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Gossiping can make us look bad - but it may have evolved to help us bond with each other

The Negatives Of Gossiping

If you gossip negative things, like insulting someone or talking down their achievements, it may put both you and the person you are talking to at risk of losing the group’s trust and each other’s strength.

Speaking your mind about someone can also result in "spontaneous trait transference. " According to psychologists, this is when people are perceived as possessing the traits they are describing in others.

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Gossiping can make us look bad - but it may have evolved to help us bond with each other

Gossiping can make us look bad - but it may have evolved to help us bond with each other

https://www.businessinsider.com/why-we-gossip-2018-4

businessinsider.com

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Key Ideas

The Negatives Of Gossiping

If you gossip negative things, like insulting someone or talking down their achievements, it may put both you and the person you are talking to at risk of losing the group’s trust and each other’s strength.

Speaking your mind about someone can also result in "spontaneous trait transference. " According to psychologists, this is when people are perceived as possessing the traits they are describing in others.

It's Not All Bad

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.

We’re Wired To Gossip

People's names trigger the brain in a unique way so you can recall information about them. Gossip works as training for the information gathering capacities of the brain.

Research also found that people were much better at processing information about people they had just met if they had large social groups. By talking with and about people more often, they were using those parts of their brains regularly.

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Policing Behavior

Gossiping is a good way of identifying friends and foes. We are either judge, jury or executioner when we gossip — and we use the information we cull to keep immoral influences at arm's leng...

Keeping Us Safe

We ensure our well-being by exchanging information about the world around us (and the potential dangers it contains) with as many people as possible.

Building Social Bonds

Gossip is a key social skill that helps ensure our healthy integration into human society. 

Gossiping with somebody is a way of bringing people closer within your social group, checking that they share your views, and bonding over shared positions and judgements. The people you gossip most with, therefore, are the ones with whom you're the closest.

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Being Relatable

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.

Empowered By Having Personal Information

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.

Feeling Accepted

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.

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Make small talk

You communicate a genuine interest when you inquire or listen to the small details that make up your partner’s day. It’s those insignificant moments that make up the reality of our lives.

Shared experiences
We feel closer to others when we can talk about the experiences we have in common. 

Words are not necessary for shared feelings to improve a relationship. Just doing something at the same time—riding bikes, watching a movie, or eating dessert, intensifies both pleasant and unpleasant experiences.

Listen carefully
Knowing that you are being heard is one of the experiences most likely to cement a feeling of connection to another. 

Use a technique called “active listening” - a form of listening in which you acknowledge that you understand what is being said. 

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Gossiping

It is talking about a person who isn’t present. It's not necessarily about spreading malicious rumors or embarrassing stories, just sharing information.

Research indicates that ...

Gossip as a Tool

Gossiping is a fundamental human instinct because our lives are deeply rooted in groups and we depend on the people in our groups to survive.

We need to have as much information as possible about the people around us in order to accurately determine expectations, trustworthiness, viewpoints, and so on.

The Benefits Of Gossip

Gossip doesn’t only teach us about the person who’s the subject of the conversation, but also about the gossiper. When you gossip you tell others things about your attitudes, beliefs, and ways of dealing with people by seeing who and what you gossip about.

When you do join in, gossip can also strengthen your social bonds. It improves a group's cooperation and makes members less selfish, as well as a way of identifying and ostracizing untrustworthy individuals until they learn the lesson.

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First Impressions

Usually, when we meet or see a person, we create a first impression in our minds, almost unconsciously.

But the snap judgements, or quick conclusions our mind starts to entertain in the first...

The Receiving End

A snap judgement, or an unfair first impression can be a learning experience for the one who has made it, but it can also be a lifetime scar for the one on the receiving end, as it can stick with them.

The Stare

We have a natural instinct to stare at someone to gather information and categorize the person as safe or dangerous.

It is valid in some situations but it can also be hurtful and antagonizing to the other person.

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We’re Hardwired To Gossip

Our prehistoric ancestors lived in small intimate groups. To survive they needed to cooperate with in-group members while also competing for mates and limited resources.

It was fundame...

Social Isolation

Sharing secrets is one way people bond, so avoiding gossip may lead to social isolation. Someone skillful at gossip can be socially informed and have a good rapport with others. On the other hand, someone who doesn’t gossip may become an outsider, neither trusted nor accepted by the group. 

Gossip also helps to integrate newcomers into groups by exposing group norms and values.

Fear Of Whispers Keeps Us In Check

The awareness that others are likely talking about us can keep us in line. Among a group of friends or coworkers, the threat of becoming the target of gossip can deter “free-riders” and cheaters.

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The Bad Reputation

Generally, gossiping has a bad reputation. It is called the faceless demon that breaks hearts and ruins careers. It is also termed as the three-pronged tongue that kills the teller, listener, and t...

Facts About Gossip

Gossip is malicious only 3 to 4 percent of times and seems to bring people together, as when two people talk about a third one, having a common 'adversary' creates a bond between them.

The Good Side of Gossiping

Gossip can make us better people, according to some researchers.

  • Positive gossip inspires people while negative gossip makes people proud of themselves.
  • People learn about themselves through the grapevine.
  • Many people decide to reform themselves because of the gossip they have heard.

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Be opportunistic

Learn to notice opportunities for potential friends. 
We let many friendship opportunities pass us by because we feel awkward or too shy. Instead of small talk, invite them for coffe...

Make yourself vulnerable

We have to put our fears aside that someone might not like us or may have too many friends already.

If you like someone you meet, ask to swap numbers and follow through with an invitation to socialize.

Start by doing an activity together

Suggest an activity that you can do together. It will anchor your time together and give you something to focus on or talk about.

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Make note of something pleasant

"This dip is delicious!" "Nice turnout for this event!"

There's something positive to say in nearly every situation, so find it...

Comment on the weather

The one exception to the no-negatives rule is the weather. 

If you're in the midst of a heat wave, cold snap, or torrential downpour, remarking on the unusual weather is often a good way to start a conversation.

Ask for information

"Excuse me, do you know what time the next session starts?" 

Even if you already know the answer, asking for information can be a great way to start someone talking with you, because everyone likes to feel helpful.

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Plato on love

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato argued that the highest form of love was brotherly love or platonic love.

The industrial age changed romance

For most of human history, there was no time for romance. Marriages were arranged by families and were a purely economic arrangement designed to promote the survival and prosperity of both extended families.

It wasn’t until the industrial age that things began to change. They didn't have to rely so heavily on family connections any more. Consequently, the economic and political components of marriage ceased to make sense.

"Happily ever after" ideal

The economic realities of the 19th century mixed with the idea from the Enlightenment about the pursuit of happiness. The result was the Age of Romanticism.

People became economically independent and love (or emotions) became valued in society. These ideals of love have been heavily promoted and marketed during the 20th century.

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