I have a few unscientific ways to determine if a friend is gossiping about me, but the truth is everyone is talking behind my back. And your back. All our backs! Call it venting, call it normal conversation between friends, or call it gossip. Whatever you call it, it doesn't have to be a bad thing.
A new study found that talking positively about other people slightly raised positive emotions and self-esteem while lowering negative emotions. Negative gossip decreased positive emotions and increased negative feelings much more dramatically.
Now the whole point of gossip is juiciness, so I don't know what to do with this info. Do I need to cut it out completely, throw in something good with the bad — "She always has such perfectly manicured nails" — or just try to moderate it and accept it will get out of hand sometimes?
Gossip is like heavy drinking. There's this point where it feels so, so amazing, and that is right before you've had enough. I say know the limit. And once you don't like what's been said, change the conversation!