Gossip is a part of life. Most everyone has engaged in it. It starts early in life, usually in elementary school, but it gets a big boost in middle and high school. You'd hope that it would be left there as people grow up and move into adult life, but that's not the case. Go in any office setting and you will hear it, or just sit in a restaurant with you ears open. Better yet, go on Facebook and you’ll see every kind of people bashing imaginable.
In all actuality, it's easy to engage in gossip, and it takes a conscious effort to avoid it. We're naturally interested in what other people are doing, and we have opinions about it. That's a given.
The problem is the element of judgment, hate, and negativity that creeps in and gets expressed in ways that can be hurtful. Gossip is ultimately a betrayal to the person we're talking about and to ourselves. There's really nothing good about it. Here's how to stop it.
Jane is a 44 year-old woman who has been in three abusive relationships. The last one was particularly bad and it took a lot of courage and help to free herself. Not surprisingly, Jane grew up in a family where her father regularly abused her mother both physically and emotionally. He didn't physically abuse the children, but he was emotionally abusive to them at times. Jane had a mixed emotional relationship with him. She was his favorite and he spent extra time with her. On good occasions, he was loving and interested in her, but the relationship could take a big shift when he was angry. During those times he was overly critical and attacking. Over time, Jane's self esteem suffered and she learned to doubt her own perceptions of herself. As an adult, she sought out relationships with men that alternately placed her on a pedestal and tore her down. She was also the victim of physical abuse in each of these relationships.