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Chatter Chronicles: Let's Talk About Gossip

Strong minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; weak minds discuss people." We think this is true, so why does it feel so good to do it?!

Photo by Monstera Production
The Advantages Of Gossip

Humans are biologically predisposed to gossiping; it reduces stress and anxiety by releasing feel-good chemicals like serotonin. It’s a form of advantageous social bonding that helps us identify who is within our circle of trust and who is not. It provides us with vital social information required to navigate our lives successfully. From a less positive angle, we like to gossip because it gives us a sense of moral superiority and is a form of schadenfreude.

The Consequences Of Negative Gossip

There can be serious consequences when we take part in negative chit-chat. It turns out that hearing negative gossip about someone can change how you view them: It alters how our visual system responds to a face. Reputations are hard to build and easy to ruin, mainly because positive news doesn’t have the same weight in the brain as negative. Once you’ve helped spread negative gossip about someone, it can take decades to undo the damage.


Why Not Gossiping Is So Freaking Hard

Stepping out of gossip is hard, as it is a form of currency in almost all relationships. Engaging in an intimate conversation with a friend without participating in gossip, then, is a lot like trying to shop with no money.

So we challenge you to stop gossiping altogether for 1 month. Can you do it?


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