Is gossiping only confined to females? - GulfToday

Is gossiping only confined to females?

Birjees Hussain

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

Illustrative image.

Illustrative image.

When you think of the word “gossip” you think “backbiting,” “lying,” “making up stories” and “embellishing.” But from time immemorial, you also think “women” and “girls” gossiping about not just other girls but about other men too. A study suggests that girls spend, on average, around 5 hours every day gossiping. I think this study is complete nonsense. Literally no one has 5 hours every day to spend on gossip. Perhaps a 10 to 15 minute chat to another girl about something they heard might be usual but I do not believe that even that 15 minute gossip session happens every day. Not everyone likes to gossip mostly because “gossip” is, by its very nature, based on a rumour which is often tainted with embellishments.

Moreover, because it’s based on a rumour that someone might have heard, most often none of the information can be verified. Many a times, the person doing the gossiping, could have begun the rumour themselves. Because of this, there are many people who don’t like to gossip because it is not a nice thing to do. If they are, they feel like they are engaging in hurting someone without them knowing about it. It is simply wrong. That being said, there are times when you might want to hear a bit of gossip, perhaps one time, but if a person or friend you know only comes to you with gossip and nothing else, it’s likely you might want to keep away from that person.

Or you are likely to set boundaries; that you will not gossip with them about anything they say they heard. And a lot of people are like that. So where is the 5 hour figure coming from? The study also suggests that women gossip mainly about other women and usually out of jealousy because the other woman might be prettier than her or more popular than her or because she appears to be more capable than her. As a result they will generally badmouth her appearance or her skillset. But if they don’t say negative things about her, they just think it, that is according to the study. But here’s the weird conclusion the study drew, which seems to totally contradict their findings. That women, especially in the workplace, often talk supportively about their female colleagues. It can’t be both. You are either jealous and automatically dislike another lady in the office or you are supportive of your female colleagues regardless of their appearance and skillset.

But is gossiping only confined to females? As I mentioned at the start, when you hear the word “gossip” you immediately jump to the conclusion that a bunch of women are yammering on like fishwives. But you’d be wrong. Apparently men do it too but for different reasons. Apparently, men do it to take someone down.

That someone could be a male or a female and, according to the study, their “gossiping” process is very strategic. Since their premise is to take someone down either from being promoted or loved, the “gossip” they engage in is well thought through. It is not their emotions speaking but their heads. Whereas, according to the study, women do it out of jealousy and their own low self-esteem, men do it to gain a competitive advantage both in the workplace and in the social world.

I think talking about people behind their backs can destroy their lives and the lives of the people doing it, regardless of whether or not the information is true. People gossip at work, with friends and even within extended families. Gossiping at work can destroy someone’s career and men know this. Gossiping about friends with other friends in the same circle can actually destroy friendships. This is very sad especially if the rumour or gossip is completely untrue. Gossiping at home about your sister or dad or mum is the worst kind of gossip because, at the end of the day, family is all you have. If you lose your job or friends because of gossip you can move on and get another job or find new friends. But with family, once the relationship is damaged, you can’t go and find a new family.


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