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Gossip

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The short answer is yes. Gossip is a very harmful habit that can negatively impact the lives of more people than you think. Whether it be gossip about a famous person, an individual you know personally, a company, or a business, gossip and negative speech can have more of an impact than you think.

But let's hold up for a second before we move on. What does it even mean to gossip? And isn't “negative speech” an incredibly broad term that could mean a hundred different things to a hundred different people?

That is correct, so I think we need to define what exactly I mean just like how well defined and exact the numbers are on the back of your Grande Vegas no deposit bonus codes.

Definition

What exactly does it mean to gossip about someone? What exactly does it mean to have “negative speech?” These are the two terms I have used, and I think it is important to set definitions for what each of these terms means before I can talk about if they are bad or not.

Gossip I will define as simply speaking about a specific person with other people while that specific person is not around. This doesn’t necessarily have to be negative, although in general it is common to be negative or “scandalous” things or rumors.

Gossip I will define as simply speaking about a specific person with other people while that specific person is not around.

“Negative Speech” I will define as anything you say that either causes someone embarrassment, or causes them to incur some sort of damage or loss.

This loss could be both socially, or monetarily. I will bring some examples to clarify what exactly I mean by those two things.

First of all, what does it mean to cause a social damage or loss? Think about it in terms of maybe someone going on a date with someone else.

Your friend is going out with a girl you happen to know as well. You know this girl once was a smoker but is now getting over it. You tell this to your friend, and this makes him decide to cut off the date with the girl.

You don’t know how he would have reacted if he found this out naturally after already meeting her and getting to know her. Therefore, you have possibly caused her the loss of this date with your friend.

This would be defined as a social damage or loss. You caused someone to lose something, or incur a damage in a social situation.

The same goes especially true for things that are just plain embarrassing and even more especially if you aren’t even sure if they are true!

For instance, if a student spreads an embarrassing rumor about someone to other people in their school, then that would also be an example of a social damage or loss. You have embarrassed someone, and damaged their reputation.

The second category of damage or loss is that of a monetary damage or loss. This means anytime you say something that causes someone else to lose something in regards to money or property.

For example, if you were someone a lot of people looked up to (whether it be a famous person, a good friend of someone, or anything else that could give what you say standing) then what you say can have a widespread effect.

Even something as simple as “I don’t like chocolate cake” could be interpreted by people in a negative way such as, “chocolate cake is bad.” Even if that wasn’t your intention, it could cause people to think that.

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Then, you could influence people to not want to buy chocolate cake. This could then have the unintended consequence of causing someone who sells chocolate cake to lose out on business.

This example could use more detail and expansion, but for our purposes it is enough. It shows how your speech could cause someone a monetary loss even if that wasn’t your intention.

Is Negative Speech and Gossip Really a Problem?

Now on to the topic at hand. Do negative speech and gossip really have such a profound effect on the people around us? Is it such a bad thing to chat about the rumors that have been going around, or joke about the “weird” kid in school?

The answer is yes. In fact, I would put forth that this is one of the biggest problems in society that most people don’t really care much about changing. It’s just how it is, and what’s the harm in that? We all ended up okay…

Thankfully, even if it isn’t put in as negative a light as people should, there does seem to be a shift in society. With the advent of more anti bullying and anti cyber bullying campaigns, there seems to be more of a focus put on these issues.

Sadly, the aim of these campaigns are usually on the cases where this is taken to an obvious extreme. Cases such as repeated bullying or harassment with your words. This issue spreads much further than those cases though.

Just think about it. How many rumors do you actively take part in spreading? Even small ones. Do you joke about people, whether they are students or teachers, behind their backs with your friends?

Do you get a good chuckle out of the shortcomings of other people? That may sound extreme, but it’s more common than you think. People love talking about other people.

Now to a case that most people don’t think about. How often do you gossip, or at least listen to gossip, about celebrities? How many articles in magazines do you read about some celebrity who did something that you really shouldn’t care about?

Or, how about posts or articles about something someone did or said in the past? Especially when it is in the distant past? These things can ruin people’s careers or even their lives.

Yet, in general, society looks at it as a perfectly okay and normal thing to do. It’s fun to talk about other people's lives. Lives we aren’t living. Lives they don’t necessarily want to be shared.

Just because someone is famous does not give you the right to their private life. They are allowed to share what they want to share, and keep private what they want to keep private.

All of these things can affect people terribly. People have been driven to suicide because of rumors and jokes behind their backs. Even if not suicide, how would it make you feel? To feel like people snicker when you look away?

How would you feel if someone spread personal or intimate details about you around? I think that is an important lens to look at this issue from. How would you feel to be the odd one out. To be the one people talked about.

No matter who they are, what they are, or what they have done, it does not give you a right to speak badly about them behind their back just for the sake of speaking badly about them or making fun of them. They are still a person.

One final thing I would like to say is something most people will think is extreme, but I think it is an important point. You shouldn’t even joke about someone negatively, gossip about them, or whatever else even if they give you permission.

First of all, it is bad for you, not just them. Gossiping reflects negatively on the person who does it, not just those who are being spoken about. It is better to protect yourself, even if you think the other person will be okay with it.

Nathalie Nicole Smith states that working hard and staying true to yourself are sure ways to win in life.

And finally, you don’t know why they are giving permission! Maybe they just want to fit in and think by being the butt of a joke people will accept them more. It could still be damaging or embarrassing to them. Therefore, it is better to err on the side of caution and not say anything about them.