The horrible punishment for Medieval gossipers
Gossip's bridle or brank was an iron metal muzzle that was used as a tool for punishing those who wallowed in gossiping. The muzzle, sometimes came with a spiked curb plate that rested on the top of the offender's tongue, which if moved for talking, would inflict excruciating pain on the tongue.
No matter how you slice it but gossiping is irresistible. You may forbid your tongue from spilling toxicity about someone, but you definitely cannot stop your ears from relishing stimulating details about others. Gossip is something that will always rev up the otherwise motion-less and vapid conversation, and will always play a cardinal role in consolidating our social network.
But what makes tittle-tattle so titillating? Because evaluating someone is always a good sport, it gives a lift to your self-esteem, and the joy of sharing it with others makes you feel good about yourself. However, juicy information about someone may not always be negative at all, and this is where gossip takes a positive turn from its malicious nature to helpful. Let us understand how gossip can be good for us.
It fuels the need for introspection
While the intent of gossip may stem from malice and that the conversation of such nature may purely be bitchy about a certain person, but it is, in a way, helpful to us. You would want to know how?say for example, you are discussing someone's poor decision-making, you are invariably forced to evaluate yourself with respect to that situation. You will be urged to reflect on your own decision-making that will help you gauge your own strengths and weaknesses.
It serves as a warning
Gossiping, whose sole intention is to cast aspersion on someone, is incontrovertibly socially toxic, but the one that is used to warn about certain untrustworthy individuals can in fact prove to be socially enhancing. Here, the intention of the gossiper is not malevolent but is a positive one that arises from concern for others.
It helps us analyze the nature of 'tale-telling' itself
Those who partake in gossip know that the one who is spilling news is capable to wrought similar stories about them. This, in a way, helps them to look at gossip as a part of their social life as well as helps them to realize that everything that comes from the gossip-monger's gob should not be taken as a gospel but with an analytical mind.
Gossip definitely has a positive impact on people even if it means discussing others' misadventures, because in this case, we liken ourselves with others and try to determine what is right and wrong.