gossip: good for your mental health
Most people love a good chinwag and research has now shown what we already suspected: that a regular dose of gossip can be beneficial for your mental health. We humans will gossip about anything, from friends and neighbors to Hollywood stars and politicians. Estimates of our gossiping prowess show that we spend anywhere from 20 to 60 % of our daily conversations talking about the lives of other people....Social psychologists report that gossip is also beneficial in creating lasting bonds.
Gossip has been shown to:
1. Strengthen relationships between friends and work colleagues*
2. Reinforce shared values
3. Offer increased feelings of "connectedness" and community spirit
4. Assist in controlling the poor behavior of others, particularly in an office situation*
5. Offers a sense of status by being included in the "gossip circle"
Gossip can even help ward off depression. Half an hour over coffee listening to the dilemmas of a third party can be enough to make you realize that things aren't quite so bad in your own backyard after all. Gossip also gives us a feeling of belonging which boosts our self esteem and increases our sense of wellbeing.
*points 1 & 2 are pure gold. Ragging on the receptionist who came in wearing foam flip flops and a santa hat hardly builds lasting bonds. It's mindless yet hilarious entertainment- that's it. Also, gossip rarely assists in correcting behaviors. I wish it did. The next day she'll wear a banana clip and blast that annoying Chris Brown ring tone.
Next quarter when you're up for review just mention you participate in healthy bonding and social well being if they bring up your gossip attacks.