We all gossip, don’t even try to deny that you do, just admit it. You gossip, I gossip, we all gossip! Woo! Now, in some cases gossip is harmless, and in others, it can actually cause issues for all parties involved. In addition, there is good gossip and there is bad gossip. Both can also have repercussions that aren’t necessarily a good thing.
What do I mean by good gossip? Generally, gossip is considered a bad thing, and it has a negative connotation, so how could gossip possibly be a good thing? Well I don’t mean that it’s a good thing, but I mean it is more of a positive thing, such as gossiping about something good. For example, I was once the subject of some gossip in my dorm my freshman year in college. I didn’t even realize I was popular enough to the be the topic of gossip, but it must have been a slow week. I was really close friends with this guy that lived in the dorm, and we also had a class together. Well, we spent a lot of time together going out to dinner, hanging out around campus, you get the idea. While we usually had others with us, we did occasionally just hang out the two of us. It wasn’t anything more than friendship, though I will admit I had a crush on him. Well, you can imagine my surprise when my roommate tackled me one day after class and yelled at me for not telling her. I had no idea what she was talking about, as far as I knew, I hadn’t withheld anything important from her. She then started going on about how cute we were and how I must be so excited, and how could I not have told her I was dating him, and on and on. It was news to me that he and I were dating, but apparently the whole dorm was talking about it. So I dragged my roomie over to his room to find out if he had heard of this and what we were going to do about. I was actually excited, thinking this was a way for us to move forward into something more. Well, while he had no issues with everyone thinking we were dating, he also had no interest in actually dating me. Must be better to just have the appearance than the reality. Oh well. So we got that sorted out, and eventually the gossip died down, but I will say, everyone was very interested in our love lives (or lack thereof) and I had so many girls that I usually just said hi to coming up and talking to me about how great we were together and how we were so cute, etc. It was actually kind of flattering, having all of that attention, and nothing that was said was bad, just that we were dating, so neither of us really cared. He made a great point that it didn’t matter what people thought, we knew what reality was, so why would we change anything. This kind of gossip wasn’t bad. It didn’t hurt any of the parties that were the subject of it, and it didn’t cause any serious damage later on. It was just people reading too much into what they were seeing. Not a big deal.
The other kind of gossip though, that’s where it gets to be a little more tricky and cause more damage. Let’s say for example that you have an old co-worker, and you mentioned something that the old co-worker used to do in front of someone else. While nothing you said was false, it somehow got back to that person and they weren’t very fond of it. Now, we all have done stuff we weren’t proud of, and it sucks, but if it’s reality, then it’s hard to fight it. Well, this co-worker then decides to start gossiping about you and your family, making up lies and spreading them to all of your old co-workers. This is where gossip becomes damaging. First of all, the co-worker spreading the lies is damaging her own reputation, as we all know that what Sally says of Suzie says more about Sally than it does Suzie. What it also does though, is damage the other person’s reputation, when it’s not deserved. Sure, majority won’t believe it because they worked with you, and they know the real you, but others feel the need to believe the lies spread by this other person. Now, that doesn’t make either of you bad people, but it definitely tarnishes reputations. And that’s where gossip gets its ugly side.
When something is said, it can’t be unsaid, but if you do feel the need to say it, it should at least be true. I personally am working on not caring what people say about me, but it’s a hard process to work through. It’s important to remember though, that if people choose to believe lies over the reality and the knowledge they have about you, then it again says more about them than about you. It goes to show that they would rather see the bad in a person than the good that they know is in there. And it can be hard, especially if this person that started spreading the rumors and lies used to be a friend. That can actually be one of the worst things. So the most important thing for you to remember is to keep your chin up through it all. And maybe try to tone down gossiping.Sure, it can be fun to participate, but you never know if what you heard and what you’re spreading is reality. And it’s not so much fun when it’s you that’s the subject of the gossip fodder.