Do Not Allow Gossip to Ruin Your Mental Health

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

Who among us has not been involved in gossip? Surely, we all have heard the “humming” of false comments that really destabilize us and generate negative feelings in us and, among others in the community, disgust and mistreatment of us. In the end, our mental and physical health is harmed. How can we avoid it?

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary [1] , gossip is a “rumor or repot of an intimate nature. Chatty talk”. Collins Dictionary [2]  defines it as “informal conversation, often about others people’s private affairs.” In addition, [3]  defines it as “idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others”.

According to Galen Emanuele [4], “gossip, rumors, and badmouthing others is a bad look for you. It destroys your reputation, is toxic to culture, and it is cruel, shitty behavior. Do not do it”. The bullying prevention expert and author of nearly 20 books for teens, Sherri Gordon [5] , affirms that “rumors are pieces of information or a story that has not been verified, What this means, is that the person telling the story does not know for certain if it is true or not. Most of the time, people who spread rumors do not bother to determinate if there is any truth to what they are saying”. The same author gives us the differences between rumor and gossip:

  • Rumors:
  • Unverified pieces of information
  • Often involves speculation
  • Unknown if information is true
  • May change slightly as retold
  • Information usually not harmful to another person
  • Gossip
  • Juicy or scandalous story
  • Hurtful for another person
  • Unknown if information is true
  • Usually involves things not discussed publicly
  • May humiliate the person it’s about

Emanuele [6]  made a very good reflection about this: “spreading rumors or gossip may feel exciting to some people, but it’s cruel. It is mean to talk about other people and judge them, regardless or whether or not you like that person. When you allow yourself to indulge in this kind of behavior, it creates social and behavioral patterns for you that add more negativity and drama to your life”.

“For instance, gossip and rumors can destroy a person’s self-confidence and affect their self-esteem. It also can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, anxiety, and a host of other issues [7] .” Additionally, “in most cases, a “fake news” story can rile up your emotions and change your mood. Depending on the strength of your feeling, the story, and the reaction it caused you, can stick in your head, even after you find out it is false. You may even remember those feelings if you see another story about the same subject [8] ”.

Then, how can we deal with rumors [9] ?

  1. Do not take it personally
  2. Respond to the rumor quickly
  3. Find the source of the rumor
  4. Make it known the rumor was false
  5. Understand that it may take time for the rumor to fade
  6. Communicate about what is going on
  7. Be open and honest with people
  8. Treat people kindly
  9. Avoid spreading rumors yourself
  10. Be clear about what you are sharing

In conclusion, talking too much and using lies will not only affect the wellbeing and peace of mind of those you are talking about, also affects your own, because it can cause problems in your environment. For this reason, the invitation is to always verify the rumors that are spread and not fall for them, better to directly ask the protagonist about the false stories.











Leave a Reply