Gossip is a Toxic, Poor Habit of Unsuccessful People


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In my Rich Habits Study, one of the data points I found interesting was about gossiping. Ninety-four percent of the wealthy, successful individuals in my study avoided it vs. 79% of the poor who engaged in it regularly.

I never thought much about gossiping until my research. Since then I’ve learned quite a bit about it from numerous studies. Here are some facts about gossiping:

  • 90% of workplace conversations are gossip.
  • 15% of workplace email content is gossip.
  • 60-70% of gossip is negative/toxic – Gossip is 2.7 times more likely to be negative/toxic.
  • Gossip irreparably damages relationships.
  • Gossip causes chronic stress.
  • Engaging in gossip, either by communicating it or listening to it, flips your mindset from positive to negative.
  • 60% of gossip is judgmental.
  • Gossip often destroys reputations in the workplace.

Spontaneous Trait Transference, also known as the Boomerang Effect, is a phenomenon where people are perceived as possessing a trait that they, themselves, describe in others (Hovland, Janis and Kelly, prominent psychologists, first recorded and named the boomerang effect in 1953). Thus, telling fellow co-workers that another peer is lazy will cause that co-worker to infer that you are lazy, due to the Boomerang Effect caused by gossip.

Those who engage in regular gossip, most of which is negative and toxic, are inadvertently creating negative/toxic perceptions, of themselves, in the minds of others.

Gossip is one of those Toxic Poor Habits I often write and speak about. It acts like an anchor, dragging you down and undermining your success in life.

No good can come from gossiping. It not only damages the reputations of those you gossip about, it also damages your own reputation.

Like many bad behaviors, it’s a Poor Habit that must be broken if you hope to succeed in life.

Awareness is the key to changing any habit. When you find yourself engaging in gossip, stop. Do not become an active participant.

Or conversely, only engage in positive gossip, which is a Rich Habit. Good gossip, saying something positive about someone when they are not around, will turn the Boomerang Effect into a an ally, making others like or admire you. They will unconsciously assume that you possess such traits or, that you will say nice things about them to others, which helps those who are trying to build Power Relationships.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. If I wouldn’t say it TO them, I don’t say it ABOUT them.

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