The person being gossiped about can be harmed emotionally and socially if the outcome of the gossip is to spread negative private information that could harm their reputation and affect their social standing or worse result in the loss of something.
Teach children to stop the spread of the rumours and to know to report something to a person in authority if the person who is being gossiped about could be hurt by the rumours.
Frank McAndrew, a psychology professor at Knox College adds, "Good gossip is not about frequency, but the threat of being gossiped about
Even the risk they would be gossiped about
could change people's behaviour, she said.
An analysis of three extended cases of gossip targeting people who due to their religious, marital and economic status stood somewhat removed from the community draw our attention to the public consequences of being gossiped about
. In each of these cases the victims end up ostracized from the community and with little recourse for denying the allegations or confronting those responsible for the gossip, precisely because of fatufatu's status as marginal talk.
Other responses reflected mixed emotions about both the content and topic of the gossip; for example, the person being gossiped about, and the other person or people gossiping:
'Fine about the gossip, not fine about some of the people being gossiped about.'
There are a number of complex issues here since engaging in gossip may either: (1) enable the expression of concern, for example about another person's health or circumstances, or (2) result in feelings of concern for the third party being gossiped about.
Some women ceased speaking to each other and those who did speak gossiped about
As Oscar Wilde once said, 'there is only one thing worse than being gossiped about
and that's not being gossiped about
Still, everybody knows that gossip can have its ill effects, especially on the poor wretch being gossiped about
. And people should refrain from certain kinds of gossip that might be harmful, even though the ducking stool is long out of fashion.
For example, finding that a friend has gossiped about
matters one thinks of as confidential can lead to a lost sense of security within the relationship (as well as more broadly), and to broken trust.(38) Gossip may damage relationships with persons who hear stories and may negatively affect the job security of the person gossiped about
(1948) demonstrate how the leaders of a housing project gossiped about a new community worker when they felt their leadership position threatened, which had the consequence of maintaining group values and norms and preserving the old leadership structure.
First, he suggests that if the person being gossiped about is not present then the process (the 'encounter') is relatively unproblematic and consensual.
I have been party to gossip, I have been gossiped about
and here is the only standing lesson I have learnt - idle gossip can make for an ideal hit in one's confidence and self respect!