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Upside of Gossip 🀫

3things jordan myska allen personal growth relatefulness stayinlove Aug 18, 2022

 

All of us know the downsides of mean-spirited gossip. But I now think that getting rid of gossip is as wise as getting rid of our emotions. Like emotions, we can harness the gift of gossip by being more conscious of it as it’s happening, while limiting harmful expressions.

Google “upside of gossip” and you’ll see research on how gossip helps groups cohere, cooperate, curtail exploitation, reform bullies, bring attention to unethical behavior, and warn each other. Gossip even leads to (sometimes painful) self-improvement. I'll add that gossip can help marshal resources to people who for whatever reasons don’t ask for help directly.

Can’t all of these positives happen by simply making communication more transparent? I think some, but not all. E.g. perhaps you simply don’t know there’s help to ask for, but the gossip network gives it. In any case, since we don’t live in a society of fully transparent communication, I think it’s wise to find a way to work with what we’ve got. How do we stop the malicious gossip and instead do it with hearts overflowing with love?

 

With love, Jordan

 

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