should be willing to have you own life examined and put on trial.

    I guess sometimes it's "good" gossip like so-and-so got into Oxford or whatever. It's benign, but I still dislike it on principle because it's really just the other side of the above coin.
     
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  3. slant

    slant Ruby Adoraboobie

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    I think I really oscillate when it comes to this. I am not a person that ever goes out of my way to say something intentionally malicious about someone, for me the kind of gossip that I engage in might be telling someone something about someone else that is a little bit personal but gives insight to that person's life. I feel that this is gossip because it's not that it was never said that I couldn't mention it but sometimes I worry that I would be violating someone's privacy I think this has more to do with relationships I've had in the past with people who felt like you weren't allowed to say anything that they had said to someone else and I really don't think that is my responsibility to harbor people's secrets for them and so for this reason I try not to really think too much about this anymore.

    But when I do end up speaking a little critically about someone, I only consider it gossip if it's somebody that we both know if we don't both know the person then it's kind of harmless bonding. I try to say things like, I'm sure there's reasons for why this person is like this, I like this person they're a good person I'm just having difficulties with them, so mostly I think what I'm trying to do is vent but I think that venting can be interpreted as gossiping.

    overall I really think gossiping is a matter of your relationship with the person that you're speaking to and the person that you're speaking about. I think that if you're a mature adult and someone tells you about someone else you're not going to mention that or start a problem and generally speaking if they're telling it to you to explain part of their life or to explain that person so you can better understand them I think there shouldn't be too much hurt feelings about that. I know that some people are private but at the same time I think that confidentiality and confiding in people but then also being able to tell your friends things that are going on in your life and that includes things that are going on in your life with other people, that is really important it is an important aspect of bonding with other human beings and so I don't think that it's really possible to eliminate that the more intimate the relationship is the more frequent it's going to be that you engage in something called gossip.

    I have seen other forms of gossip, especially like overhearing it at work when there are a couple of people who are friends who are deliberately saying demeaning things about people and putting down their character and it's for no reason It's really not about how it affects them personally It's really not about how they're concerned about that person It's just this game that they play where they are purposefully putting someone down for seemingly no reason. And what I have learned about this is that this is a way that some people have learned to socialize as well as to increase their own self-esteem and so the people who do this type of gossip really have a lot of psychological issues and it's better not to even really try to engage with these people because they're socializing patterns are so different from what I try to do in my own life the mindfulness the kindness that it's just not possible for me to speak with these people to trust them because they have a tendency to be malicious for whatever reason.
     
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  4. Sandie33

    Sandie33 Love Often & Absolutely ♡
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    :m049: gossip is a waste of energy and toxic soup. I've always assessed a person's true character on the content of their gossip.
    Often I'll make a joke about my not repeating gossip so they had better listen up the first time.

    Attempting to tell another's life story like a rookie news reporter. The observation of the make-up artist is the worst and most nauseating; those folks that create a fabrication just to gain points with an assumed more popular person.
    There's citizen news and then there's gossip.
    Citizen news, especially in a small town goes something like, "Did ya hear, Joni got a scholarship to x-college? Oh! That's wonderful. I'll bet she's excited and proud of that achievement."
    Compared with gossip, "Did ya hear about Joni dancing drunk on the tables Saturday night because she gets a free pass to x-college. She's so smart she's stupid, hahaha."

    Nauseated. I can feel that toxic muck. I won't be disrespectful to a gossip, but i will interupt their story so I can escape it.

    Gossips have no rules, and anybody is game.

    For example, when I go to the club after being gone a little while, at least one person will say Hey Sandie, what are you doing here?
    Smells like a set up to me, so my pet-reply is, I had to come out and check in to see how much fun I'm having or not.
    :p True story!
     
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  5. Wildfire

    Wildfire Community Member

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    I read about a study a while back. It took the simple position that gossip was sharing information with others about others, that it’s not necessarily negative, that it can be positive or neutral.

    It looked at the many ways this information sharing can build relationship and community, the ways in which it can be both constructive and destructive, how it impacts individuals and the collective.

    It was a cool study. I’ll have to see if I can find it.
     
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  6. Rit4lin

    Rit4lin Community Member

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    Gossip for me is any discourse relating to the behaviours or actions of someone who isn't part of the conversation, but which they do not want the party to know of. If someone is being talked about without them being there but the reason behind it is positive, such as praise or constructive criticism that would then be shared later, then it's fine. But if the focus is simply to shit on the person behind their backs, or criticise them without planning to tell them, and be uncomfortable if they found out - then it is negative and harmful gossip.
    It all comes down to whether the people are comfortable with what they say in private, getting out. I don't think it has to be any more complicated than that.

    As for how I feel about it, I don't mind it. Gossip is a useful social tool that helps to build rapport and that sense of 'community'; it's why I believe, that it is so prevalent within schools. That is not to say because it is useful it makes all forms of gossip 'good'. But I appreciate it solely in the context of it being a tool. I engaged in it myself at school despite avoiding it as much as I could, and so too did teachers; it's hard to escape. But I didn't feel guilty about it, because I had no issue with sharing my opinions when asked - either by a group, or someone who had been the focus of 'gossip'. There is the positive and negative side of it but I won't lambaste it too much because I'm not perfect and I know I have engaged in negative gossip myself a few times, despite my attempts not to.
     
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  7. Wildfire

    Wildfire Community Member

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    This article references the study, but doesn’t get into nearly enough detail.
    https://time.com/5680457/why-do-people-gossip/

    And I couldn't find my notes on the topic, which would make it easier for me to flesh out my ideas here. But one of the things I was interested in at the time was the way societies use gossip as a tool, and along a continuum, in defense of social norms.

    Consider a person behaving badly by societal standards. Talk would spread, ostracizing the individual, and protecting the community according to their shared value. But word of mouth would also be used when welcoming the individual back into society when he or she demonstrated innocence, performed an act of atonement, provided a service of great enough value to the community that previous sins would be overlooked, etc.

    Throughout this scenario gossip, as defined by the study, played an important role within society. And the larger the society the more necessary the gossip.
     
    #7 Wildfire, May 13, 2020
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
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  8. noisebloom

    noisebloom theory conspirer
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    My responses, respectively:
    1. I define gossip as the intentional spreading of "provocative" and previously unknown information about a party or thing that is not present, e.g.

      Jan has a new tattoo, and it's fucking ugly.

      Did you hear someone took a shit in the old pond and killed all the ducks?

    2. Positive/negative are subjective enough to not enter into it for me... what's important is that the conversation is an attempt too provoke a strong reaction. Usually, though, "good news" is not considered a subset of gossip, but a story about something/someone to make someone laugh could be.

    3. I don't like it when people try to stir up trouble with their gossip, and I really hate it when people try to make me think that someone/something I've decided I like is actually terrible with random stories they've heard. However, if the intention is humor, or I feel like what happened was deserved and/or interesting, I don't mind.
    Hey, did you guys hear that @Hostarius created this crazy thread about gossip?!
     
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  9. Wildfire

    Wildfire Community Member

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    I like the term "citizen news".
     
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  10. slant

    slant Ruby Adoraboobie

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    Seconded
     
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  11. Aneirin

    Aneirin AKA, David
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    yep, great description. i despise gossip in all it's flavors. You have no business or right to tell another person's story. and I have found that more often than not, it is spun to make the teller appear more interesting then they are, and as if they have some insider information to add to that story, which they dont. .
     
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  12. QuirkyLemonFlower

    QuirkyLemonFlower Regular Poster

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    I hate gossip, it's toxic af, a waste of time, disrespectful and out of order on sharing someone else's private matter which they entrusted a person with. If you have no business in knowing then you have no business being told and if you're the gossiper it shows a lot about what you're like as a person. It shows a lot about someone's character if they gossip.

    My motto I learnt is: If a person is sharing someone's private matter or business with you, you know damn well your business is going to told to other people.

    I'll never understand those who gossip, I mean how do you sleep at night knowing you've been malicious about someone that has done no harm to you and even if they did what do you achieve?! Just more misery.

    At work on the other hand is another thing, it's difficult to have deep and meaningful conversations at work, there are only a handful of people I get that with and my team are all suckers for gossip and I noticed I too was being sucked into it. I get that it's general boredom at work and everyone gossips. sometimes I get so curious of wanting to know what's happened but this is more out of concern rather than wanting to know someone's business. I just want to know if someone is ok. I'll always call out unwarranted gossip and all of my colleagues have stopped telling me things, I've learnt that a lot of it will eventually come so not worth asking or getting involved and it will mean nothing in the end or some things are just best left unknown. And when I am told something I don't want to know it plays on my mind for ages and I get so tired and overwhelmed so I just step away or say to stop.

    I've learnt that whenever I've got curious that it was better not knowing something about someone as I end up looking at that person differently, it's so bad so I've just maintained my stance on don't tell me unless it is something really serious that I should know. For example, terminal disease. I've also stopped going to family gatherings purely because it's just full of negativity and I don't need that in my aura space.

    I've come to realise that many people who gossip are very insecure or have nothing better to do or both of these. I'll always call someone out for gossiping, especially if it is irrelevant and malicious. You don't need to know irrelevant things that will have no use to you or bring any kind of benefit to you. It's a waste of brain space.

    Constructive criticism is ok but gossip is not.
     
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  13. dragulagu

    dragulagu Galactic Explorer

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    - Passing information onto each other on a situation or person, if used well it gives more perspective on the situation or person.
    - It does, positive gossip is good as others said it's constructive, neutral gossip is as well if it's sharing experiences, negative if biased and opinionated, leaning to subjective and destructive. Gossip for the sake of gossip: to the bin.
    - I personally dislike it. Because you don't know what side of the information which is being gossiped is personal to that person. It could be said within a certain security of a relationship between this person and the
    one gossiping. But hey it's part of human nature. So trying to stay as neutral as I can. Not easy...especially at my work environment. Plus it fucks up relations, cause there's always bias in there (personal opinion).
     
  14. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Talking about people who aren't present = gossip.
     
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