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Most of us have been subjected to gossip in some form or other. Gossip means to be talking extensively about someone else's behaviour to other people. Often gossip takes a malicious or mocking tone.

Whilst most generally associated with women, men can also be adept at gossip.

From time to time we all need to vent about someone we work with, know or are related to. That's ok providing we do so to someone we trust and don't go around venting and re-venting to anyone and everyone who will listen.

If we didn't talk about how we felt, or other people - often there would be very little to talk about in some social settings!

A real gossip takes great pleasure in retelling stories and tales about other peoples behaviour, time and time again to whoever is willing to listen. Why they do this can be attributed to many different factors.

The reason a dog has so many friends
is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.
~ Author Unknown ~

Factors of a Serial Gossip.

Deflecting Attention from themselves - A gossip likes to retell tales of other peoples antics as it can distract attention from themselves. Often gossips don't like to talk about themselves, or when they do, they quickly blame or relate how they are feeling towards the actions of someone else.

Superiority - A gossip feels superior about being in the 'know', they enjoy passing on information to those who are 'not in the know' and it makes them feel as though they are superior.

Attention - A gossip enjoys the attention, they enjoy being asked about what is going on, they enjoy being the big source of information. They like to feel popular.

A Gossip in your life...

When you listen repeatedly to a gossip, you are giving them what they need. Often gossip is based on hearsay, often there is only a small amount of truth. Like a game of Chinese whispers, "I don't know all the details but A went off to Spain in rather a hurry last week", it cases scandal, it cases sensationalism... More to the point, what it gives you is someone else's opinion of the real facts - and you should ask yourself - do the facts and the acts of other people really effect you? Do you really need to know?

The best way to stop a gossip in their tracks is to tell them "I'm sorry, I'm not really interested" However, most of us feel that is rude to speak that way to someone who is very nice and friendly. But there are more subtle ways of changing the conversation.

Being party to gossip

If a gossip is gossiping to you about someone, remember they are very likely to be squeezing information out of you to pass back to someone else.

The thing is, most people enjoy a little bit of gossip as it detracts attention from themselves. But do understand how it isn't so nice to be gossiped about.

How gossip serves you

Gossip doesn't serve you, other than to help you feel informed, superior and above the person who is being gossiped about.

Being party to gossip doesn't really help your spiritual or emotional growth, unless you can listen with compassion and understanding.

When you are a victim of gossip.

At times we may find ourselves a victim of malicious gossip. Gossip which is untrue, or tells only half a story to your detriment.

Remember, those people whom know you. Know the truth.

Those people whom don't know you will make a judgement about you of some kind. That judgement won't always be in agreement with the 'gossip'.

When gossip is particularly slanderous, and people see you behaving in a way which is in contradiction to the gossip, they are likely to see the gossip for a jealous attack on the perpetrators behalf. It's likely these people will feel for you being in such a difficult situation and take their own actions to defend you. (Like reporting instances to a superior).

Sometimes gossip can ruin your life, it can affect your work, your social life and your family life. It can knock your self esteem and self confidence.

Remember: The perpetrator is a bully.

If there is nothing you can do to defend yourself, and you have nothing to feel guilty about. Hold your head up high and seek your self confidence. It can be a very hard thing to do, but it will in time benefit you. Eventually, new gossip comes along and people loose interest in the gossip surrounding you, so having that confidence can be a big step. Yet, if you allow the gossip to bring you down, it then has a hold on you and can cause bigger problems later.

Do as you feel is right, and if it feels wrong don't do it!.
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