Why we think gossip keeps friendships alive

In recognition of National Tea Day, instead of celebrating PG Tips or Tetleys, we’re recognising the importance of spilling the tea with your friends, and proving there’s nothing wrong with a good gossip.

Gossip tends to get a bad reputation. Typically, it’s associated with groups of women ‘bitching’ or essentially, slagging people off. 

Actually, this isn’t the case at all. Yes, most of us are probably partial to a bit of a rant about someone every now and then, but a good catch up with mates and making time for each other is integral in maintaining strong friendships.

“Got any gossip?” A classic conversation starter, when seeing a friend who you maybe haven’t caught up with for such a long time. This shouldn’t be demonised in the way it often is. As far back as I can remember, ‘gossip’ has been a huge part of my friendships, even discussing the older children in the playground at school or what our maths teacher might be getting up to at the weekend.

I feel bad saying this, due to the terrible connotations gossip gets, and fear of being perceived as bitchy, but I think instead, it should be praised as a universal way of connecting people. Malice and spite is not always at the root of gossip, rather a genuine interest shared between friends of what other people are up to. Some may call it being nosey, I call it inquisitive. 

Maybe it stems from Covid? The whole world went into lockdown, and everything went quiet for a while. Realistically, what else did we have to do apart from see how everyone else was spending their self-isolation? Or maybe I’m just clutching at excuses as to why I love a mother’s meeting with my friends.

It’s also a fantastic excuse to make plans with someone. I know for a fact if I was to go on my phone and text any of my friends with ‘I’ve got gossip for you’ it would be met with ‘when are you free’ or ‘let’s go for coffee tomorrow’.  

There is nothing wrong with this. I firmly believe that gossip plays a crucial role in keeping friendships alive, rather than the negative stigma of cattiness which is so widely associated with ‘spilling the tea’.

Whether it be having a chat over a quick coffee, catching up for a lunch date or just going for a walk, a good old ‘gossip’ is a great excuse to get together with friends, fill each other in on everything that’s going on in your life and strengthen your relationship further. This can even lead on to pencilling in when you’ll next meet, creating future plans, and before you know it, your friendship is stronger than it was without even realising it.

As much as people may say they don’t care for gossip, or take a moral high ground, I really do believe there is a small part of all of us, male or female, that loves a bit of a scandal that gives us something to chat about. I mean, look how we, as a nation, were absolutely hooked by the Wagatha Christie drama. Top-tier entertainment, with gossip at the heart of it all.

And let’s be real, is there anything better than seeing a friend you haven’t seen for ages, and hearing the words ‘did you hear about’ or ‘I need to tell you something’ ………

To read more articles about friendships in your twenties, click here.