Monday, February 1, 2010

Might Office Gossip be Good for You?

Trash talking is part of human nature, everyone does it. Thought it has a the reputation as being a bad thing, researches at Indiana University think otherwise. They say it can build trust and form bonds.
Depending on the topic, gossiping can sometimes leave you feeling guilty, but you don't realize the bonds you can form with the people you are gossiping with. You are sharing ideas and agreeing with one another. I can see this being true, but it all depends on the situation and the type of gossip. Sure, gossiping about someone or something can bring you closer to the person you are discussing this with depending if you are agreeing or disagreeing, but it can also be causing the person you are gossiping about pain. A lot of time, gossiping is trash talking. It causes another person to be embarrassed or insecure. Everyone has been talked about at least once in their life, but no matter how much harm it can cause them, they will most likely still continue to gossip about other people.


eyolleck said...

The title of this post caught my eye so I decided to read the article for myself. Like this person states, the article, “Might Office Gossip Be Good for You?,” claims that gossip in the office is not necessarily a negative thing. In fact, the author seems to support the idea that gossiping is a positive reinforcement in the office that creates a bond between people. Personally, I don’t know if I really buy into the whole idea of this. I mean, I guess I can see how gossip may bond certain people together, but what about those at the other end? The people at the receiving end of the gossip have to suffer while the others benefit? That doesn’t seem right to me. If gossip is a good thing, then I think it should affect everyone, or at least the majority of people, in a positive way. However, I don’t see this being the case. I think more people suffer from gossip than benefit from it. In this way, I agree with Beth Weissenberger of executive and personal coaching company The Handel Group, who was mentioned at the end of the article, who believes it is much better to just be honest and communicate with others rather than starting a rumor through gossip. It is too often that gossip gets out of control and promotes more negative energy between people than positive. At least in my opinion, I don’t really buy into the belief that gossip is a good thing. At least not without being at the expense of other people.

Emily Yolleck

becca said...

I have been a young girl, a teenage girl, and now a young woman, and therefore, I have struggled with gossiping. I'm glad that some research has shown that there can be positive effects of gossiping, because as "Might Office Gossip Be Good for You?" states, gossip can be traced to prehistoric times. It has existed for a long time, and it will always exist.

In the article, Frank McAndrew syas "the fact that people automatically think gossip is bad is a bad rap". He also comments that gossip is a social skill, some are good at it, and others are not. I find these comments to be somewhat ridiculous. People think gossip is bad because experience has shown them that it is! If one has gossiped then they certainly have been gossiped about. And if gossip is a social skill, then it is one that I wish I wasn't gifted with (although I frequently wish that I had better social skills).

Researchers have pointed out that gossip builds trust, and forges connections with people. If that is the reason for gossip, then I suggest building trust by sharing information about yourself with those you are close to, rather than gossiping about others with them. There are many ways to make connections with people and form bonds and close friendships, gossip is certainly unnecessary to do so.

From my experience gossip has caused havoc, it is one of those enemies that I keep inviting back into my life. It is good to know that some good can come from gossiping, but I am still going to try and rid myself of the (nasty) habit!

elleohelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
elleohelle said...

The author reflecting on the article "Might Office Gossip be Good for You" states that gossip can actually be a good thing, that it can even form bonds between people. Gossip as defined by the dictionary is a "Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature." On one hand, gossip can be harmless. If someone is gossiping about you it means they are interested in you. You have sparked such an interest in another person that they have chosen to make you the focus of their conversation, at least for a few minutes until they move onto the next person. But why does so much gossip stem from negativity and hate? It's rare people are gossiping about one another in a positive light. I disagree with the article that gossip can be good for us. And for that matter, I don't think gossip can be used to form bonds. If you are building bonds with someone because you use gossip as a pass-time, how do you know that person isn't going to eventually gossip about you? Is that really the type of person you want to confide in? Humans will always be curious about gossip, but we should really be focusing our time on more productive things. There are much more enjoyable conversations we can be having at no one's expense.

Angelica Elle