Gossip Brings the World Together
It seems Mr. Barry was right. Gossip is not only powerful, but most recently it has been found to be good for you. In an article being published in June in the journal Personal Relationships, a study found that mildly negative gossip can actually forge and solidify friendships.
Did you hear the one about Tina?
Some say she's much too loose.
That came straight from a guy who claims he's tastin' her juice.
Dr. Jennifer Bosson of the University of Oklahoma explains: "Although shared positive attitudes are indeed important in friendship, there seems to be something especially delicious about the process of sharing our grievances about other people." In other words, bitching about someone you mutually don't like will help you become closer with your fellow complainer.
Did you hear the one about Michael?
Some say he must be gay.
I tried to argue but they said that if he were straight he wouldn't move that way.
Dr. Bosson conducted three studies. The first one included 30 participants. The second one included 88 participants. They each were asked to think of a best friend, and then recall the likes and dislikes they learned they had in common with their newly found friend. Researchers found that the participants “recalled sharing a larger percentage of negative than positive attitudes” when talking about other people.
The third study listened to a fiction conversation between "Melissa" and "Brad." Then they were asked to jot down likes/dislikes concerning the character of "Brad." The participants were then paired up according to their likes/dislikes and then were asked to predict how well they thought they might "click" with their newly assigned partner. Overwhelmingly, students that were going to be paired with someone that had similar dislikes for "Brad" believed they were going to feel closer to their new partner, when compared to the individuals that were paired up because they shared a bunch of positive opinions of "Brad." In other words, my enemy's enemy is my friend.
Did you hear the one about Tina?
Some say she's just a tease.
In a camisole she's six feet tall, she'll knock you to your knees.
The researchers aren't advocating gossip as a means to make or strengthen friendships.
“Indeed, some researchers are beginning to conceptualize gossip as a form of indirect aggression that can have harmful consequences for both gossips and gossipees alike. Still, if there is a positive side of gossip, we believe it is that shared, mild, negative attitudes toward others can create and/or amplify interpersonal intimacy,” Bosson and her collegues write.Will you look at all these rumors, surroundin' me everyday
I just need some time, some time to get away.
From all these rumors, I can't take it no more.
My best friend said there's one out now about me and the girl next door.
Personally, I'm not surprised about the findings.
The human being is such a social animal, and gossip is just one way we create relationships with our fellow homo sapiens. Most of us believe gossip is wrong, but in one way or another - we ALL do it. Whether it's talking trash about a common enemy to your best buds, or rolling your eyes along with the other two people standing in line at the store because of the slow cashier...sharing your hatred brings you closer.
Will you look at all these rumors, surrounding me everyday...