Why Women Gossip
Find out the perks and pitfalls of our gift for gab
So why did I quit sharing? Am I a glutton for stress? No, I just shared too much and too often. I was that baboon who never stopped jabbering. My brand of compulsive self-disclosure is better known as "co-ruminating," according to psychologist Amanda Rose. I originally contacted Rose at the University of Missouri to talk about her recent study on sharing among young girls versus boys. But once we started chatting, what fascinated me most about her research on friendship was her earlier look at this obsessive strain among young females.
"What we have always heard is, 'Talk about it, and you'll feel better. Get it off your chest,'?" says Rose. "But talking about the same problem for hours validates its importance in your life. And when you dissect it and analyze it, it feels like it gets bigger and bigger." Not surprisingly, the number-one topic among co-ruminators is boyfriends.
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