Good and Bad Gossips and How They Affect You -

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Good and Bad Gossips and How They Affect You

Gossip- n. rumor. Synonyms and related words according to Google are tittle-tattles, idle foolish talk, scuttlebutt, scandal, speculations, unraveled dirt, or to tell tales or secrets, to spread ideas, to talk about, to discuss, report, to repeat what one knows or hears about other people and their affairs.  The Tagalog’s layman’s terms for gossips are: balitachismis, tsismis, chismax, chika, sitsit, pasabog.

I believe we are now on the same boat. Personally I can’t recall the very first time I ever heard a gossip. Like really, because even when we were kids, we always end up talking about someone behind his or her back (intentionally or unintentionally). One point or another, we either were the one relaying the gossip we’ve heard to another recipient maybe for the intention of just having something to talk about, or we are the subject of the gossip being talked about. It is an embarrassing, naughty indulgence… admit it or not. 

Even when we are not with someone to talk to, once you access Facebook or Twitter for instance, you still have the urge to scoop tidbits that you can get out of your friends or foes’ posts, or from Hollywood or our local showbiz celebrity updates that you can eventually share to someone during the next few hours. Gossipers also upgraded the way they spread scuttlebutt. It's no longer just word of mouth, but they now make use of social media like Facebook, Twitter, and communication apps like Skype, Viber, etc. to make the gossips more accessible.

Gossip is everywhere.  It is a rampant social epidemic that is deeply embedded in our culture. Just like news, it travels fast and easy.

Is there a good and bad gossip? How would one know which one is good and which isn’t? And is there really a benefit of involving yourself with those people who loves to talk about the lives of other people?


Good Gossip

Since rumors and gabbing can spread like wildfire, then I personally think that it can be used in a positive way. Good gossips are those talks and discussions that are uplifting and praising another person’s achievements through hard work (like the rags-to-riches success), how somebody was cured of a terminal illness because of massive collective prayers and emotional support, how one was saved because of a good Samaritan who extended help, and how someone performed so well either in his work or study.  These highlights good qualities of a person or the wonderful things that one did for someone or for the community more than defamation and nasty speculations that put a person down.

Good  and positive gossips promote cooperation and unity within the community and it feels so good if you spread positive, uplifting stories that will touch another person’s life. Honestly, the day I became a Christian, I would rather listen to testimonies of how God’s grace changed a person’s life, or stories of miracles, healing and how the spirit of humanity through giving and selfless servitude comes to life during the most difficult times than listening to your neighbor ranting about the bad habits of her husband or how another neighbor is in deep water after having an affair with his office mate. Isn’t it inspiring to hear talks about how someone repented and accepted Jesus in his life? Those testifying miracles he had experienced when he started a deeper relationship with the Lord and being blessed when he started serving God through discipleship and campus ministering. It's more endearing than clawing someone behind his back.

I would say that you spread the good news more than the bad. Notice that when you started focusing on positive talks, it gives you less stress, it uplifts your spirit and you appreciate things you have more than you abhor.

According to an article “Why Good News? Counting the Benefits,”

“Good news is often considered too soft and unimportant to be valuable in one’s real life. The truth is, good news can create concrete, positive change in any person’s life no matter their background.”

Bad Gossip

Gossip is bad if it is a way of ostracizing a person. It entails a malicious form of destroying someone else’s reputation and relationship for selfish reasons. Bad gossip unravels the dirt of a person. It focuses mostly on the negative side of hunting and gathering hearsay and making it appear as if it is a fact. Gossips can be a form of manipulating speculations because it is our human nature to judge so easily, it is mind programming as Science calls it. You plant an idea and the mind will program it like a code and the next thing you knew, you don't accept new codes because you set it only to those you were programmed the first time. Just like bullying, those people who often have information feel empowered by what they know.

Bad gossip is an idle foolish talk that is being passed on from one person to another; hence, what we mostly receive are just tidbits of information and is often a fragment of the conversation, selectively picked information, but not the entire story. Gossips and rumors often overrun the facts. It can strike everything. The sad thing is, even if people ought to know better by getting the bottom line of everything, they tend to choose the juicier part more than the real score.

Bad gossips leave an impact when it comes to impressions. I had a similar experience before way back when I was in the BPO industry. There was a new teammate that was about to be transitioned in the group that our team lead was able to meet. Now, one of our team members was also able to see the new team member and she immediately concluded that the new member has an attitude. Because of that, we believed her and automatically programmed our minds that this newbie has an attitude. So when she finally was transitioned to our team, we were avoiding her and we hated her. Everything she does is under our own scrutiny, finding hundreds of clues that support the idea that she has an attitude, and we talked about her every day for a long time.

It was just settled when we found out that the one who started the rumor was insecure about this newbie because she is indeed a looker and that the “attitude” which our more senior team member is referring to is when this newbie looked at her with no expressions (because the newbie didn’t know that the other person is her new teammate). I felt guilty for judging her instantly without knowing her first. All because of this one, senseless stupid seed that was planted to us, and created a lasting impact.

Because of that incident, I promised myself to never ever believe in gossips and those that I hear from someone unless it came straight from the horse’s mouth.

Quoted from the article “Why is Gossip Bad?”

Our minds get programmed by repetition. Even if your friend was on good terms with Sam (just used as an example), still repeating the fact that he is mean will result in programming your friend's mind to believe that Sam is really mean.

The effect of the programming will become 10 times more powerful if two people did the same thing, for example if you and a third friend told your other friend that Sam is mean, then most probably he will believe you. “

When you think that gossiping is just a harmless form of entertainment, that you only do that for fun or to just kill the boredom, think again! Rumors promote emotional trauma and stress and can cause you trouble! It is a vicious cycle and it has to stop!

What You Need to do When You Love to Gossip:

stop gossiping
1.   Be the One to Stop the Gossip  from Circulating. It should stop from you! Else, who would? Rumors and gossips will never stop if no one will initiate to do so. Remember, it is a chain, so you can easily cut it.

Although a lot of studies and articles claim the benefits of gabbing like how you will learn from it, how you are in line with the trend, and how it promotes cooperation and bonds your friendship. But if your friendship revolves around you talking about people, how bad a person can be, how awful the attitude of someone you know…isn’t it scary to think what your friend has to tell others about you, too? Just think about it.

2.     Always Seek The Truth. Perhaps you are aware of this line used often in movies with court drama, “I swear that the evidence that I shall give, shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God”. In real life, it is a sworn statement or a testimony which is an evidence given by a witness who is committing himself to tell the truth during a trial. Yes, even the Bible promotes to always know the truth, because the truth will set you free.

My close friend once shared to me (and this was shared by his professor, too) that a story actually has 3 sides, not just two:  the story of the first person, the side of the other person and the truth. So always remember that when you heard of a bad speculation or a gossip, know the truth first and don’t just jump into a conclusion. A person who loves to gossip without any concrete basis often finds himself in trouble. And what is more embarrassing is to be confronted by the person being the subject of the rumors. Be responsible by dealing with facts and figures, not just from what you have heard from the grapevine.

3.     Put Yourself in His/Her Situation. Put yourself in the position of the person that you are talking about. How would you feel if you are being talked about without them consulting you first to clarify if what is circulating is true or not? Every one of us possesses good qualities. So it is unfair to just focus your attention with the failures and mistakes of other people and start gossiping about it.

Matthew 7: 15 says “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.” Stop being a hypocrite. Before you even open your mouth to share the juicy stuff that has just been passed on to you, ask yourself first “Are you sure that you don’t have your own dirt before you even talk about the dirt of another person?”  It’s that simple. Nobody is perfect. You are not perfect. So be sensitive.

4.     It Destroys Your Reputation Too. Maliciously talking about a person for personal, selfish gains not only destroys the reputation of that person but it destroys yours too. Who would like to be associated with a person who has a reputation of spreading news and trading scuttlebutts? When you love to gossip, people will not only lose their faith and trust on you, but they will pull away from you too. And when your reputation has been demented by your own doing, then no matter how you try to redeem yourself, the damage is done, they will always think about you being a gossiper.

5.     There are More Important Things to Deal with than a Gossip. Ever wonder why most of those people who engage themselves into tsismis, gossips and idle foolish talks are underachievers? Because they invest their time and energy to this nonsense bad habit. Life is more than just knowing the most updated celebrity scoops, or about your neighbor’s humongous debts, or that girl you hated the most because she is the love interest of your crush. Try instead to focus on how you can achieve your dreams, how to take good care of your relationship, how you can better yourself and how you can be a channel of blessing to others rather than dragging people down. There’s more to life than the gossip that you are spinning! So get out of your web and have a life!

I believe that this is the time to assess yourself if you are one of those who are so hooked with tittle-tattle. Break the bad habit and be productive instead. As they say, most gossips are not gossips but are just to drag people down. When you keep on talking behind people’s back and spreading rumors without concrete basis, your attitude just reflects you as a person. People will start to shy away from you or they will end up not interested with what you have to say. They will lose their trust on you and even your friends will be gone, one by one. Gossiping promotes negative energy and the thing is, we all have issues to deal with already, so being with a negative person is just too much to handle. So grow up and seek your real purpose instead.

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