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

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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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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