This has taken me two full days of research! You wouldn't think so but there we go.
Words for Life 16 – The Unseasonable Poisonous Plant
Gossip is unconstrained and often derogatory conversation about other people. It could involve betraying confidences, spreading sensitive information, as well as hurtful judgements and made up stories.
People who don’t feel good about themselves, feel better when they judge others negatively because it makes them feel superior. Gossip can hurt those whose popularity, talents, or lifestyle are envied. It also makes the gossiper feel part of a group, albeit based on exclusion or maliciousness, and retribution can be derived from the disparaging remarks caused by anger and unhappiness. Gossip can rouse people's interest and the gossiper can be the short term centre of attention whilst divulging their poison.
Gossiping shows the insecurities and mean-spiritedness of the gossiper and they are not popular because they cannot be trusted. Spreading private information and negative judgments is painful to others and makes the gossiper look bad. Everyone feels like they’ve eaten a bad apple.
It’s bullying and many people never outgrow it, with behaviours getting more polished and subtle as they get older. Making someone feel alone, rejected and treating her as an outcast can be as vicious as a physical assault.
The heart of female psychological violence is to destroy other women’s relationships, because it's these very relationships that are so important to women but is probably no more than an establishment of a pecking order.
What me? No, I don’t gossip. I’m nice and wouldn’t bully anybody and cause them stress. Of course not; my friends aren’t like that. We talk, we share, we open our hearts.I'm always saying that I can't stand people who bitch.
Her? Do you mean that woman that lives in that new house on the edge of town, with the new job and car? My husband says she’s very nice, and has joined lots of groups and things and wants to be part of the community. He says she seems very popular but I don’t think she’s my sort of person. Hmmm he seems a bit too supportive. He’s very easily influenced and can’t see how other people work sometimes.
I think she must have a "strong" personality which means she’s probably a bit difficult because we all know strong characters like to be in control. I hope she doesn’t interfere with our group, and come along to the meetings I organize, because we don’t need difficult, pushy people barging in and upsetting us. I’d best warn the girls I think, so they can be on their guard against her.