Gossiping has a lot of “functions” as documented by the ever reliable Google, and apparently, these are the following:
- reinforce – or punish the lack of – morality and accountability.
- reveal passive aggression, isolating and harming others.
- serve as a process of social grooming.
- build and maintain a sense of community with shared interests, information, and values.
- begin a courtship that helps one find their desired mate, by counseling others.
- provide a peer-to-peer mechanism for disseminating information.
Clearly, I am not writing this to give a detailed lecture of each function mentioned above, but for the reason that I am stuck in an unhealthy cycle of gossiping. Absolutely nothing to do with numbers 4, 5, and 6.
Most of us have probably experienced this. Getting to know someone and suddenly becoming close friends. Years together has brought you to learn each other’s cool ways and unbearable attitudes, but sometimes the unbearable attitudes win and you just SNAP! So you end up ranting it to people who, coincidentally, feels the same about this person. And just like that, you get to have those long discussions that center around that person behind his/her back… it feels like every topic of conversation is suddenly related to him/her. It’s foolish and immature.
And after all the cruel words have been said – you pause and recognize the damaging effect it has on one’s self…
A lesson told and true: “You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.” – Leo Aikman