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Is Gossiping Good For You?

Is Gossiping Good For You?
Dutch researchers have found hearing positive and negative gossip about another individual boosts self-reflection and self-evaluation. But they added stories about others need to be treated with a ‘critical attitude’
October 29
10:04 2014

Pope Francis recently warned gossip ‘fills the heart with bitterness and also poisons us’.

But a new study suggests that gossiping may in fact be good for our self-esteem because it allows us to compare ourselves to others.
Dutch researchers have found hearing positive and negative gossip about another individual boosts self-reflection and self-evaluation.

But they added that stories about others need to be treated with a ‘critical attitude’ about the impact it may have.
Elena Martinescu at the University of Groningen said: ‘Women who receive negative gossip experience higher self-protection concerns possibly because they believe they might experience a similar fate as the person being the target of the gossip. But they added that stories about others need to be treated with a ‘critical attitude’ about the impact it may have.

Elena Martinescu at the University of Groningen said: ‘Women who receive negative gossip experience higher self-protection concerns possibly because they believe they might experience a similar fate as the person being the target of the gossip.

Hearing negative gossip may be flattering, because it suggests that others may function less well than we do.

‘However, negative gossip may also be threatening to the self, because it suggests a malign social environment in which one may easily fall victim to negative treatments.’

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