Fear and Gossip goes hand in hand!


Recently some hierarchy changes have happened in my team to synchronize with the organizational level goals. As it usually happens in offices, the murmuring, gossips and guess work started among the colleagues regarding the possible after effects, who benefitted and who lost from these shifts. When we are happy about some incidence, we hardly gossip about it as we have all the fact in place to share and be cherish about, but when something happens whose results we are not aware of and don’t know what it brings to ourselves, a sense of fear seeps in. To release that fear and sense of uncertainty, we gossip and try to bring in the meaning to what we heard and do an effort to read between the lines. This action gives a sense of comfort when  get similar vibes from others. In the era of internet and easy online reachability, we every day see several examples where several incomplete and unauthenticated news turns into millions of videos, GIF, and posts with hundreds of likes and shares. Out of those hundreds of thousands online posts, only very few shows the true picture. Most of them are the exaggeration of current situations and creativity of troubled minds.

A few months back, in India, plastic rice news was making headlines across all news mediums and social networking sites. You Tube and Facebook was flooded with videos on how a plastic ball from a rice bowl., how it gets manufactured and how to identify fake rice, etc. But if we go with the facts released by Government there is no consignment found till date which has plastic rice or if there is any formal confirmation of its existence in the market. But, in spite of several official releases by the government to not to spread a rumor about fake rice or fear about its existence, this news did a million dollar business just by leveraging on the people’s fear and gossip habits.  Godsman business is no exception. Every day there are some post or video which comes with a disclaimer to share to wider group else some bad luck comes back. Really! Does God affinity towards their devotees is based on the Likes and Shares on social media!

F.E.A.R-False Evidence Appearing Real. This definition of fear tells it all! The misery it creates in mind and plays with the actions of people. When we start believing the thing which lacks evidence and authentications, an aura of negativity surrounds us and gets us in the grasp of fear and worry. And, to combat the fear which we have developed, we look for the ways and means to assure that what we are feeling is obvious in that situation and this led us to do gossips. Gossips at the time of fears seem like a warm coat in a chilly winter as it confirms and satisfy us mentally that we are not the only one in the grasp of fear, there are people around us who feels the same, and it comforts us psychologically.  Hence, ultimately we get in a crab in a bucket kind of situation, where intentionally or unintentionally no one is doing good to others, and everybody is with the same messy information.

Fear is a mental illusion and hardly has any real existence, and it multiplies its presence with more negative and unauthenticated information. Gossip works like oil in the fire to this, it may give a temporary comfort by seeing the other’s fear miseries, but later it creates a fearful and anxious atmosphere for one self and make the mental state more stressful and drained. This not only leaves one’s more frustrated but makes you feel lost even when surrounded by closed ones. This also stops you from thinking constructively and see the silver lining among all the challenges.

So how to overcome the fear of losing out on important office politics/changes and avoid gossips? First, we need to understand the root cause of the fear. What are the factors which are causing the anxiety? Ask yourself if it is reasonable to give so much thought about it?  What is that you can do about it? Think how much it is going to affect your position, promotion, etc. Does it go to affect your learning curve? Can you reach out to someone reliable who can authenticate the information? If so, reach out and discuss the things clearly. Many times, we get a very mixed response from people whom we assume knows the details but hesitant to share with us. In that case, remind yourself about the confidence you carry in your sleeves and don’t forget that it was your self-confidence and guts to jump in the unknown water that has led you to the places and done wonders for you. And, be open to the changes coming your way. Any change in the pattern of our life’s symphony also bring-in new opportunities and challenges. It opens the door to meet new people, visit new places, get new experience and lead a robust, happy, and healthy life. In the end, the choice in our hand, if we want to spend our energy and time in the mind-tiring gossip activity which leads us to nowhere or to something which may open new avenues for us.

Leaving you here with a quote from Gossip Girl movie-

“They say every road comes to an end, but sometimes the end feels just like the beginning. Even you think you’ve come a long way…”


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