Being Bothered by Gossip and Hype

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“Suzanne Gelb Image”

”Gossip – Why Does it Bother Me?”


Dear Dr. Gelb:

A friend shared with me that some people I know have been spreading a false rumor about me. I don’t care about the rumor, but it bothers me when people talk behind my back. I can’t seem to stop being bothered.


A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Bothered:

My motto is “believe nothing we hear and half of what we see.” I am also aware of situations where sometimes so-called friends create the possibility of a rumor and to disguise their suspicion they blame others. That takes the blame off them. Just a thought.

Here are some other sayings I enjoy, “with friends like that, who needs enemies,” and “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words shall never harm me.” Here’s another good one — “Criticism is only an opinion from another, unless the shoe fits. Guilt will make you wear it.”

”Hype — Why Does it Bother Me?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

I know this person who is good at what he does — marketing. But he expresses so much hype and hot air, and people buy it because of his outgoing personality. Why am I so bothered by his exaggerations? They seem harmless and evidently sell his product.


A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Manipulated:

I believe that salespeople are taught in school how to capture us in a flood of rhetoric that can keep us from really evaluating whether we need what they are offering, or whether we should reject their offer. The compulsive talking is intended to flood our minds with their product. If they stop talking, then we may possibility say “no” before they finish their delivery.

I would also like to point out that if the compulsive talking is expressed by a friend, then this is invariably a psychological issue derived from having had little, if any, opportunity to express his or her feelings. Such individuals have typically been interrupted by an aggressive, overbearing person, such as a parent or a sibling, who would not allow them to finish expressing a concept.

”’Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.”’

”’This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see”’ “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says”

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