Learn why people gossip about others and how to stop harmful gossip.
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Female: At one time or another we've all been caught in the rumor mail whether we’re privy to a juicy piece of information or the victim of it, well today relationship expert Kateryna Spiwak is here and we’re going to talk all about gossip but before we get started, ladies have you ever been the victim of a gossip?
Female: Okay, I will go first. I didn’t do anything, no I was hosting, I started my career in television doing the Greek Show and there was a rumor floating that was a lesbian which is fine if I was but I'm not and it ended up in the Greek newspaper too like did you know that, kind of thing. It was pretty bad.
Kateryna Spiwak: Your family must have been very proud of you.
Female: Yes, still are.
Female: I had a lesbian rumor it didn’t end up in the newspaper but it was from a girl that I was hanging out with and she use to sleep around with a lot of different and she was—that’s just not my speed so she kind of figured out “You know what, she doesn’t what we do, so that must mean that she’s a lesbian and then she told everybody” and I was like “I knew she told her dad, she told her sister” and it was like “Hello, I'm not a lesbian.”
Female: So, why do women gossip.
Kateryna Spiwak: Several reasons, one of the reasons like the negative malicious gossip is to assert a sense of power or control or influence. People feel important when they're pre-view to that kind of information. They may have had a hidden agenda, they wanted to make you look bad, and they wanted to make themselves feel better when people have self esteem issues they want to elevate themselves by diminishing other people.
Female: Not that being lesbian is bad.
Female: But it's not the truth.
Female: If I was I would be out there but yeah.
Kateryna Spiwak: Exactly but speculation leading to rumors that kind of things it's from a sense of power and control that one exert over other people.
Female: Now, do men gossip as much as women do, because I know that everybody thinks that women gossip more?
Kateryna Spiwak: Yes, they do, study that men gossip just as much as women do.
Female: They just do it in a sneaky way.
Kateryna Spiwak: Exactly, more covert where they do it in the locker room and you know it's not as pronounce, they don’t call it each other up and say “Did you hear about that?”
Female: Yeah, I find guys who would just like one and one; they’ll just kind of exchange stories whereas women we’ll all going to gaggle and then shut the door really tight and all you hear. And somebody walks by and it's silent and it's like “Okay, your gossiping”.
Female: And we don’t just exchange stories, we dissect.
Female: We do embellish a few details.
Kateryna Spiwak: Yeah, we’re very analytical, we’re processing and gossip is essentially sharing of information. It could be chatty social talk about what's going on just news and sharing about what's happening in our lives, relationships, personal matters but its way for us to bond and its way for us to relate to other people.
Female: So why do we choose that form of bonding. It would just seem odd that that’s the way we would you know become girlfriends.
Kateryna Spiwak: Right, well we tend to be more verbal, more communicative and it's just something that we do naturally as human beings. Yeah, that we tend to talk a lot and we tend to communicate. Women love talking about relationships of other people, what's going on with certain people and what we can learn from those things. So that we can say take information about a conflict and how to apply it in our own lives to avoid that from happening.
Female: So in that sense.
Female: In that sense is gossip a good thing?
Kateryna Spiwak: It can be as long as it's factual, as long as it teaches us something and it's neutral and it's not malicious. But when we start spreading rumors about other people or we start assassinating someone’s character it can have so many negatives effects it's simply unfair and it can also make us look bad. People loss trust in us, for being the supplier of the gossip.
Female: So how do you break that chain, how do you stop the gossip if they're in the other room, do you stop it, do you say “Look, listen I'm not going to listen to it anymore”.
Kateryna Spiwak: Yeah, absolutely. Just say no to gossip I mean at some point you can say “I'm not interested in participating in this, this is not helping, it's mean, it's malicious, I'm not going to repeat, I don’t want to be a part of it.” I was a having a conversation with a friend of mine about this just this weekend and she’s heard something about a friend sexual orientation that there was speculation around that she got very upset so she stopped and said “I'm not interested in hearing about this, this is mean spirited and I hope you stop. I'm not going to repeat it's just unfair.”
Female: Do you think gossips also speak to a person character like if you have a bunch of girlfriends who are always gossiping about you know whoever in the group, should you also think to yourself if there’s so easy and quick to talk about this person when I'm not here they're probably talking about me as well.
Kateryna Spiwak: Yeah, I would say. So there is no reason to think that you're not the subject of gossip when you're not there and certain type of people tend to gossip. I find that they maybe bored, they maybe looking for attention, they may have nothing better to do and it's that sense of power they feel that that control over other people. They can exclude people, include people, it's all about social status and things like that.
Female: And sometime people feel that gossiping would just make them feel like part of the group.
Kateryna Spiwak: Yes, absolutely because if they have information is power.
Kateryna Spiwak: So if they have that information and they feel that sense of power because they can wilt it over other people.
Female: Even if the information is wrong.
Kateryna Spiwak: Yes, yes, so if they don’t have accurate information and then make up rumors in order to have something to pass on and hold something over somebody else.
Female: My guilty pleasure are magazines, yes, I don’t know why, I read intellectual novels but yet I'm always driven to buy that thing.
Kateryna Spiwak: People magazine or something.
Female: All the rags well you know, what is it about them that draws me to them.
Kateryna Spiwak: Well basically, we want to know that celebrities and personalities are just like us.
Kateryna Spiwak: So, excuse me, they get so much attention and they're elevated in our society. They're put up on this pillar and we want to knock them down because we want to know that they're just like us. We want to be able to relate to them.
Female: With being just like us, they have feelings and they read them and they see what's happening and people lying about them and I know people who are famous and it's affects them. And it's an awful thing to see someone saying “I'm just like you and me but they write magazines about me.”
Female: Well it sells.
Kateryna Spiwak: It is, it's very hurtful but it sells.
Female: But, yeah, when I see a picture of a famous celebrity picking their nose in the car, I'm like “Oh”.
Female: Now do you think men are disgusted when they hear their wives and girlfriends gossiping?
Female: Because men don’t ever seem to want to participate they always have a look on their face like.
Kateryna Spiwak: Yeah, I see J over there, here he hearing it.
Female: He’s gossip don’t even bother.
Female: Gossip queen over here.
Female: You're just as bad as we are.
Jonathan: I'm clearing my name here, I'm clearing my name, I am not just as bad as you. When I'm with my guy friends guys don’t gossip the same way because you guys get into the needy and greedy. For a guy gossiping is just sharing information and it's just a quick pass, it is but guys have that you know what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas mentally over all, were always protecting each other, so we don’t talk in the same way.
Female: I don’t believe that.
Jonathan: When a women gets into the male group, the guy gossip changes because the women is the one who often brings us to the deeper conversations it's true.
Female: I do not believe you.
Kateryna Spiwak: Well I would agree with him because women are far more analytical about it and we want to know the characters, I mean whose addicted to the Sop Opera, okay some men but mainly women it's the who did what to who and who did who and all that kind of things it's the needy and greedy. And he said and she said and she said and he said what and she said what and. And men don’t really get into that it's sort of the big picture, right, women are into the micro details of everything.
Female: What about gossip in families, I'm from a huge family and there is always the Morgan Hotlines somebody is on the phone complaining about somebody and then they make out someone and then by the end of the day, did you say that you were and you know—you get it and never stops.
Kateryna Spiwak: So that does that create a problem when it's inaccurate information.
Female: Yes, and it's like playing telephone literally broken down telephone and it's get crazy.
Kateryna Spiwak: Okay, so what you can do in that case if you find that you're on the receiving end of negative information or inaccurate information is to contact the person. The supplier of the information approach them and ask if them if in fact they did show that information and why, maybe there are some misunderstanding or miscommunication. Maybe they weren’t spoon anything malicious about you but they simply thought that it was okay to pass it on and just talk to them about that and ask them not to repeat it, to retract that statement. But also be aware that it maybe evidence of a deeper conflict.
Female: How could I make sure that my daughter or my son that they don’t get involved in that gossip cycle?
Kateryna Spiwak: Okay, well first of all it would be good to have a conversation with them about the different types of gossips. Just chatty, social talk about their friends and their family and what's going on, you know, Billy got a new bike and Susie they have a crush on Billy, that’s pretty harmless as long as it's true and it's not hurting anyone’s feeling. But if it's negative or malicious or speculative then educated them about that and let them know what's it's like to be on the receiving end of that.
Female: I would share my experience.
Female: speaking of being on the receiving end if you know someone is gossiping about you should you confront that person or just kind of let it go.
Kateryna Spiwak: Well you always you also have choices it depends on how you feel about it, but I would feel more comfortable approaching to that person and talking to them about it as I said they're maybe a deeper conflict they maybe jealous of you, they may have a grudge against you. And exactly, so this is a good opportunity for you to approach them to talk about it and to clear the air. And find out what else is going on.
Female: Well, thank you so much Kateryna and I’d still don’t believe that men gossip. We’re going to gossip after the show but after this Bill McDonald’s here and he’s going to help us get ready for our first dinner party, I so need this information.