rumours and gossips

The Difference Between Rumors and Gossip

Rumors are pieces of information or a story that has not been verified. What this means, is that the person telling

Rumors

  • Unverified pieces of information
  • Often involves speculation
  • Unknown if information is true
  • May change slightly as retold
  • Information usually not harmful to another person

Gossip

  • Juicy or scandalous story
  • Hurtful for another person
  • Unknown if information is true
  • Usually involves things not discussed publicly
  • May humiliate the person it’s about

Why  and how does it spread?

There are a variety of reasons why kids will spread rumors or engage in gossip. But most kids gossip or spread rumors to fit in with their friends, as a way to feel special or to impress others. Here’s a closer look at the reasons why kids gossip.

To Feel Better

When people feel bad about themselves, they sometimes will target other people to try to make themselves feel better. As a result, they talk about others as a way to deflect attention from themselves. 

To Feel Accepted

If everyone else in their circle of friends is gossiping or spreading rumors, kids feel like they have to do the same thing in order to be accepted. Many times peer pressure will play a factor in spreading rumors or gossiping.

To Get Attention

When teens know a secret that nobody else knows, or they are the first person in the group to hear a rumor, it makes them the center of attention. As a result, kids that are trying to fit in or climb the social ladder might use gossip and rumors as a tool to gain popularity.

To Gain Power

Some teens want to be in control and at the top of the social ladder. When kids are at the top of the social ladder or are determined to climb higher, they sometimes accomplish that by diminishing the status of another person. Spreading rumors or gossiping is one of the primary ways people  jockey for social status.

To Get Revenge

When teens are envious of another person’s looks, popularity or money, they might use gossip and rumors to hurt that person. They also tend to use gossip and rumors to get back at someone who they feel deserves to be hurt. Making up a rumor or spreading gossip sometimes satisfies their need for revenge.

To Relieve Boredom

Research indicates that boredom is often the number one reason why teens spread rumors. These teens are bored with their lives because there is no drama. As a result, they resort to rumors and gossip to spice things up and make life more exciting.

How to cope with :

…if someone is spreading rumors, there are a number of things that they can do to cope with it. For instance, your teen could stop dwelling on what other people are saying or go directly to the source and confront the issue. The key is to find a way to address the gossiping and rumor spreading that is comfortable for your child. 

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