The desire to share our lives, thoughts, photos and videos with others is a trend of the 21st century. These are the realities of today – social networks have done their work, and now you can’t hide anything from anyone, you are in full view of everyone.
But what if it’s not you who posts information about you, but your acquaintances? What if they talk about your spouse, your kids, your wealth to everyone? Then that could be a problem.
Why do people gossip?
According to one version of scientists, in the past, gossip was a way of making contacts in large social groups and passing on important information. For example, that a peddler was selling yesterday’s fish or that a drunken brawl had broken out somewhere and it was better not to go there. According to another version, the function of gossip was to denote socially unacceptable behavior and thereby educate society.
To one degree or another, everyone gossips these days. Research shows that most often it is just innocent talk about other people. However, gossip can also be defamatory and offensive.
Where does gossip come from?
There are three main ways. In the first case, initially true information, after passing through several hands (or mouths), acquires incredible details, or even turns into something completely different. Someone heard something wrong, someone misunderstood something, someone forgot part of it and made it up for himself – this is how real facts can generate gossip.
The second reason is the spreading of unverified information, that is, rumors. When a person knows something only in bits and pieces, he or she tends to make up the missing information on his or her own. For example, someone saw something at a glimpse or heard something in passing, “found out everything” and spread it. This is how the most ridiculous gossip can appear.
Finally, the third reason is when people deliberately spread false information. The motives may be different:
- From boredom. People try to compensate for the inferiority and lack of color in their own lives, so they exaggerate/distort information about others or make up tall tales, purposefully creating conflicts;
- In desire to elevate themselves in the eyes of others. Gossip has an important social function: retelling it brings people closer together. Some may spread defamatory information about others, to draw attention to themselves and increase their credibility;
- From anger. Gossip can be spread by spiteful people who deliberately try to smear a person they hold a grudge against for some reason;
- Because of a spoiled first impression. People often draw conclusions about another person from the first meeting and sometimes spread these prejudices among acquaintances.
How to know if someone is gossiping about you?
There are several signs that people around you will or are already gossiping about you.
They’ve already gossiped about others
If someone likes to gossip about other people’s lives, it means they are unlikely to deny themselves the pleasure of gossiping about you. Such people like to confide in you in order to get the information they need. And if you confess with them, after a while you can learn a lot about yourself – but already from new lips.
They stop talking when they see you
If, for example, you walk into a room full of colleagues and they suddenly stop talking, it can be a pretty worrisome sign. Of course, they could be talking about something non-serious. But most likely, they were just discussing you.
You get asked strange questions
If, for example, someone started a rumor that you vacationed in the Maldives during a long vacation, there may be someone who wants to know the details. And that person will be very surprised when they find out that in fact you were at home with a fever for a week.
Sometimes, if the person is afraid or too shy to ask directly, they can ask leading questions like: “What did you do this weekend?” or “How did you spend your free time?”.
What to do with such people?
People who yell and write whatever comes into their heads in public are not necessarily stupid. Although their antics are written off as foolishness. Stupidity is a sham. It is a screen for aggression. And then such a screamer apologizes, but with resentment. What did he say or write? Shouldn’t he have? Why didn’t you warn him beforehand? He didn’t mean any harm, he just said it sincerely.
What could be the danger in contacting people who don’t know how to keep their mouths shut and tell everyone about you? Here’s a simple example:
After the 2008 crisis, when the economy was in decline, burglaries increased in many european cities. Barcelona was no exception, where cases of theft of property from apartments began to occur almost every day. And then one girl had everyone she knew robbed. Everybody! Such an unpleasant coincidence.
This girl was friends with shady characters. She didn’t do anything bad herself. But she sincerely told her friends who all her classmates had left town. And willingly showed the apartment where this ill-fated classmate lived. They went to the cottage, to the sea, to their relatives in another city with the whole family, and returned to the stolen apartment…
And on the phone, in front of strangers, this girl was babbling: “you’re going away, aren’t you? For how long? Where to? When are you coming back?”…
The most interesting thing is that this girl has still not been punished in any way. She didn’t get anything when the gang of thieves got caught. She had nothing to do with it. She didn’t get paid either. So she went to restaurants with the thieves and went to barbecues, plus she accepted small gifts from them.
And this is just one of thousands of such stories. They happen every day in the world. It’s not surprising that the proverb goes: “Better safe than sorry”. Well, if you talk about your wealth on every corner, you’re in trouble.
How to recognize potential gossiper?
Unfortunately, it is not easy to recognize gossipers. How do you answer a person who asks about your plans? And if he does it loudly and in public? How do you answer a person who asks you what your diagnosis is? About how much you were paid? What to do in this situation? Don’t answer at all?
And it is absolutely impossible to silence such a man until he has done all the damage he intended. Until he shows his enemies the plan of the airport and embarrasses you to the point of ruining your life. And then he apologizes. Oh, that’s embarrassing. But why didn’t you tell him it was a secret? He wouldn’t have said anything!
There is nothing good about gossip. It is always hidden aggression, hidden envy, and a desire to do harm. What to do if a person with a reputation for gossip is in front of you? It’s simple – never say anything to such people. Just pass them by in silence. Do not give them any information.
Such people can seem nice, simple, kind, sincerely interested in you and your problems. However, behind this mask of friendliness and simplicity, they almost always hide their true intentions.
Sometimes, of course, there are exceptions. When a person is just stupid and feeble-minded. But a stupid person also talks about himself publicly. On the contrary, gossipers care about themselves and don’t say anything bad about themselves. Only about others. This is a guaranteed way to recognize a gossiper.