Gossip Is Toxic Stuff

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

By Max Andre

Listen up, Cobras! Gossiping about someone is one of the worst things you can do to a person.  This is especially true in an environment as stressful as school.  Studies published by The American Psychological Association (APA)  in an article called: Schoolyard Blues: The Impact of Gossip and Bullying show that “gossiping is a serious problem in a student’s social life.” While most gossiping might not be intentionally harmful, the article states  that “gossiping gone bad can be devastating to its target and hurts the giver and taker.”

Studies about “peer exclusion”  -when your peers push you, often through gossip, to the sidelines socially -show the harmful effects of gossiping and its impact on students. According to the APA article, people who are verbally or psychologically targeted by their peers could experience “high and rapid emotional changes, including feelings of betrayal, exclusion, and humiliation.”  The victim will feel isolated and maybe even avoid interaction with peers.  The effects of gossip can also influence a student’s academics and future success in an adverse way. The APA has shown that “…in a study of 380 students from ages 5 to 11, those who suffer from peer exclusion and rejection are more likely to withdraw from classroom activities, and suffer socially and academically. ”  The psychologist, Marion Underwood, is quoted as saying that “social exclusion is related to anxiety, depression, loneliness, and poor self-image.”

As a high school student, I’ve witnessed how the act of gossiping can affect a person mentally, physically, and emotionally. The pain that gossiping can cause is immeasurable. Just let me repeat what the research says – gossiping can cause a person to think very poorly of themselves. That can lead to depression, anxiety, and even thoughts of suicide.

So, Cobras – don’t take the subject of gossiping lightly. We all fall into it now and then, but let’s break the habit.  Let’s not allow gossip to be so tolerated and condoned. Instead of gossiping , reach out to the person at the center of the cruel rumors. Kindness can go a long way.