英语趣谈:人人每天花52分钟说人闲话 Gossiping是生存之道?

加拿大都市网

Gossip是什么? 《牛津字典》把它定义为︰Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed as true.信口道来的,未必是真确的说法。最重要的元素是”about other people”。

《剑桥字典》的定义则有些少分别:Conversation or reports about other people’s private lives that might be unkind, disapproving, or not true.这个定义亦提到gossip是讲“别人”的谈话,却收窄至”private lives”(有关私人生活的),再加上负面的元素:”unkind”(不友善的)、”disapproving”(不满的、批评的)和”not true”(不真确的)。这定义与︰No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues,没人会背后说人好话,不谋而合。

Gossip可用作名词,解流言蜚语、小道消息、说长道短、闲话,喜欢说东家长、西家短的人也叫gossip或gossipmonger。 Gossip又可用作动词,解说是非、讲闲话、说长道短、传播流言蜚语。

Gossip是坏习惯,所以有很多民间智慧,告诉我们如何防避说是非的小人。 “Anyone who will gossip to you will gossip about you.”(来说是非者,便是是非人。)明显地,中外都有这样的观察。 Gossip无处不在,没有人可以逃出它的魔掌:”Doesn’t matter what you do, or how you do it, your neighbors are gonna talk about you anyway.”(无论你做什么、怎样做,街坊都会讲你是非。)

人类本能 改善反省

Gossip令人讨厌,所以大家都觉得自己不会gossip。但这是实情吗?

Everybody gossips. Sure, we like to think that our daily conversations are strictly productive(有用的) idea exchanges and debates about life’s unanswered questions. But in reality, we all talk about other people. In fact, a new study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that the typical person spends about 52 minutes per day gossiping.

人人每天平均花52分钟说人闲话。但话说回来,这些研究对gossip的定义比较中性:”talking about a person who isn’t present. It’s not necessarily about spreading malicious rumors(恶意的谣言) or embarrassing stories, just sharing information.”

在人背后谈别人,不一定是说坏话,讲的可以是生活小节,这已算是gossip。从这角度看,就很难说自己没gossip。 Duke University心理学教授Mark Leary说︰”Gossiping is a fundamental(基本的) human instinct(人类本能) because our lives are deeply rooted in groups. We not only live in groups, but we also depend on the people in our groups to survive.”

人类是群体生活的,gossiping是俗语的“收风”和“放风”,目的是知道大围的情况,这有助提升存活机会,所以只是本能。有学者更认为gossiping是有益有建设性的行为。

Gossip may even make us better people. A team of Dutch researchers reported that hearing gossip about others made research subjects more reflective(深思自省的); positive gossip inspired self-improvement efforts, and negative gossip made people prouder of themselves.

另外,发现自己被人“唱衰”,有助我们反省改过,变成一个更好的人。

你亦可读Matthew Mitchell的Resisting Gossip: Winning the War of the Wagging Tongue,看看有什么方法可以抵抗gossip的诱惑。

share to wechat

延伸阅读

share to wechat

延伸阅读

share to wechat

【视频】女艺术家现场挤奶表演行为艺术 被踢出艺术展

Costco圣诞每日特卖第十弹

Tim Hortons 热巧克力500克罐装 史低价仅售$3.39

如何缓解胃痛?下次出现胃痛时要牢记这些