If gossiping weren't fun and entertaining, there wouldn't be so many TV shows, websites and magazines devoted to talking about what celebrities are doing. Most have chosen to be in the public eye, and to a certain degree, they expect their personal lives will be under a microscope. We regular folk, however, usually don't appreciate having our foibles and quirks as the topic of conversation in the office break room.
Some of us just can't resist sharing a juicy piece of information though. It's a way of connecting with other people and even raising our social status in their eyes. Sometimes it helps boost our own self-esteem: "At least I'd never make that bad of a mistake," we might think.
Gossiping may seem like a harmless way to pass the time, but it has significant repercussions. In the workplace, gossip can be a huge problem because it can lower morale, decrease productivity and increase turnover. Families have been torn apart by secrets that were not to supposed to have been revealed. Gossip can also be about power: One person has information the others don't have and keeps the power by deciding who to share the tidbits with.
If you're concerned that you're a gossip, pay attention to your topics of conversations. Are you telling positive or negative stories about others? If it's difficult to stop gossiping (because it just feels so good), try putting yourself in the subject's shoes. How would you feel if everyone was talking badly about you?