Ever wondered why do people gossip about you? You’ll be amazed to find out that most human beings cannot control the impulse to make a comment about another person. You are equally responsible for the cycle, either as the bearer of juicy titbits to share or the curious cat with the nosy ears to listen.
Either way, your involvement in part completes the gossip cycle. It makes perfect sense why an entire series on gossiping (Gossip Girls) was created out of interest on the mechanisms that influence people to engage in this process. Find out the science behind this phenomenon, looking at 10 scientific facts about gossiping that will blow your mind.
The Personal Benefits of Gossiping
According to psychologists, there is an intrinsic, self-interest benefit that comes with gossiping about someone. From
Once You’re Part of a Group, You Cannot Control the Discourse
Being part of a group has its benefits, having people that share your sensibilities as well as someone to confide in. It is also important to note that once there’s an established way of doing things in a group context, it becomes difficult to go against the grain. The ruling opinion prevails and in an attempt to fit in, one subscribes incognito.
Gossiping is Sometimes Done Unconsciously
The process of being party to a gossip cycle usually starts unconsciously. When a person shares a rumor about someone else for the first time, they typically do it without being aware. In addition, because we cannot discern what someone wants to say before we’ve heard them, you may be party to a gossip cycle without even knowing it.
Most People Grow Up Under Gossip Tutorship
When one grows up in an environment in which their parents entertain gossip, they soon pick up on the habit. Taken from the works of Urie Bronfenbrenner, a child is more likely to show behavioral pattern studied from their environment. Once that temperament is part of their character make-up, it is difficult to rid yourself of that habit.
Gossip As a Measure of One’s Own Sanity
Psychologists suggest that one of the reasons why we cannot stop gossiping is because we need confirmation that what we see and feel is the same experience for someone else as well. Seemingly sharing a sentiment about someone is important to one’s frame of mind. It shows that they aren’t making things up in their brain and someone else sees it too.
Paranoia-fueled Survival Instinct
A person who is filled with paranoia that people are out to get them will seek to drive the discourse and control the narrative first. It also keeps them in the loop of all the information that is circulating. Their reasoning for gossiping is to get the first word in and maintain a specific social status.
Neurological Release from Gossip Constipation
When someone has juicy details about someone else’s drama, they are compounded by the urge to share the news. Just like someone constipated, the release of this information triggers a host of chemical reaction in the brain such as serotonin, endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin.
Deflecting from One’s Own Issues
As a defense mechanism, gossip masks one’s own crumbling world. It shield the insecurities that one may have and shines the spotlight on other’s drama. Gossiping about how bad someone else’s life is, deflects from facing one’s own problems.
Gossip is The Source of Envy
The most basic of gossip about someone else is borne out of an element of jealousy. When one has feelings of inadequacy, they direct their anger at the person that possess what they want. Seeing how one can never be the perfect picture that they have in their head, it is unlikely to envision a world without gossiping.
Ultimately, People Gossip to Create Drama
What’s life without a little drama every now and then. People have an intrinsic thirst for chaos and if unquenched, it manifests itself in other undesirable gestures. It is worth noting that gossip is not always driven by disdain for the person spoken of. It is immaterial who the topic of discussion is abou, it is simply a matter of creating a social buzz.
Think you have other reasons that drive you to gossip, leave us a comment and let’s start the conversation.