Why Gossiping is Bad for You
Gossip is something that is very prevalent in high school, generally due to all of the changes that people are going through. With any luck, gossiping will diminish as you grow up and move on with your life. It is a type of conversation that is not very productive in terms of creating positive change in communities, and in fact is often the source of a lot of unnecessary harm and pain.
An interesting quote I read recently said: “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds gossip about people. Life is much too short to be lived talking about people, gossiping, and stirring up trouble that has no substance. If you don’t understand someone, ask questions. If you don’t agree with them, tell them. But don’t judge them behind their back to everyone else” –Entrepreneur Secrets 2012.
This quote draws attention to the fact that there are often conversations that you would rather avoid, because they are nothing but mean-spirited and a waste of time. I disagree with the quote because I think that there is a time and a place for gossip. Often talking about other people is a way of understanding the social world that we live in, which is just as important as understanding anything else. Sometimes not talking about other people is a mistake because you don’t have an opportunity to digest what another person is about. People are interesting, and talking about them is not always a waste of time. The linchpin is the intention that you have when talking about other people. If you are attacking someone out of mean-spiritedness and to gain power over that individual, you must be bored or looking to “stir trouble” like the quote above says.
I agree with the above mentioned quote in how they draw attention to the fact that not understanding someone should bring you to asking more questions. This is really true, because most of the time other people are misunderstood simply for lack of information. This is not something to capitalize on with gossip, but rather an opportunity to learn more about something that you don’t understand. A popular old adage states “don’t hate what you don’t understand”.
In school and work situations, there will always be times when people will say or do things that you don’t agree with. It is during these situations that it is healthy to vent about the outcome of a certain conversation or event. The distinction to be made, however, is between attacking someone’s character and attacking their words or behaviours. There are relevant points and there are irrelevant points when talking about other people. If you are trying to capture them as an individual with pros and cons, this is usually a better approach than trying to twist them into a character with only cons. Most people are not evil, so spreading rumors and creating a monster out of someone else is simply mean and counter-productive.