Gossip seems to satisfy a deep-seated psychological need for self-esteem in most individuals. What better way to pump up our image than by using negative talk to prove that we are clever and otherwise superior to lesser mortals? If saying it brings you pleasure, so does listening to it - unless, of course, it is about you.
Recycled rumors, catty appraisals, backhanded compliments and sarcastic asides...they all roll off the tongue so effortlessly. If not for them, how would we ever make interesting conversation? Talk about something else! If one person spreads a rumor about another, simply ignore it until there is proof that it is actually true. Either way, avoid sharing the information with everyone else, especially if it's something personal. You wouldn't want them saying those things about you, would you?
When discussing someone's personal issues, family problems, etc. behind their back in an inconsiderate manner such as this, you are being judgemental, immature and cruel. Its just like you've heard, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." That is especially evident today because now that we have cell phones and computers one can actually be sued for defamation for this, because if you write and send it, you can't just pretend it never happened.
It's time for us to grow up and think before we speak or type! If you hear news about someone - good or bad, think about how it would make you feel if they gossiped about you.