The worse a person looks in the light of rumours and gossip, the better the many feel. Sounds bad but is it rarely far from the truth? People tend to believe gossip over actual facts, at least, so it seems. The more spectacular and scandalous the better and when feeding gossip and rumours, “news” is established as facts. Not everyone cares whether a rumour is a fact or just that – a rumour or gossip. It is the scandal, the intrigue and the glimpse into other people’s lives that feeds the interest thereby keeping the rumour alive. Gossip is often about personal or private affairs of others and more often than not errors or inaccurate information is added into the information transmitted. Often gossip takes a negative character.
Negative news sells better than positive news. People love negative gossip and often because it makes them-selves feel better, better because someone is worse off. They simply flourish on it. If gossip is started by a person with high social ranking, people tend to believe it even more thinking that a person in his/her position would never lie. Interesting though is that workplace gossip is a main cause of people being unhappy at work. That probably goes for the non-gossipers, as gossiping also seems important for social bonding. Hence, if you are part of the gossip-gang at work this would not apply to you.
A simple fact is this: a person’s reputation would not be destroyed unless people adhered to and furthered gossip. Let’s say negative information about a person is conveyed by an employer. The employer feels threatened by negative information a former employee is in possession of. To combat that threat, the employer starts feeding negative information about the person to undermine his/her credibility. Will the employer succeed in destroying the employee? The sad reality is yes, probably. Well think about it this way; the only ones who gossip are those whose personal lives are not fulfilling enough or those who feel threatened.
Gossip is a malicious action. Negative gossip can ruin a person’s reputation – it is slander – used to ruin people publicly and to humiliate and disgrace their character. Sad thing is – it works! Simply because people feel entertained with what is being told they keep passing on the “news”. Some even make a career out of it. It does not really help to say that you don’t know whether the rumour is true or not – almost as if you need to excuse yourself for passing on the rumour. The truth is not the point, the potential scandal and the entertainment this brings with it is. Next time you feel for gossiping about people think about the reason you engage in this petty behaviour. It does not make you look better – it makes you look jealous and pathetic.