Why Do People Gossip?

Gossip is the act of talking about someone or something with another person or a group of persons. This chatty talk is normally about — but not limited to — the personal or private affairs of another individual.

Gossip is usually something negative — it is typically an expression of discontent, disapproval, or contempt towards or against an individual or a group.

Sometimes (or most of the time), the spreading of rumors begins through gossiping. A rumor is an unverified and/or unconfirmed information that is passed from one person to another, typically created to disgrace, embarrass, or discredit the person being talked about.

So why do people love to gossip and spread rumors? 

Two simple things:

First, Boredom. 

When people have nothing to do, they become bored. Boredom can be a good thing, because that’s when the intelligent minds can get creative. However, it can also be very dangerous for the less intelligent minds. Why? Because boredom can create a perfect breeding ground for evil thoughts. 

When you are bored, the devil does its thing and lures your thoughts to fall into sin, and one of those sins is to gossip. The devil loves it when we gossip, because that’s when other evil things happen — such as nursing hatred, watering grudges, and creating and spreading of rumors. 

Boredom can create a perfect breeding ground for evil thoughts. 

So when we gossip, we actually do the devil’s bidding.

Second, Envy. 

There’s a reason why envy is one of the seven deadly sins. However, envy is just a feeling — envy in itself is not sinful. In fact, envy can be very healthy. Why? Because the intelligent minds generally use envy as an inspiration to make themselves better. 

The less intelligent minds, however, often use envy as a motivation to find fault with the person being envied. If they cannot find fault, they make up one. Then they use this fault — whether real or made-up — so they can have something to gossip about, or worse, to spread rumors about. 

Envy is just a feeling. Envy in itself is not sinful. It is the action towards envy that is sinful.

In this situation, it is the action towards envy that is sinful. Still, it is letting the devil use your feelings of envy and play with your thoughts to commit the act of sin that is gossiping. While it may be true that we cannot control our emotions, we still have the power to control how we act towards them. And whether or not you let your emotions get the better of you is your own choice.

But is it possible to gossip about good things? 

Certainly yes!

Rather than talk about something bad about another person with your peers, why not find something good about that person to share with your friends? Once you try to wash the dust of hatred and envy off your eyes, perhaps you will begin to see the good side of others — or of everyone, for that matter.

“Gossip is spread by wicked people. They stir up trouble and break up friendships.”

Proverbs 16:28

But if you cannot find something good to talk about a certain person, then it’s better to not talk about him or her at all. After all, there’s a saying that if you have nothing nice to say, then just don’t say anything.

So the next time you are lured into gossiping or tempted to spread rumors, reflect and ask yourself this question first:

“Am I an intelligent mind, or a dimwitted one?”


This write-up was originally posted on the author’s Instagram account.


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15 comments

  1. Interesting post, in high school (many decades ago) a friend and I used to gossip to pass the time, we decided to challenge ourselves not to gossip for the rest of the semester, and you know what – we had nothing to say. We had to develop points of interest and subjects to discuss that didn’t involve the actions of others! Oh what a lesson! Thanks for sending me down memory lane.

    Liked by 2 people

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