As a part of a recent training, the instructor was pointing about the importance of being loyal - specially to a person when he/she is not around. This essentially boils down to 'Not Gossiping'. During the course of the ensuing discussion, a very bright person mentioned that 'Gossiping was Therapeutic' - felt that it is relaxing to talk about what's going on (or not going on) between Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai .. so on and so forth.
The statement stuck me a blasphemous to begin with, I was shocked, after all how can you make a statement like that! Yet, is there some merit in this? Is gossip really a therapy? If not, why is so widespread? Most of the popular printed matter would fall in this category, TV? why yes.
Gossip can be very damaging to a relationship, it is unhealthy, its sick, there are no arguments there - we all know it, but why it is so rampant?
- To begin with, most people gossip about someone unconnected like the 'stars'. Its a low risk topic to bond/talk with friends/acquaintances/colleagues/strangers - low risk in the sense that its a third person we are talking about, neither you nor me! Especially so if the third person is so remote or unconnected to our daily lives like the movie stars.
- If I 'gossip' I don't have to 'expose' my real self. I can continue with this artificial talk and yet have no (real) conversation at the end of it.
- To talk about the short-comings of others gives a (short-lived and false) sense of high by comparison. Oh the virtuous me! - I would never do such a things ... kind of feeling.
- Can't be held accountable for what is said - after all its gossip! Someone told me .. I read somewhere .. I found out .. inevitably it is something you can not trace.
- Makes the person with the gossip feel better cooler ... I know something that you don't.
- Living a life by proxy, a vicarious experience of the forbidden or all that is aspirational. What we can't do, want to do, we talk about through others who have done it or can do it.
- Above all, gossip is a 'Total Time-Pass'. You can sit and idle our the time without too much effort on your grey cells