‘I think gossip is one of the most destructive things people do in life. Many reputations are destroyed because someone feels insecure and wants to make other people look bad. The folks who gossip with the intent to make someone look bad to others are usually jealous and insecure. They may have been raised in a family where there was “never enough love or praise” to go around. That is just a theory but I find truth in it’.
That was the statement of a concerned business man. Mr Mike Okoro who has been talked about by his neighbours for making it in his business while his colleagues dwindle and accused him of insincerity.
Gossip is idle talk or rumour told by someone that was not there or did not see it happen, especially about the personal or private affairs of others, it is one of the oldest and most common means of sharing facts and views, but it also has a reputation for the introduction of errors and variations into the information transmitted. The term can also imply that the idle chat or rumour is of personal or trivial nature, as opposed to normal conversation.
Gossip has been researched in terms of its evolutionary psychology origins. This has found gossip to be an important means by which people can monitor cooperative reputations and so maintain widespread indirect reciprocity. Indirect reciprocity is defined here as “I help you and somebody else helps me.” Gossip has also been identified by Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary biologist, as aiding social bonding in large groups. With the advent of the internet, gossip is now widespread on an instant basis, from one place in the world to another.
The term is sometimes used to specifically refer to the spreading of dirt and misinformation, as (for example) through excited discussion of scandals. Some newspapers carry “gossip columns” which detail the social and personal lives of celebrities or of élite members of certain communities
Why they would want to put others down?
If you care about people, you want to build them up and celebrate their successes, not tear them down. This would have been much better if everyone spoke of others the same way we wish others would speak about us.
The word is from Old English godsibb, from god and sibb, the term for the godparents of one’s child or the parents of one’s godchild, generally very close friends. In the 16th century, the word assumed the meaning of a person, mostly a woman, one who delights in idle talk, a newsmonger, a tattler. In the early 19th century, the term was extended from the talker to the conversation of such persons. The verb to gossip, meaning “to be a gossip”, first appears in Shakespeare.
The term originates from the bedroom at the time of childbirth. Giving birth used to be a social (ladies only) event, in which a pregnant woman’s female relatives and neighbours would gather. As with any social gathering there was chattering and this is where the term gossip came to mean talk of others.
There was a time when someone I considered a friend started gossiping about someone. Due to the emphasis, I started dialling the person’s number. When he asked me who I was calling, I told him it was obvious he needed to talk to the person he was gossiping about. Needless to say, he learned not to gossip around me.
Nigeria has faced a lot of challenges with those spreading rumours and gossiping about certain people in order to bring them down,
A lady in my office was furious when she noticed that men gossip more than the women.
‘I can’t believe that men whom we ladies believe can they keep secrets are worse off than women,’ she stated,
In politics, entertainment or any social gathering, you would find people who have Ph D in gossiping sitting in groups, talking about the clothes Mr A is wearing on or Ms C’s shoes.
A friend narrated his ordeal in his office when he was promoted to be the boss of those he was under. That was the beginning of gossip. Lot of things were said about him. His character was brought down by these men only for him to find out from one of the gossip mongers. What he told him was.
‘I am more than them, that is why they eaves drop behind me. Don’t tell me about them because you will surely tell them about me, but I no send!’ He exclaimed!
Judaism considers gossip spoken without a constructive purpose (known in Hebrew as an evil tongue, lashon hara) as a sin. Speaking negatively about people, even if retelling true facts, counts as sinful, as it demeans the dignity of man — both the speaker and the subject of the gossip. According to Proverbs 18:8: “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels: they go down to a man’s innermost parts.”
Islam considers backbiting the equivalent of eating the flesh of one’s dead brother. According to Muslims, backbiting harms its victims without offering them any chance of defense, just as dead people cannot defend against their flesh being eaten. Muslims are expected to treat each other like brothers, deriving from Islam’s concept of brotherhood amongst its believers.
The Epistle to the Romans associates gossips (“backbiters”) with a list of sins including sexual immorality and murder:
According to Matthew 18, Jesus also taught that conflict resolution among church members ought to begin with the aggrieved party attempting to resolve their dispute with the offending party alone. Only if this did not work would the process escalate to the next step, in which another church member would become involved. After
if the person at fault still would not “hear”, the matter was to be fully investigated by the church elders, but not exposed publicly.