Let me ask you a question. Have you ever had someone bend over, as you were sitting down going about your business, and whisper in your ear? No….not romantically. They are the bearers of juicy news about someone you both know. But whether or not it’s true, or how much of it is true for that matter, is uncertain.
What was your reaction to what was being whispered to you? Did you smile and laugh? Did you think something along the lines of, “Yeah, he/she WOULD do that!” or “They are such a Bitch/Bastard!”? In other words, did you agree with the opinions expressed alongside the juicy bit of news being passed on? Was it funny? Did you feel like the person being gossiped about deserved it?
Alot of the time, when this happens it’s intent is harmless enough. People talk and generally, when they do, they talk about the people they have in common with one another. And the information gets stored in the brain as ‘hmm interesting information’ to be forgotten or only vaguely remembered later on.
Other times, gossip can take hold and be passed from person to person getting worse and worse as it travels from mouth to ear to mouth.
Have you ever played a game, or heard of a game, where kids sit in a circle and one person starts with a single statement like ‘the goose plays in the pond’ and pass it around by whispering it into the ear of the person sitting next to them?
And as it travels from child to child, it statement mutates into something else. Perhaps one child changes it from a goose to a duck. And then another child changes it from a pond to a park. And yet another child adds toys to it. By the time it reaches the ears of the first child, it’s completely different.