Why do we gossip?
Because it’s easy and fun.
We gossip because it’s easier and more fun to recognize and label the mistakes of others rather than recognize our own mistakes.
But what exactly is gossip?
One definition is: “something said about another person with negative intent.” Ask yourself: when’s the last time you said something positive when gossiping?
Another definition or litmus test for gossip which I like is: imagine the person you are talking about is in the room; would you be willing to share exactly what you said in the exact same way? If not, it’s gossip. And if you are willing to share it, then you should do it!
But do we really gossip just because it’s easy and fun? Or is there a deeper underlying cause. I think there is: fear.
Fear of not feeling validated.
Fear of not having control.
Fear of conflict.
Fear of not receiving enough attention.
Fear of feeling left out.
Fear of being wrong.
It all comes back to fear.
But there is a solution. The antidote to gossip is candor.
And by not only making the following commitment, but also practicing it in our daily lives, one can break the habit of gossip and start the habit of candor:
I commit to ending gossip, talking directly to people with whom I have a concern, and encouraging others to talk directly to people with whom they have an issue or a concern.