Some people make the mistake to invent with their mouth what they have not seen with their own eyes. That is, they spread rumors of which are uncertain, and often end up creating confusion and discomfort. In fact, some gossip and rumors can cause misunderstandings, destroy lives, separate couples and friends, causing clashes, generating hatred, rancor and resentment.
Yet, there are still people who like to spread rumors and gossip, aware or not of the evil they can cause. These people take a few cues from reality and distort them, coming to draw erroneous conclusions they share with all who are willing to listen. But this will not only damage the reputation of others, but, at the end, also their image will be affected given that with time they will lose credibility. At the end, the tattler remains alone.
What drives a person to invent rumors?
– Misinterpretation. Rumors are often the result of an error of interpretation; i.e., the person hears noises but does not know from where comes the sound, so fills the void left by the missing information using his imaginations, joins lines disconnected from each other and come to wrong conclusions.
– Too many stereotypes. At the base of rumors there are often preconceptions and stereotypes. In fact, stereotypes often become a feature of the person, it is as if we wear blinders that allow us to see only part of the truth. Stereotypes lead people to form a distorted view of reality, and feed rumors.
– Lack of objectivity. Many people do not realize that their mood, expectations, stereotypes and, in general, their interpretation of the world, are permeating the vision they have of reality. Then, they stop looking for neutral, objective evidence, merely explaining things through the way they feel, do and think. These people adapt the world to their own image and likeness. And all that doesn’t fit will be eliminated.
Gossiping can be a symptom of low self esteem and need for acceptance
In some cases, rumors and gossip are not simple errors in thinking but a symptom of something more serious. In fact, tattlers are trying to attract the attention of others by making sure to attract their interest, they urgently need to be heard, and no matter if to do so they must come up with a lie.
In these cases we talk of a distortion of the behavior that manifests itself through a complex. Rumors and gossip are the tools that allow them to become an important person.
Therefore, gossip can be a problem when becomes a habit, when is a lifestyle and the person uses it to insert himself inside social groups because is not able to use other tools. In these cases is necessary to seek the help of a psychologist, because, ultimately, the person is not happy, but lives for and through the others, letting his own life sliding out of his hands.
Why rumors spread so fast?
Not all rumors spread with the same speed. Fortunately, some are born and die soon. The fact that a rumor will spread depends on its importance and the degree of ambiguity.
Because inaccurate or uncertain information will spread must satisfy the curiosity of many people and that, in some way, will serve to ratify their vision of the world and of others. Therefore, rumors must conform to the beliefs of the people who carry them.
So when we contribute to spreading of gossip we do not just repeat something we’ve heard, but this action also says a lot about us, reveals that, to a certain extent, we believe that voice or use it to demonstrate some of our beliefs.
For example, if we think that young people are lazy and we see a young man who remains seated for a long time on a park bench, it is likely we assume he’s a lazy boy and comment it to the person we have beside us. Although perhaps, this young man is just waiting for someone or resting after a hard day’s work.
Similarly, if we think that our neighbor is inclined to frequently change partners and we see her talking to a man, maybe a little closer than usual, it is likely we think that the two have a relationship, even if it does not.
Before talking you must filter the information
To avoid becoming a link in a long chain of rumors, or even be the person who originates them, it is desirable that before speaking we learn to pass the information through 3 filters, as well as teaches this tale of Socrates.
On one occasion, a disciple came excitedly to the home of Socrates and told him:
– Master! I want to tell you that your friend was talking bad about you …
Socrates interrupted him saying:
– Wait! You have already passed through the Three Filters what are you going to tell me?
– Three filters …?
– Yes – said Socrates. – The first filter is TRUTH. Did you already examined carefully if what you want to say is true in every part?
– No … I’ve heard it from some neighbors…
– But at least you will have passed it through the second filter, which is GOODNESS: What you want to say is at least good in one of its parts?
– No, not really… on the contrary…
Ah! – Socrates interrupted him.- Then we go to the last filter. Is it NECESSARY that you tell me what you want to tell?
– To be honest, no…. it is not necessary.
– Then – said the wise old man smiling, if it’s not true, neither good nor necessary… bury it into oblivion…