I'm both a woman and a human, and I'll admit to being curious about people. We all like news. That's why we have it, right?
But sometimes gossip is more than just current events. It's catty. It's mean. It's pointless.
I've participated in gossip before. It might be fun for a moment, discussing people, feeling superior to them. But after that moment, I feel bad. I feel guilty for saying something that might be hurtful if they heard about it.
For argument's sake, I'm going to define GOSSIP ACCORDING TO ME.
Level 1: Talking about someone in a positive way. (Example: "Mary Jo makes the best desserts. You should ask her.")
Level 2: Talking about someone in a curious way. (Example: "Did he really beat all the others in the race?" or "I heard that he came in last place last year.")
Level 3: Talking about someone in a condescending, mocking way. (Example: "Her hair was so purple. Did you see the roots?" or "Nobody wears those shoes anymore. I guess she didn't get the memo.")
I'm going to say that we all like Level 1. If I found out that someone was talking about me in a pleasant way, I'd feel flattered. Pleased. We like to be well-thought of.
Level 2 isn't necessarily bad either, but here's where I see a problem with it: Most of the information is not coming first-hand. You're hearing it from someone who heard it from someone who heard it from someone. It might not be true information, whether good or bad, and it could still spread.
Level 3 is not good. That's just the truth. Why should we ever try to put ourselves above someone else? Why should we make fun of people? When I think of this type of gossip, I think it's all very superficial, based on someone's looks or clothing or family. It's not about who they are.
I'm taking a closer look at myself and resolving to steer clear of levels 2 & 3 as much as I can. Most of the time we don't want to hurt people, and this is a good way to make sure I don't. After all, we might be talking about our friends, or people our friends care about. We don't want anyone to feel like they've been shot in the back.
Just my 2 cents today.