Hmmm ... Did They Miss A Few Variables?
A recent study claims that talking about other people boosts self-esteem. That hearing about other people (good or bad) leads to self-reflection and self-evaluation. That gossiping is somehow good for you!
My B.S. meter was going off like crazy when I heard this. I’m sure the scientists involved thought they were doing a great job but they’ve missed the point (especially with regards to negative gossip).
Have you gossiped before? Sure, you have. I’ve gossiped about someone else’s juicily embarrassing situation, been completely "judgy" about it, spitting a bunch of witty, snarky zingers, giggled a bit and went on my way.
Oh I felt good about myself in the moment when my buddies and I reveled in how much better we were than your subject. But I also remember how I felt after walking away. After I had no audience to perform for, loneliness sunk in and when I was all alone I thought, damn that was mean. I really felt like crap.
Ok, I guess you can call it self-evaluation or self-reflection to acknowledge that your behavior was assholicious but in what way is this boosting self-esteem? Oh, when you’re in the moment of gossipry, maybe, but not for a second longer.
At this point you have two choices: Try not to be the biggest douche in the room next time or find something else to gossip about immediately because that’s the only way you get that 30 second fix. Sure you’ll feel shitty again in a few minutes but everyone thinks you’re smart and funny but they also think you wouldn't be winning 'bestie of the year' award any time soon (more on that later).
But no, that wasn’t covered in the study: Gossip can become like a drug for some people. The act of spewing it fuels them because it’s the only moment they feel better about themselves. But they feel worse and worse every time so they keep going back for the reward.
I’m well aware that my gossiping happened mostly in patterns. Sometimes I’d get really caught up in it (usually when things in my personal life weren’t stellar) and other times 'ain’t nobody got time for dat' (sorry, I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity there)!
Also, consider this: People are entertained by gossip but the person doing the gossiping is widely mistrusted by others. This lack of trust keeps you from forming meaningful relationships because they involve deep levels of trust and respect. Too many bad vibes.
And, hello??? Even Pope Francis recently warned gossip 'fills the heart with bitterness and also poisons us'. The true way to boost your self-esteem has nothing to do with someone else’s misery. If you spend your days working on your passions, you enjoy life so much that there is little room for gossip nor is there anything for anyone else to talk about.
Aisha Amore is a coach and creator of Sexy Beast Project. Contact her for information about how to feel sexy, confident and powerful. You are welcome to sign up for free daily affirmations of sexiness here because what woman wouldn’t want fun, motivational blurbs of goodness reminding her everyday?