Why do We Gossip?


Gossipy Gerties… They’re everywhere, in every demographic, age group, country, class and creed. So why do we gossip?

Why do people talk about people? We all do it. Even those who are the sweetest, smartest and strongest in character and conviction have a vent about someone or something now and again. There does seem to be a fairly strong and interesting correlation between clever and content people NOT engaging in gossip or smack talk, and rather building others up even in their absence. We all ought to engage more in the building and less in the tearing down.

Excellent observation!

Excellent observation!

So where was I going with this?

Oh yes.

It is no secret that I can be pretty judgmental, in positive and negative lights. I form very strong ideas, feelings, and opinions about people and things. I do not suffer fools and if I feel wronged by someone or disagree with their actions they’ll almost certainly know about it. Perhaps that’s why I am not often surprised when it gets back to me that people have been saying vile or mean things behind my back.


What goes around comes around I guess. And frankly, the chances are, I probably earned some of the smack talk. Then, again, I’ve been handed back some pretty malicious and cruel words and thoughts from the mouths and hearts of people who I thought were friends, or at least on my side as I was on theirs. Those instances hurt. But the sting is softened by the army of advocates who speak kindly of me as I do of them. Kind and true words make everyone feel better and stronger. Being a jerk about someone behind their backs is just going to make the person dishing out the negativity look bad in the long run.

The truth also comes out in the wash. People will believe the lies and embellishments of fools or meanies for a time, but the truth and a person’s character will shine through.

True douchebags can be well admired and supported for a time as well, but again, the general talk about them will change when the truth about their dark dealings, dubious decisions or distinct douchebaggery finally comes to light.

Mean spirited or nasty people may be admired and spoken well of for a time, but the way they treat others and the way they act  will be noticed and one day their reign of BS will end. No need to speak ill of them, they will seal their own fate.

Mean spirited or nasty people may be admired and spoken well of for a time, but the way they treat others and the way they act will be noticed and one day their reign of BS will end. No need to speak ill of them, they will seal their own fate.

So why do people talk about others? Why do haters hate and spend precious time and energy dragging other people’s reputations through the mud by saying mean or hurtful things behind their backs?

Well, in my 30 odd years of passive research on this matter, I’d say it could be owing to a number of things. Here’s some of them:

  • Jealousy
  • Insecurity
  • Boredom
  • They are just mean
  • You did something gossip worthy, out of character or dumb, and people talk about it because it makes them feel better
  • They just do not like you.

I’m aiming to keep my thoughts a bit more brief and succinct, so I shan’t unpack each of these points too much.

Perhaps the vast majority of gossip is just entertainment. But none of us find it very entertaining when we are the subject of other people’s chatter. So think about that before or as you engage in mean or hurtful gossip. Also think about what the person dishing dirt to you may be saying while you are absent.

So I shall endeavor in earnest to speak kindly of others and not engage in mindless or inane gossip about people I do or do not know. I’ll try and get back to you on how it goes. I am guessing it should pan out rather positively, for me and the people I am either not talking about, or speaking fondly of.

Have a great rest of the week.

Thanks for reading!

How to avoid being “That Guy” online – Extensive personal research conducted over several years I have to say!

We all have our own list of pet peeves with Social Media. There are plenty of articles explaining what really miffs us off about social media.  Here is a list of articles on the subject to save you the trouble of googling it yourself:



I need to take a moment to say that I consider myself qualified to remark on these, because I have almost certainly been guilty of all of these at some time and to varying degrees.

that guy

In the early days of Facebook I’d hop online after one or two tooooo many wines.

Anyway, I’d like you to benefit from the wisdom of mine and others’ mistakes.

Here are just a few of the social media faux pas that we all ought to be mindful of:

The Painfully Proud Parent
Truth is, most people like hearing about kids antics, and seeing cute pictures of our friends’ young families growing up. ONCE IN A WHILE!

– Trademarks:

  •  Seriously spamming everyone with paintings or pictures your precious kids drew, stories of their potty training antics, ten thousand photos of them rolling over for the first time or eating an ice cream… You get the idea.
  • Baby talking ON YOUR status updates. Seriously, I find this quite remarkable, seriously, do these people not have spell check? Cause spell check would not like that one bit.
  • Publishing every minor milestone. There are times that many milestones are reached in close succession, and if you find yourself posting updates about your precious bundle more than a dozen times a day, you may want to rethink your strategy.


  • Keep your content light
  • Don’t post too often
  • Put up one or two pictures of your precious bundle looking angelic,
    instead of 20 or 30
  • Poop pictures are out completely
  • Actually, any photos taken in the bathroom are probably best avoided.
  • Have a special page for everything kid related for friends and family to subscribe to if they choose
  • Find other proud parent groups and forums to post to your hearts content on! These places are great and you can find like minded individuals and EVEN SHARE POOP PICTURES!

Serial Relationship guy

The VAST majority of these guys (who are probably more often actually girls) are teens, tweens, and recently single men and women. I’ve been guilty of changing my own status to “it’s complicated” and then flew off to San Francisco without my husband for a couple of weeks some years back now. So anyone can fall prey to being this guy.

– Trademarks

  • Changes relationship status monthly or even weekly
  • Complains bitterly about ex and 24 hours later singing the praises of “The one, NO REALLY! This is the ONE! I think we’re going to get MARRIED!”


  • Just don’t
  • A relationship is private and special when it is starting out, so try and keep it on the down-low until you’ve moved in together at least maybe?

The Oversharer or TMI guy

We have all been guilty of this. Whether it is because we have too much time on our hands or we feel a little bit needy,  we have all turned to social media, looking for validation and interaction and perhaps given far too much away.


  • Posting about EVERYTHING that happens – from breakfast to bowel movements.
  • Posting photos of injuries, mysterious rashes, every new purchase… you get the idea.
  • Spam spam, wonderful spam. Posting more than 10 times a day is simply not okay. Tweeting, no problem, but probably a bit too much for Facebook.


  • Find private groups to share your enthusiasm in. I belong to a pregnant ladies private group with a few dozen women, and we spam each other incessantly and over-share about fears, bodily functions, and can post as many belly shots and photos of our baby scans as we want. Know your audience, and try and keep the personal stuff out of the completely exposed public forum.
  • Think: Would I be okay with my kids and/or grandparents to see this post? If the answer is no, maybe don’t put it up.

Next instalment

  • – The Purveyor of Politics or Soap Box Guy
  • – The MEGA Motivator
  • – Food Porn Perv
  • – Eeyore
  • – Chain Letter Spammer
  • – Warnings and Fear Mongering Sharer (this guy doesn’t check snopes.com)

Written by one of the Social Soup Directors ( We will not divulge which one)