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Psst..You know what??

Gossiping shares an infamous history with women. No one talks about men gossiping or even enjoying bitching about someone behind their backs. I am sure there are men who do so, although the tag is bestowed on the women folk. Since, I hang around more with women, I can sadly vouch for the enthusiasm some (note, not all) women have when it comes to passing disapproving comments on someone behind their backs.

It could be as innocuous as passing comments on someone's sense of dressing to something quite personal as parenting abilities or even marital problems. It is also an eye-opening experience to see how some people notice minor details enough to make judgmental comments later on. One would imagine that the people who find fault with others are themselves just and fair in their behaviour. But, of course, that is not the case. They go by the unsaid rule : If I do it, I have my valid reasons but if Ms.X did it, she definitely deserves to be labeled and bad-mouthed about.

Funnily enough, I've noticed that, these loose talks are done just to pass time or for want of better (read juicier) discussions. Gossip definitely is not a taboo word in this circle and is in fact even taken as having harmless fun (at others expense, of course). The gossip mongers can be ruthless enough not to let go even their own core members off the hook. If you are someone who has had a chance to be on the periphery with such groups, you'll agree that the picture can appear a little scary. At the least, I'd consider it cumbersome to be a part of a group that keeps me on the edge making me analyse every small aspect of my behaviour; if I said something right or if I've dressed right or have conformed to the "social etiquette"? Not to mention the side-effects of passive gossiping. Yes, I believe, like passive smoking, passive gossiping can be equally harmful to your thinking, outlook and not the least your self-image.

I am not adopting a holier than thou attitude here. Let me confess that I have also fallen prey to this practice on a few occasions. Of course, in my defense, it is only with my close-knit group and again never about sundry people who do not concern me. I've never used gossip as an excuse to only just "fit" into a particular discussion.

However I reserve my views about people who find "only" gossip as a way of outlet. It is perhaps the only way they know to make a conversation interesting? In that case, I pity them. Perhaps, they really mean it in a harmless way, not to be taken very seriously. In my opinion, they might alienate themselves before they know it and might run the risk of never knowing their true friends. What do you think?

Comments

  1. arey, men gossip more than women..thats something I have concluded from personal experience..let them call it networking or whatever! and trust me I know of men who gossip about family matters, girlfriends, sex, marriage, dressing sense, etc etc....

    and I really dont think harmless gossip is bad...everyone gossips lets just face that..but if it gets vengeful, hurtful or harms the other person, put a stop to it..otherwise, gossip away gal, nothing wrong at all :)

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    1. yeah, men do gossip under the garb of social networking!
      Hmm...so you think harmless gossiping is OK..we all pass comments on others once a while but my discomfort lies in the fact that gossiping is sometimes the only form of conversation and there are people who don't even realize it.

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  2. Gossip oh my god thats the awesomest thing :D bitching, knowing about every unwanted thing its just too fun :D

    We all want a false assurance to ourselves all the time and that is, we are fairer than the other living being, as this cant practically happen we atleast find peace in highlighting -ves of others :D more than we even think once how much we have in us.

    Anyways everybody does gossip ;) so have fun this is one thing that cant and should not be eradicated ;)

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    1. yeah, when we find pleasure in pointing out the inadequacy of others, we do seem to overlook our own shortcomings or are oblivious to it. Hence, gossiping seems more of a fun activity :-)

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  3. Irrespective of gender, gossip has taken victims on both sides. Just that the women folk are more open about it. And yes, I have seen people using gossip to fit in discussions/circles which they normally are not into. They think it is a harmless way of socializing, but sadly it is not. Anything that is done at the expense of others is never a good thing. Bitching about yourself, your life, your problems is fine since it gives an outlet, but talking behind the back of someone's life is never a good virtue. Simply put, if you cannot say something straight to their face, you should not probably say it behind their backs too. There lies in the simple realization.

    Keirthana

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    1. Too much of anything is bad and I believe the same about gossip too.
      "Simply put, if you cannot say something straight to their face, you should not probably say it behind their backs too"
      well said!

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  4. Gossip can be very damaging.... to work relationships, friendships and even within family! It has the potential to leak out easily and cause great offence. Besides, I've noticed that people who gossip can never escape being the target of others' gossip too.... no one spares them either. Best avoided.

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    1. Yes, true, gossip never spares anyone. It can leak out at the most inappropriate moment too!

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  5. It takes strength of character to refrain from gossip ..
    I feel only people who have not yet made a wholesome personality out of themselves indulge in discussing others .. Lack of healthy hobbies and interests is a major reason .. For if you had such interests, you would neither have the time nor feel the need to gossip .. It is also prompted by a lack of self worth which in turn breeds jealousy leading one to bash up the person he/she is envious of ..
    And yes, it gets very uneasy when you happen to be part of a group that begins to gossip .. Or even when someone approaches you to 'chit chat' .. In such cases the best reaction is to simply smile or give a soft defense in favour of the one being gossiped about .. Those are the tactics I usually deploy to avoid the 'collateral damage' caused by gossip :)

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    1. yes, lack of healthy hobbies and interest can easily qualify as the main reason for gossip. But, sometimes, it is also a matter of habit.
      Yes, if it gets too personal for comfort, I generally pretend to have some work and sneak away or just nod and smile :-)

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  6. You know I had read it somewhere if someone is talking about someone in front of you beware that person could actually talk about you before someone.

    Gossip is actually not a healthy thing to do as we tend to break so many trusts and hearts here..but then on the other hand there are people who seem to enjoy doing it.

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    1. Yes, I have read that too somewhere. It's like what goes around comes around. While all of us do pass comments at random people for random things, when it becomes a habit and gets spiteful, we need to put a check to it.

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  7. BTW loved your header :o)

    Is it your click??

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    1. Thank you, Me..yes, my click :-D

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  8. Uma, I guess we all indulge in it, maybe occasionally, or even reluctantly and then judge others who do it. You've said it very well - If I do it, I have my valid reasons but if Ms.X did it, she definitely deserves to be labeled and bad-mouthed about. Sometimes it's a dammed if you do it and dammed if you don't scenario. In social gatherings here, I've observed small sub groups who gossip about the same circle they move in. And my take is that even if I have reservations about it, I can't stop people talking about me behind my back. Only thing I can do is not provide the fodder - share only with a trusted few and also uphold my friend's secrets. Actually I'd rather use my time for something else.

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    1. exactly! I cannot stop people from talking about me behind my back, so yes, even I do not give them the fodder.

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  9. Male or female, everyone gossips, Uma. Only thing is, women are famous for it. I gossip too..but at work. Personally, I don't care how people are. At work, work doesn't happen if there is no gossip..:P. But, it's definitely not a healthy habit. I totally agree with you.

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    1. When I do not feel right about a person, I do tend to talk behind that person but at the same time, I cannot pretend to like that person and sweet talk when face-to-face. I generally avoid being close to that person. I feel amazed at people who behave one way in front of a person and then turn a 360 deg when the back is turned.

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    2. I am almost like thst, but not completely. Because there r many times i have to deal with them frequently. My husb totally shows it on his face, and i keep teling him, wake up dude, it's time to pretend. Hypocrites rule.

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    3. :-) yes, my husband keeps saying I should refrain from making obvious faces when in public ;-)

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  10. Oh yes, this is such a big issue. Whenever people don't have anything to talk, gossip is best time pass- at the bus stops, stations, parks and what not. Not a good habit according to me though I must also confess that I have been there and done that.

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    1. Me too, Jas..been there and done that..just that like I said in my prev comment, I cannot maintain two different faces :-)

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  11. Gossiping... what better way to kill time for those who have that in plenty of it! Am not so lucky:)

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    1. LOl..aren't you feeling better that you are not that lucky?? ;-)

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    2. Am blessed and feel best to be busy, Uma:)

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  12. You are right Uma...Gossip keeps people moving...If they are covered in mud its okay but a slight dirt on somebody else's shirt quickly grabs their attention and it needs to be discussed no matter what! As you said too much of it does alienate people from everyone else...coz whenever I heard someone gossip, I do think 'God knows what she must be talking abt the rest of us behind our backs' ...Having said that I agree we have all been there...But having it as ones primary activity is unhealthy!

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    1. You have summed it aptly, Jayashree :-)

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  13. I agree that even men do a lot of gossip, but they won't admit doing it...
    And you are so right, when you say that "they might alienate themselves before they know it and might run the risk of never knowing their true friends."

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    1. yes, men will never admit it..at least we women folk are forthright in admitting it.

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  14. It gets on to me too. Gossip can be really malicious too. I've noticed that there are certain people who as soon as you meet them begin with telling you about the latest rumors etc. We all love to gossip, but even I do with my close friends. I am wary of permanent gossipers. Oh yes, men gossip a lot :).

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    1. yes, it is the permanent gossipers who I try to avoid. They can sometimes get infectious :-0

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  15. gossiping- have been the subject and also has partaken in some harmless ones too ! But it is very subjective and what may appear as fun and mindless to us may actually hurt others. There is a very fine line between naughty and nasty and we should realise that !

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    1. yes, Priya, it is quite subjective and we need to draw that fine line.

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  16. Gossiping makes us feel superior... don't you think so?? While gossiping, people generally talk about a person, compared to whom they are in a better position... It's harmless fun as long as it doesn't become a habit... After all, people can gossip about gossipers as well!! :-D

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    1. True, we gossip only because we feel superior to the other person.
      It can become a nasty habit unless we become conscious of what we speak.

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  17. Everyone gossips Uma. It is a wonderful pass time where you indulge in others shortcomings. It's harmless when done within limits. Gossip that rages into rumor is bad and often hurt the concerned people. And some peole find it funny and do not even regret it. And men gossip a lot too. It's just that they call their gossip "detailed analysis" that's it! :)

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    1. hahaha...detailed analysis is it?? hmm..that's a cool term..:-)

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  18. Oohh, I love those bitching sessions over a cup of a coffee (grinning evilly :D).
    On a more serious note, I think it is the intent that makes the difference. The line between fun and malicious is very fine and many do not know how to tread it.

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    1. hehe..bitching sessions over coffee..:-)))
      yes, the fine line is easily overlooked by most, Bindu.

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  19. gossip..well i simply cant do it , am v quiet an introvert actually :)

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    1. hey Alka, welcome here :-)
      I'd say, good for you :-)))

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  20. this is so true! and its fun but hard to capture women gossipping.... as a male i have to get into one of those women sitting to gether(maybe along with my friend..) and slowly as my presence becomes comfortable to them to such an extend that they dont realise that i am a male... they start it with each other.....really funny but way to hard!to get accepted in the turf!

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    1. :-) so, you want to be a part of the group that gossips, is it? ;-)

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  21. Men gossip so much more than women!!! Seriously!!!
    Whoever does it, I don't like it :(
    I do gossip too, but only with a select few friends and I can (more or less) truthfully say we've never been bitchy :))

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    1. Ditto on the last line, Aparna :-)

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