Most of us wonder why we talk about others despite knowing that gossip is a bad thing. We know that gossip erodes trust and its destructive to relationships but we cant help but talk about others.
I thought deeply about the reasons why we talk about others and discovered five primary causes of this behavior.
We Talk About Others Because:
Human Beings are Social Creatures
Ancient human beings were highly social creatures: they lived in groups, and depended on them for survival. As social creatures, they were deeply concerned about the whereabouts of all community members because they wanted to know if everyone was safe. They also wanted to know whether everybody’s actions aligned with cultural norms and values.
For this reason, we find talking about others irresistible because it is an instinctive behavior.
We Want to Know Our Social Status
“Social status is the honor or prestige attached to one’s position in the society. It may also refer to a rank or position that one holds in a group.” – Definitions.net
Today, we value our social status because it determines how people treat us and the type of friends and spouse we’ll have. We also think social status is important because most of us use it to determine our self-worth.
Therefore, we talk about others so that we know our social status and assess our self-worth. We want to know if our socio-economic lives are better or worse than others so that we know our position within society.
It Feels Good
Sometimes we love talking about people with big problems. Discussing these people’s issues enlightens us that our problems are small compared to most people’s problems.
Also, talking about other people feels good because it enables us to access their lives. It’s sometimes good to know how other people live. I think this is why we like watching movies and reality television.
We Are Emotionally Attached to the People we Talk About
We love talking about some people because we love them dearly. For instance, our love for our spouses makes us talk about them because we can’t stop thinking about them. Similarly, we also love talking about the people we hate because doing so allows us to cope with our feelings.
Recently, I realized that jealous individuals love to talk about others because this is the only way they can release suppressed feelings and emotions.
To Pass Time
Talking about others is one of the best ways to pass time. Sometimes when talking with friends, we exhaust all topics and realize that we can pass time by talking about other people. We might not have an emotional connection with these individuals, but we talk about them because we have nothing else to say or do.
Have you ever realized that you mostly talk about other people when you are idle? If you are busy, you’ll seldom find time to talk about others.
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