Picking up the phone and blowing off some steam to a girlfriend or three can be a much-needed outlet for some of us. This parenting thing is tough at times, and a little gossip can keep us sane. Some of us might feel a tad guilty after having a moan about the PTA or the latest thing that grinds our gears, but it could actually be good for our health. Researchers from the University of Pavia in Italy discovered that higher levels of oxytocin were released when we have a good ol' rant to our friends, compared to normal conversation. Now that you think about it, it seems right, doesn't it?
Dr. Natascia Brondino decided to conduct the study after having a long gossip with her friends, and realizing that they all felt much closer together than previously. Her scientific background led her to think about whether there was a biochemical cause for the feeling.
Brondino also points out that gossiping is the foundation for a lot of friendship, especially when we're in school. Talking to our friends about what's going on in our lives or the lives of our close ones can help us to build trust, going on to form relationships that are more likely to be long-lasting.
According to the scientists involved in the study, gossiping is a pervasive social behavior that is related to establishing group rules and exercising social influence. In short, that Friday night wine date with your BFF isn't being bitchy or catty - you're simply looking after your friendship and your health. Who can blame a girl for that?
So, while the study says that gossiping is A-Okay, it's important to remind your children about the dangers of talking about other people. While we may understand what's acceptable and what's not, kids often don't understand boundaries as well as we do and may find themselves in hot water on the playground circuit if they're not careful. Read more on the subject in this previous article.