They’re not the same thing!!
I guess it hadn’t occurred to me until just recently (last few hours?) that they might be considered to be the same thing by some people. I don’t know, maybe I’m the only one who makes distinctions?
Gossip: idle talk or rumor, esp. about the personal or private affairs of others: the endless gossip about Hollywood stars.
- Planning a surprise (lame, but had to be included)
- Discussing problems with others. (If I have a problem, and that problem involves a person, and I need to discuss said problem to try to figure out a solution, to talk out frustration, or to assess my own reactions, I obviously will need to talk about that person to another person.) (example: rob has offended me in some way, and I am not sure how to respond, and need advice. I seek advice from a friend or relative. This is not mean-spirited gossip, it is seeking the counsel of others. The intent is good and caring, not mean or hurtful.)
- Sharing concerns with others. (If I have a concern, and that concern involves a person, and I need to discuss said concern to try to figure out a solution, whether I or others can be of any help, or just assess whether I in fact need to just shut up and mind my own business, then I obviously will need to talk about that person to another person.) (example: Mary has a drug problem. I’m aware of the drug problem. I talk to other people who also know Mary and who are also aware of her drug problem to assess if there’s something we can do, and if we should do anything, to help Mary. I don’t think this is mean-spirited gossip, even if Mary gets furious at us for our meddling, or even if we bungle things badly in our attempt to help. The intent is good, caring. Not mean.)
- Sharing experiences. (talking about something to one person, and they know someone else who experienced something similar. “man, I’m trying to figure out what to do about X.” “Oh, I was talking with Rhonda yesterday, and she had something similar she was telling me about….”)
- Just simply talking about someone in a way that is neither hurtful nor helpful. Sometimes there is news (hey, did you hear how john did in his competition last week?). Sometimes it’s informative (oh, you’re looking for someone who does plumbing? George can do that for you. We’ve used him before and were very happy.). Sometimes it just is. (Hey, I ran into Millie yesterday, and we had a delightful conversation. I really enjoy her company.)