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Why do people gossip?

On the surface those spreading gossip may appear strong, confident, and on top of their social situation …but a closer look at their thoughts and feelings ACTUALLY reveals a whole other side to them.

A side they don’t want you to know about.

People who gossip are actually driven by a combination of:

  • Frustration
  • Insecurity
  • And a lack of self esteem.

These are the root qualities behind a person who gossips …especially someone who likes negative gossip that is cutting and vicious to the people on the receiving end of it. Read on to find out why this is the case.

It doesn’t take courage to speak behind others’ backs

Let’s take the following situation…

Danny felt slighted by someone he barely knew and couldn’t find the words to stand up for himself at that moment. As a result he walked away frustrated and angry ...BUT without a mechanism to express it.

Rather than airing out his problems face to face with the person, he let them build up inside and boil over in the form of gossip.

Here’s what happened next…

When out with friends later he began tearing down this relative stranger and running him down behind his back. Why did he do this? Why was Danny gossiping about him? Simple - He felt weak and needed to take out his revenge in an unfair and indirect way.

Trying to build themselves up by tearing others down

Many times people pass judgments on others through gossip as a way to make themselves appear better than they really are. When a gossip asks:

“Can you believe that guy?”

He or she is really trying to tell you:

“I’m better than him! Admire me!”

Unfortunately a lot of gossips direct their attacks outward at others as a way to shore their own feelings of inadequacy. They feel that the only way to put themselves on a level playing field with others is not to rise up through virtuous behavior (which they lack the skill and ability to do) …but to bring everyone else down through slanderous attacks.

Oftentimes in combination with an internal lack of self esteem and confidence …comes a genuine feeling of jealousy towards someone else’s success. The lack of self esteem means that the gossiper can not be supportive or share in others’ success.

Rather than openly acknowledge the success of others, the gossiper wishes to discredit them and bring them down. The gossip stems from frustration that is borne of others successes.

Gossip As A Mechanism Of Relationship Building

There are many ways of building and strengthening relationships. These ways include:

  • Giving warm compliments
  • Appreciation
  • Exchanging gifts and favors etc.

These are positive and proactive ways to build a relationship.

A gossiper on the other and, whose sense of self esteem and confidence may be lacking, doesn’t like to deal directly with others. When they meet someone new they often try to validate their own worth as a person by tearing down others in front of their new acquaintance.

They use gossip as a tool to build relationships and increase perceived status …hoping to gain acceptance.

The Boredom Myth

Some may try to defend gossip or deflect criticism by saying that it is all in good fun and just a consequence of boredom. Truthfully, gossip is borne from negative self esteem and is a sign of personal weakness.

A strong person looks for strengths in others in order to feed their own positive character. A weak person, on the other hand, looks for weaknesses in others in order to compensate for their own weaknesses.

Gossip is not a solution to boredom but a characteristic of poor character.