When we gossip, we gain “social capital” -- a secret weapon of sorts over those around us.
Even if we have no intention of using information in a harmful manner, simply having the information is satisfying.
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Knowing that others have flaws makes them more relatable. It makes them feel more likable and less intimidating, as they are just as vulnerable to the harsh realities of life as you.
It is a human trait to desire companionship and relationships so we value our acceptance and social placement. When we know things about others, it makes us feel included.
Participating in the ongoing conversations your peers have is an element of your favorable reception in the herd.
Sharing your viewpoints on other people with someone helps the relationship grow stronger.
We want to engage with people who share common opinions, no matter how snarky. You may not be discussing deep subjects, but you’re definitely having fun.
Friendships often begin with idle chit-chat that reveals common interests, which eventually leads to a relationship. Talking about mutual friends, coworkers and acquaintances helps friends to solidify their bond.
By sharing information, you’re demonstrating a level of trust that your new friend won’t repeat what you’ve relayed. In a way, it’s almost a test of a person’s character.
Spontaneous trait transference works with positive talk. If you're discussing someone and you describe them as kind and generous, people are more likely to see you that way too.
Small talk and gossip help us build and analyze the relationships we have with other people, as well as work out each other's social standings and traits.