Saturday, January 11, 2003
M A I N   F E A T U R E

 Why do we gossip?
D.C. Sharma

Illustration by Sandip JoshiWE all have a tendency to indulge in gossip. Studies disclose that gossiping releases our pent-up emotions and reduces our tensions.

Couples who enjoy gossiping are usually happier because this idle activity shifts their attention from self-centred problems. Happiness being contagious makes their whole family happy.

A research conducted in the USA has shown that gossiping can make us more democratic. It is an instrument of free expression. While gossiping, we communicate with a free mind.

Gossiping helps us shift our interest to others. When we gossip, we seldom discuss our own problems. We generally discuss another person who is not present. Doing so, we laugh away our own cares. Sometimes we express sympathy for a person involved in a particular problem. And we also come up with solutions and remedies for his problems. More happiness flows into our lives when we help and guide a person thus discussed.


You must have noticed that when you smile at someone, he will usually smile back. But when you scowl at somebody, that person will reflect your action with equal force and intensity. This is what the ‘law of psychological reciprocity’ proves. Believe me, gossiping leaves you with no time to scowl.

But, beware of the dangerous aspect of gossiping! Gossiping can be harmful if you become vindictive. When you start backbiting, you start criticising others for nothing. When you gossip with an ill-will, it makes you tense. Tension naturally comes to you when you try to make others tense.

Why do people backbite? Simply out of hatred, fear, envy and greed, people pass derogatory remarks about others. The person making insulting remarks thinks his listener will keep the talk a secret, but gossiping travels faster than the wind! And still faster when the gossiping is slanderous!

We all gossip at one time or the other. After every gossiping session, the gossipmongers feel light and relaxed. Malicious gossiping alone makes us uptight and envious of others.