Gossip is a major threat to a healthy and successful relationships some residents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) told newsmen report.
Even though the penchant for gossip has not been attributed to a particular gender, it has been likened to people that “”talk too much’’ or are envious or have grudges against the victims.
Its adverse effect brings serious and irreversible damages to relationships, victims reputation or image as the words being conveyed either casually or unconstrained by someone are not absolutely true.
The residents, who spoke with newsmen in separate interviews on Sunday, said that gossip was one of the major factor that had ended relationships, caused fights, malice and even suicide in some cases.
Mrs Pamela Ayomide, a self-employed mother of three said gossip contributed immensely in tarnishing the image or reputation of a person.
“Some people gossip for fun, others to hurt someone or to revenge for a wrong doing without knowing or understanding fully the extent it can affect a person.
““I was a victim of gossip, when I was a teenager in my neighbourhood, where it was rumoured that I stole a phone because I was the last person to visit the house.
“ “It was disheartening because I was suspected, condemned and nobody believed me, even my friends and I became suicidal if not for the timely intervention of my mum and sisters it would have been a different issue,” she said.
Also, Mr Charles Osas, a businessman, said gossip might jeopardize the future of person negatively.
““ Gossip almost changed my future ambition in my university days, when it was rumoured that I was a cultist because I and my friends were engaged in a fight and the school never bothered to investigate, but withdrew us all.’’
According to him, he has to travel to a neighbouring African country to start his degree program over again.
Similarly, Miss Josephine Iliya, a media practioner said that gossip in office could affect worker’s input, productivity and relationsip with colleagues.
“Office gossip is so common, whereby people discuss about their bosses, peers, or subordinates, particularly on sexual relationship, which when not properly curtailed can affect the inputs of staff.’’
In the same vein, Miss Amina Danjuma, an undergraduate said gossip could make one look untrustworthy, lose respect and loyalty of people around.
““ If one has a penchant or regarded as a gossip, the person would not earn the respect of people around, be regarded as untrustworthy and as a result might end up been a loner.’’
According to her, gossip is peculiar to people who talk too much and are envious of the victim, which usually leads to fights and malice.
“I had a friend who said something untrue about me and it got back to me, we exchanged words and even engaged in a fight when I confronted her and we no longer speak to each other.’’
Mr Timothy Madaki, a civil servant said gossip had ended his relationship with his fiancée of two years.
“Gossips are usually unconfirmed truth about a person, who might not even be aware that he or she has become a victim of speculations until it is too late.
“I was engaged to be married, when my ex-fiancée confronted me that I was having an affair with another lady, which was not true, but eventually brought an end to our marriage plans.’’
Similarly, Mrs Patience David, an educationist and counselor said gossip could hurt a person spiritually, psychologically, emotionally and health-wise.
“When one engages in gossip, it affects his relationship with God, people around, it could also cause health challenges for both the victim and blabbermouths, who is apprehensive about been caught.
“This is because whatever one spills out cannot be retrieved back, so it is very necessary and beneficial to speak truth always, and be known as an honest person with integrity, rather than a gossip.’’
She, therefore, advised people to ignore, stop and never believe things about a person without properly verifying or having evidence, which would stop the spread of falsehood about others.