If you find yourself constantly dying to dish, lend me your burning ears. The secret you really need to know? All of this gossip can have a corrosive effect on your psyche and your social life.
It’s perfectly understandable. Human beings grow ever more connected by technology, which urges us to learn more about each other. Gossips, however, don’t seek connections, even if they say so. Hearsay happens in most social circles, but habitual gossips tend to derail dynamics, focusing too much on what might be instead of what is. Meaningful relationships require forward motion, so in order to build strong bonds and avoid isolation, one must resist the circular nature of gossip.
Sometimes, gossiping starts as a bonding mechanism. One individual shares a juicy secret with another, and now both have a secret to share. But then comes doubt: The gossip that blithely shares sensitive information loses credibility, because they have revealed themselves as someone not to be trusted. The act of gossiping might inspire a superficial bond at first, but it ultimately creates feelings of mistrust. Habitual gossips favor short-term gains over genuine connections, shirking the richest aspects of social life.
Gossiping is never subtle. People sense patterns and will pick up on the fact that gossips speak negatively of others more than they speak positively of them. All this and more, leads to unnecessarily complicated and often unfulfilling social lives.
Your social life informs your mental wellbeing. Gossips lock themselves into a social life that requires multiple faces at the cost of emotional energy they could be throwing into meaningful bonds or even self-care.
The effects might not take hold right away, but gossips will always outwear their welcome. If gossiping is a problem for you, consider how gossiping makes you feel. Does it give you a little rush? Does it leave you wanting to know or discuss more? Discerning the emotional link to habitual gossip will help you discover more positive means of creating those feelings.
A good mantra to remember? Do you. Instead of sharing secrets, share more of your honest self.