Gossip is idle talk about others that is usually degrading and belittling. Backbiting is speaking ill of other people when they are not around to defend themselves. It is somehow similar to gossip but it is more malicious, insidious and evidently with evil intent-to destroy the reputation of the other person. Usually, the charges are twisted out of context or fabricated or at the very least, overstated to make the negative impact more devastating.
Studies reveal that, in most instances, gossips and backbiting are driven by jealousy of the person backbiting towards the person who is the topic of the gossip. Jealousy is resentment, hostility or envy toward someone usually because of his perceived advantages, e.g., better job performance, a happier family life, more popular, better looking, fairer skin, taller...anything at all that can be perceived as an advantage.
As we all work in different kinds of organizations composed of people, it is important to somehow understand why people are the way they are. It's been proven, for example, that the main reason people backbite is that they feel very insecure about themselves. They need someone to blame for their problems. And this is a destructive way they try to make themselves look or feel better.
It is, of course, no justification for their undesirable behavior but you can at least see why they do it, and that helps you cope up with them better. In most instances, it's better to just ignore them, even if it's so humanly tempting to hit back. Your ability to restrain yourself from hitting back is a measure of the strength of your character.
A nice work place is one where the people have joy and harmony in each other's company. It is surely a more efficient organization. Unfortunately, many organizations' harmony is wrecked by backbiting. So let's all work to eradicate it. Not possible? Then let's strive to, at least, minimize it.
Let's start with ourselves. Now that we know the psychology behind backbiting, the next time you feel the urge to do it, ask your self, Do I really want to reveal my insecurity and jealous tendencies?
On the other hand, if the person you are talking with starts to speak ill of another person, you can be sure that that person has a lot of insecurities and is jealous of the other person's advantages. Instead of fanning the fire-and revealing your own insecurity and jealousy--why don't you discreetly change the topic?
Let's join the campaign to eradicate backbiting.
About the Author:
Ismael D. Tabije is the Publisher of www.BestManagementArticles.com.