Social Question

Hibernate's avatar

On a scale ranging from 0 to 10 how much do you gossip ?

Asked by Hibernate (9050points) May 18th, 2011

The scale:
0 – no gossip at all
10 – all the time and all day long

I believe it’s a self explanatory question.

Gossip can:
-reinforce – or punish the lack of – morality and accountability;
-reveal passive aggression, isolating and harming others;
-serve as a process of social grooming, building a sense of community with shared interests, information, and values;
-begin a courtship that helps one find their desired mate, by counseling others; or,
-provide a peer-to-peer mechanism for disseminating information in organizations

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39 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Is gossip reserved for speaking in a generally negative way? If it has the ugly connotation, then maybe a 1 or a 2 at most. I don’t like to say things about people that I wouldn’t say to their face, or that I wouldn’t want them saying about me if I weren’t there to hear.

If we’re talking about just discussing people when they aren’t around, regardless of the context.. probably an 8.

Hibernate's avatar

I’m about a 5. Wish i could shut up more often.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

What are we considering “gossip?”

Axemusica's avatar


It’s dumb.

Brian1946's avatar

Based on the following definition of gossip, I’d say that I gossip barely more than 0: “rumor or report of an intimate nature”.

I once told my wife that her niece was pregnant, but that was an April Fool’s prank, and I told her that it was a prank one or two sentences afterward.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar


It’s childish.

Ajulutsikael's avatar

If it’s in a negative way, most likely a 2. I have had bad experiences with gossiping from my culture so at a young age I was turned off by the act.

In general talking about events or people probably also an 8.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Oh, well going by @Brian1946‘s definition, mine would also be a 0.

creative1's avatar

0 gossip leads to bad things, it gets turned and twisted and when it ends it is nothing but trash talk.

SeaTurtle's avatar

0. Zero, none !
I detest gossips, imo they all fall under at least one of the following categories..
you get the point? :)

Don t get me wrong, I’m no Saint, but If I dislike someone I just let them and my friends know or just stay away from them. No need to go talking behind anyones back, its cowardly.

Cruiser's avatar

None…gossip is not my style except when it comes to my MIL! Hard to not to share her antics.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I’d say 2.

I would have to have friends or close associates in order to participate.

So other then the occassional office character assassination, I’m usually content to be plugged into my iPod.

Besides…when I first started navigating the Internet, I learned never to say (post) anything I didn’t want repeated or would be embarrassed about should my mother find out. I’ve found that to be sound practice to apply with relationships that are non-cyber related as well.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Less than 1.

Seelix's avatar

There are a few friends with whom I talk about others all the time. I don’t live in the same city as any of my close friends, so there’s a lot of reporting about who’s doing what, etc. Mr. Fiance and I update each other on what we’ve heard. It’s not nasty, though—being that the vast majority of our group of friends is in their late 20s-early 30s, there’s often an engagement or pregnancy or something of the like.

If we’re talking nasty gossip, then I’ll admit to being a 2 at the outside.

KateTheGreat's avatar

About a 2. I don’t really talk about the bad things though. It’s never malicious at all.

gm_pansa1's avatar

Gossis is not on my high priority list. I’m often found talking to people who like to gossip, but I’ll just sit there and either nod or shake my head out of politeness. Gossip is just not interesting to me, so I can’t really put a number on it.

aprilsimnel's avatar

5. There’s gossip, and there’s exchanging useful social information. Unfortunately, politics exists among individuals as well, and you have to know how to navigate the waters.

AmWiser's avatar

Zero, zilch, nada….If I can’t say it to your face, I won’t say it behind your back.

Coloma's avatar

Zero. I HAVE discussed MY feelings, observations, with a friend when I have chosen to let go of someone in my life, but I never gossip.

As @SeaTurtle mentioned, I too have found most gossips have personality issues ( disorders) that keep their love of darma and smear campaigns at the heighth of what they consider the best fun they can have. Gah!

El_Cadejo's avatar

1 only because I repeat most of the bullshit gossip I hear during the day to my girlfriend later so we can both make fun of how asinine the situation is.

Strangely enough though, EVERYONE at my work comes to me to gossip about EVERYONE else. I think its because I mostly keep to myself and dont gossip to people there so they think they can trust me or something. Its rather interesting to see how many people have shit with the other people there yet act totally happy and cheery to their face.

SABOTEUR's avatar


I get a lot of that too.

Particularly annoying because I’m usually listening to music, an audiobook or a podcast. I must now stop to listen to something (nasty, disturbing, stupid, etc) about somebody else which I care nothing about. Like another jelly said, I’m nodding appreciatively while wishing whoever it is would go away so I can get on with what I was doing.

Luiveton's avatar

Something like 100000. It makes a person feel so much better.

Luiveton's avatar

Hahahha I feel evil compared to everyone. :$

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@Luiveton I know right!! You just feel really great about yourself after/when talking about others ;)

At this very time my gossiping isn’t exactly at 10 because school is over. But when I am in school it goes over 10…

Luiveton's avatar

@nailpolishfanatic I KNOW RIGHT. Especially that some people NEED to be talked about. :O

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@Luiveton Exactly! Some people just really need to be talked about.

wundayatta's avatar

Under the orange tree.

boffin's avatar

…how much do you gossip ?

Well, now remember you didn’t hear this from me, but….

dxs's avatar

6 but keep in mind I’m in highschool haha.
Whatever “gossip” I spread, it’s usually more informative than anything, and if I know it may not be real, I either don’t say it or say that it’s probably not true. I never spread rumors, though. I start them

Berserker's avatar

Probably a 1. I’m not a social person at all, I keep to myself and in real life, I’m kind of shy. Given all that, I’m pretty sure I could be gossipy if things were different. I’ve proven this to myself a few times before. It’s easy to gossip, bring people down who aren’t there to defend themselves, and make yourself feel better about you social inadequacies, through the badmouthing of others. If nothing else, it’s like talking about the weather or some big news, good social lubricant. But it’s pretty retarded.
I’d probbaly gossip a lot if I didn’t feel awkward with people so much, so I’m thinking the only reason I don’t is because there’s obstacles in my way lol.
In trying to socialize, I do often bring up some stuff I like, such as zombies or horror movies, but in many experiences this ends up with me sitting in a corner on my own. I find it’s easier to go with the crowd, but I’m certainly glad that some psychological fuckery in my brain usually doesn’t allow me to follow it lol.

tranquilsea's avatar

I’m probably about a 5.

Gossiping has a bad rap. There was an interesting article in The Telegraph about the effectiveness of gossiping in creating a cohesive society. Here’s a quote from the article:

The team wanted to find out how much gossip can be relied on as a good guide to reputation and how much it can be abused to destroy a reputation.

They found, in experimental games in which students could write comments about other people (a form of gossip) that the ability to tarnish others is diminished, the more gossip there is.

“Multiple gossip statements give a better picture of the actual behaviour of a person, and thus inaccurate or fake gossip has little power as long as it is in the minority.”

That makes sense to me. The person who bad mouths you won’t really be believed if their opinion is in the minority. Moreover, if that person is known to be a judgmental ass (something that becomes known through gossiping) then they are more likely to develop a bad reputation.

I come from a large family. I have four sisters and you better believe we talk about one another all the time. That is how information travels. That is how we conspire to help one sibling out if they are in a bad way. That is how we decide when there needs to be an intervention.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Very Interesting.

tranquilsea's avatar

@SABOTEUR I found it so.

I have been the victim of malicious gossip that cost me my job. I sued and won but it still burns me that they believed what they were told. BUT I still see the value in gossip. The gossip I’ve heard through the years has been 80% bang on. The 20% that is not bang on is always from the shit disturbers.

Unless there is an all out smear campaign against you (a la high school) then the reputation you have you probably deserve.

Hibernate's avatar

Thanks for replies.

snowberry's avatar

I’ve seen smear campaigns that are over the top that started as a simple discussion “between friends”. What they do is take a truth, a small one, and embellish it and add motive and meaning until it’s unrecognizable. Of course this takes time, but when the national news gets hold of it, it takes on a life of its own. I know small town reporters who have established a career on the backs of a few innocent people. And the damage goes waaay beyond the few intended targets.

How much do I gossip? On my bad day, maybe 1 or 2, and I’m ashamed of that.

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