Those who spread gossip at work are more likely to risk their careers and friendships, according to a new study. Psychologists found that persistent gossips are unpopular and unlikely to have any social influence at work.
Researchers at the University of Baltimore in the US asked women to think of people they knew who did and did not indulge in “informal communication” and rate them.The results showed that gossips are seen as weak people who are not to be trusted or respected and who have no influence over others.
Psychologist Sally Farley, who led the research, said that while people do listen to gossip, they do not necessarily trust those who constantly indulge in it. “Perhaps high gossipers are individuals who we welcome into our social networks for fear of losing the opportunity to learn information, but we tend to keep them at arm’s length,” the Daily Express quoted her as saying.
However, other evidence suggests that those who do not gossip at all are just as lacking in social power as those who gossip too much. Some psychologists say moderate gossiping and saying nice things about people in their absence are most likely to boost popularity.