Functions of gossip (found in wikipedia today)

No Chat
This Soviet war poster conveys the message: “Don’t chatter! Gossiping borders on treason” (1941).

Gossip can serve to:

* normalise and reinforce moral boundaries in a speech-community
* foster and build a sense of community with shared interests and information
* entertain and divert participants in gossip-sessions
* retail and develop various types of story ­ anecdotes, narratives and even legends
* build structures of social accountability
* further mutual social grooming (like many other uses of language, only more so)
* provide a mating tool that allows (for example) women to mutually identify socially desirable men and compare notes on which men are better than others.
* it is used as a form of passive aggression, as a tool to isolate and harm others.
* provide a peer-to-peer mechanism for disseminating information in organizations.

Some negative consequences of workplace gossip may include:[5]

* Lost productivity and wasted time,
* Erosion of trust and morale,
* Increased anxiety among employees as rumors circulate without any clear information as to what is fact and what isn’t,
* Growing divisiveness among employees as people “take sides,”
* Hurt feelings and reputations,
* Jeopardized chances for the gossipers’ advancement as they are perceived as unprofessional, and
* Attrition as good employees leave the company due to the unhealthy work atmosphere.

Turner and Weed theorize that among the three main types of responders to workplace conflict are attackers who cannot keep their feelings to themselves and express their feelings by attacking whatever they can. Attackers are further divided into up-front attackers and behind-the-back attackers. Turner and Weed note that the latter “are difficult to handle because the target person is not sure of the source of any criticism, nor even always sure that there is criticism.”[6]

Informal networks through which communication occurs in an organization are sometimes called the grapevine.


  1. ramanirajput says:

    Though silence is golden some humans tend to addict or indulge in meaningless gossiping in a negative way because of their insecurities . I Wish this article will throw some positive light on Ignorants to limit themselves in a positive way by not be part of negative gossiping .


  2. Eka says:

    can the big energy of gossip transfer into more functional talking? is it possible?? in my mind we have such other attempts to change the function and reduce the badness of gossip. thanks for the article

  3. Mark Anthony Monsanto says:

    I you don’t like rumors, don’t create friendship.

  4. I really liked your article. My compliments!! Thank you!

  5. Kazendim says:

    Hi dear Paulo,

    For me gossip is the cause of many problems in our lives.
    Maitre Philippe de Lyon used to heal some of his patients just only by saying to them to stop telling bad things about their neighbours.
    Hold our tongue then we can begin to control our thoughts.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. wanbliska says:

    The best thing will be to run and shout in a forest, or run to the ocean shouting, instead of attacking. But we sometimes have ancient mechanisms; inner tidy place.

    Gossip is also a way of communicating for a lot of people. Maybe it creates clans, and indifference… But some people have only that part to talk. Myself, I have sometimes bad mechanisms. But generally, I don’t like it. Sometimes I go through, sometimes I have the chance to stop them.

    Gossip is a manner to tell something that can’t be say in another manner, also. It always reveals other thoughts. And we can meet people to correct it in our life. If we recognize them, of course.

    We can’t judge so harsh gossip, when we accept that anyone is awakening according to his own walk’s pace. Internet is a way to. TV was before. TV have been producing a lot of gossip, Press, movies…
    Gossip are like rumors, in a way. Gossip are everywhere. We come to this world within gossip.
    If sometone told to someone that told to another, that told to…

    Not talking about the terrific pic: it’s unecessary to create this sole soul again. And yet…

    being afraid about the group, isn’t it facism? I mean all people can’t feel the same. And it may be a trap to believe in it.
    Some of us can’t have more relationship with each others and gather to talk. And make that love be stronger. Groups are not necessary reinforced by gossip. But there are sometimes.

    The sole soul is dangerous. And my experience makes me see people are ready to follow.

    It’s easy to be manipulated by an idea. But it will only be just an idea. The main thing leads in knowing the source. That way, we could only talk about ourself by our experience. And in a certain manner. That’s wise in a way.
    But imposing all of us to be the same at the same time, is too strange. I’m quite radical here, I know.
    But that’s a lesson anyway.

    Finally, I’m not sure, I have all understood about.
    That’s my thought for today.

    Have all a great evening.

  7. veryheaven says:

    glamour, celebrety, variety, hollywood reporter, gala, elle, and not to forget the boulevard press…serve us with information on movie stars, darlings and darleens we admire and like to idolize :-) rumors are going around everywhere. sweet talking is fine, cheap talking kills your power and energies.
    quote: Turner and Weed note that the latter “are difficult to handle because the target person is not sure of the source of any criticism, nor even always sure that there is criticism. wuote end.
    these people are dangerous and toxic like stalkers.
    avoid contact, straighten them out by ignoring and make a fast appt. with your lawyer. CEOs and Presidents of companies rarely spare time for your complaints and worries.

  8. Alexandra says:

    I think I can take in consideration both points of always,truth is somewere in the middle.the important thing is not to pass limits.In a small amount,can be only a way to make time pass,stay in company.Because I am a woman,I must recognize the most time even when I gossip with friends or my mother,sometime even I do not believe ,because we use to emphasize some traits.If the gossip is used in delicate topics,can be very harmfull.I must add I lived in times when in my country was banned to make groups and talk about politics.Gossip can become an arm,people trying to learn how to dissobey .I hope I expressed myself clearly,is not an easy topic. Love

  9. Agnieszka says:

    Cool arrariv! silence is golden.

  10. arrariv says:

    no chatting {seesmic_video:{“url_thumbnail”:{“value”:””}”title”:{“value”:”no chatting “}”videoUri”:{“value”:””}}}