+ Why is gossip so contagious? A lesson to be learned.

Why is gossip so contagious?

Words by Psychotherapist Jane Faulkner.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to gossip and find faults and flaws in other people?  I have, especially when I’m feeling unsatisfied and disgruntled in my own life.

When I’m busy finding fault in you and your life, I don’t have time to see the problems on my own.  Actually, I’m totally oblivious to anything about myself which is pretty handy if I’m unhappy or not living the life I desire.

In the past I have spent hours, days or weeks seeing where and how other people were stuffing up and somehow this seemed to make me feel smug and less insecure.  Now, I realise that when I start to notice and talk or think about anyone else’s issue’s, I actually need to check out my own.


This has been a really empowering and life changing practice.
Now when I see myself slip into the judgment of another, I use it as a tool to heighten my awareness of myself.  Often, the thing I judged in the other person is patiently awaiting my attention within me.

I have found living life like this to be quite humbling and also liberating.  In noticing and accepting how flawed and human I am, I let myself off the hook, I can laugh at myself and I feel more open to accepting the flaws and humanness of others.  I now have an open curiosity about why a person would behave a certain way.  Most of the time when I really look; I realize the other person’s behaviour is  fueled by their wounds and their want to find happiness and relief.

Unfortunately for most of us, we have never checked out whether our behaviour still serves us.  We may react to a situation without knowing why it has triggered us so much.  We may see ourselves get stuck in the same place in relationships, work, self-care and yet not know why, or how to change.


Awareness is the key
We need to become aware of what we do and how we feel.  When we become aware of ourselves, we are able to live full, healthier lives.  We live in the moment and we make choices based on what’s unfolding right now.


So how do you do that?

  • Get curious about what really triggers you and why?
  • Notice where you get stuck and how?
  • What is it about your husband, wife, workmate, child etc that annoys you?
  • How are YOU like that person?
  • Reflect upon your childhood, not to get lost in self-pity, but to gain an understanding of why some things may bother you now?
  • Notice when you find yourself gossiping – be curious about what lies beneath!

Remember, WE all carry stuff, what’s important is learning how to unpack it and learn from it.


Jane is a mum, partner, psychotherapist in private practice, yoga teacher, group facilitator at Gwinganna Health Retreat and nurse.  For more about Jane, check out her fabulous website.   


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