Lies are social lubricant. People who say exactly what they feel all of the time, even if they are funny while they do it, don’t usually end up with a close circle of friends. Blunt honesty doesn’t work.
So, we learn social graces.
At the same time, what’s irritating, stays irritating and you have to vent sometimes.
Once you’ve been around enough people enough times, unless you find the same things shocking or irritating all of the time, eventually I think most people develop a thicker skin to personality aspects that are annoying and so, no need to vent anymore.
At the same time, sometimes people *do* enjoy shit talking as a hobby. Gossip.
Why is it common?
I’d look at the animals. I bet they do it too. We got it from them.
Ah. There we go. Grooming. I thought I’d heard about a potential animal origin.
Nice thing about using animals as subjects rather than fictional evolutionary origins: they can be scientifically validated.
As for myself, I don’t usually gossip about people online. When someone PMs me to engage in gossip, I ignore it. If someone txts me gossip, I ignore it.
I deal directly with people whenever possible. Get it out into the open air. I might listen to someone gripe in real life if I must but eventually I work on turning it around so that either the person who is gossiping settles down to work for a harmonious solution or if not, I do something to get them mad at ME instead to deflect so I don’t have to hear the gossip anymore.
Gossip hits me right between the shoulder blades: I feel a hunchback forming when I listen to gossip for too long. That’s where the tension resides for gossip for me. As I don’t like that feeling, I do what I get to keep it from happening.