We all gossip. I think it’s something that’s part of who we are as social beings. According to Google, gossip is casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.
Gossip can be beneficial, or it can be damaging. When its beneficial, it informs us about what is happening to our community and in our world; it keeps us up-to-date and helps in making decisions. In this way, gossip helps us stay connected. You know when you’re involved in beneficial gossip when it’s helpful, and you feel spurred on to get validation and possibly take action.
Sadly these days, amid so much fear and a felt-sense need for self-protection, gossip is usually damaging. Have you heard of the co-dependent triangle? Sometimes it’s called the drama triangle, and it happens when one person feels victimized and seeks validation and consolation from a third party instead of going to the person they feel victimized them to discover what really happened. The person they went to is the rescuer and really wants to be there because they feel included and on the ‘good’ side. The third person is seen as the persecutor and bad, judged that way before anything is checked out.
I’ve been guilty of gossiping this way. Have you? I did it because it is so much easier and more pleasant to get comforted and validated than it is to confront and possibly be embarrassed. We feel hurt and want to feel better, but when we use gossip to feel better, we hurt someone else.
Next time you’re tempted to gossip in a negative way, the best thing you can do for yourself and everyone else is to find your courage and go talk to the person that triggered you. I guarantee you will feel so much better afterwards, even if what you suspected turns out to be true. More likely, it won’t, and that’s even better.
And if you do end up gossiping instead, once you realize it, see what you can do to step out of that drama triangle.
Here are some things that can help you do that:
- Never talk behind someone’s back;
- Ask for validation if you hear someone else gossip; and
- Assume there was a good intention that’s worth discovering.
In this way, you can become a part of the solution to drama and feel pretty great about it too!
Quote of the Week
“Word spread because word will spread. Stories and secrets fight, stories win, shed new secrets, which new stories fight, and on.”
– Steve Maraboli
Why gossip starts and spreads at work
I hope you enjoyed this article. When you’re ready to take the next step on your life journey, book a free 20 min consultation with me.