Love A Gossip? We've Got Great News For You

Small confession: I love gossip. I love talking about people I know but more than that, I love to hear about people I don’t know. Nothing dark, nothing too consequential, nothing that should be private. Just idle gossip. I’m a little old lady yapping away at heart.

One of my favourite podcasts is even ‘Normal Gossip’ which is dedicated to, you guessed it, normal gossip. Another favourite is called ‘Beautiful Anonymous’ where people call in and tell stories from their lives for an hour at a time. I just love knowing stories and gossip is at the heart of that.

However, the haters out there will have you believe that gossip is bad. That it’s harmful and only boring people would talk about other people.

WELL. Let me tell you, I and all the other passionate yappers out there have been vindicated with new research from Stanford University and the University of Maryland which has revealed that gossiping can actually be good for you.

I knew it.

This is why gossip can be good for you

In the study, published in late February, researchers revealed that gossip can be good for disseminating information about people’s reputations, which can help recipients of these tips connect with cooperative people while avoiding selfish ones.

“When people are interested in knowing if someone is a good person to interact with, if they can get information from gossiping—assuming the information is honest—that can be a very useful thing to have,” said study co-author Dana Nau, a retired professor in the University of Marylands’ Department of Computer Science.

In fact, Nau suggested that being a gossip gives you an upper hand.

“If other people are going to be on their best behaviour because they know that you gossip, then they’re more likely to cooperate with you on things.

“The fact that you gossip ends up providing a benefit to you as a gossiper. That then inspires others to gossip because they can see that it provides a reward.”

While there is still some way to go in thoroughly researching this, according to the researchers, there’s one thing that they can say for certain: gossiping is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

I, for one, will make sure of it.