Part of the show New Planets, Harmonics and the science of Sound.
When friends get together, one of the things they love to do is gossip about others. And some research from Jennifer Bosson and her colleagues at the University of Oklahoma have found that bitching about others can actually help to forge friendships. The study, published in the journal Personal Relationships, found that sharing negative feelings about a third person can bring people closer together than sharing positive feelings. Negative gossiping can even help to bring strangers together. The researchers think that sharing bad gossip helps to boost self-esteem, and convey a feeling of belonging to a group or clique. So while being a blabbermouth can have its drawbacks, it may help you to win friends - at least until they find out you've been rude about them behind their backs!