Why Are There People Who Love to Gossip?

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Chinkee Tan
Chinkee Tan

Do you know of someone who doesn’t seem to have anything better to do than to talk about the lives of other people? Perhaps even to the point where his or her day won’t be complete without spreading a rumor about someone else?

“Hey, did you see that young woman our neighbor brought home last night? Isn’t he married already?

“Just look at her. She’s so smug! She feels like she’s the most competent person in the world.

Her presentation wasn’t even that great!”

“Did you hear about ______? Did you know that he owes a lot of people money?

“Tsk, tsk, too bad!”

“I wonder why they are getting married so soon? Maybe she’s pregnant!”

BZZZT…BZZZT…BZZZT…

Oh wow. These are just some of the examples that prove that there are so many busy bees around. It doesn’t even matter where you are anymore; in the streets, school, office or any place for that matter, we will always encounter rumors about other people and people talking about other people.

Why is it so difficult to stop a person from gossiping about others? What is it about gossip that even if it will hurt others and we know that it is wrong, we still go ahead and do it anyway?

  1. TO FEEL SUPERIOR

    This person usually knows that there is something wrong with himself or herself and cannot accept this flaw. So in order for them not to be dragged down or to save themselves from a pity party, they’d look for someone else to attack and drag down just to boost their own morale.

  2. OUT OF BOREDOM

    While other people find it relaxing to window shop, others love to eat or sleep; this person’s favorite hobby is to give their opinions about other people.

    They are usually lazy, and so talking becomes the easiest way to keep themselves busy in the meantime, just so they can justify that something significant happened for them today.

  3. FEELINGS OF ENVY

    A colleague gets promoted. “She sucks up to the boss.”

    A neighbor finally builds his own house. “He used the money of his parents to build that house.”

    A friend has a new gadget. “I don’t think she can afford it. I heard she owes a lot of people a lot of money.”

    These are the people who don’t want others to find out or even notice that deep inside, they are already green with envy. So to hide it, they will immediately resort to maligning that person they are envious with.

  4. THE NEED TO BE ACCEPTED

    Sometimes, when a person wants to be accepted in a group, they will do something that will be unforgettable. Oftentimes, gossip works.

    How? When the gossiper finds out what interests and annoys the group, they will make a big issue out of something very trivial about this person the group may be talking about. This will result in them thinking that the gossipper is in the same boat, and they will let that person into their circle.

  5. FOR ATTENTION

    There are people who simply want the attention. They want to be the center of everything. To get this instant fame, they use other people’s lives as their ticket to the spotlight. They will do whatever they can to have people listen to them always. It doesn’t concern them whether it is true or not, right or wrong, as long as they are on center stage of it all.

THINK. REFLECT. APPLY

Do you gossip about other people?

What are the ways that can distract you from gossiping about others and instead use your time for more productive things?

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