Whether we are at home or at work, we cannot avoid those bad eggs around us who are ready to wiggle their tongues just to spread the latest scoops caught by their radar. With their famous chismis starter “Mars, alam mo ba…” you will know that they have their hottest chika about whose daughter is pregnant, who among the neighbors or workmates have huge debt, who among them got their mistress, those guys their maiden are inviting over her house, and many other gossip-mongering. Even you are not a celebrity, you could have your paparazzi and reporters who broadcast your supposed to be private life. Those chismosas will sometimes push your button most especially if they are already digging too deep into your personal life.
Being a target of gossips or rumors sometimes affect you emotionally and mentally most especially if you feel uneasy passing by the group of chismosas looking at you from head to toe. They sometimes break your confidence as they place themselves into self-perpetuated dominance. According to researchers of Journal of Psychiatry and Psychology, chismosas feel inferior and have high level of anxiety and as their way to escape from these negative feelings toward themselves, they tend to heighten their self-esteem by dragging other people down.
Bakit nga ba chismosa ang mga Pinoy?
Tracing back, Filipinos are fond of telling and listening to stories as their pastime or before going to bed. Even while eating, sharing stories has been the center of the table. According to the study of experts and scholars, our natives love telling folktales and legends that were handed down through oral tradition. This is perhaps one of the reasons why Filipinos nowadays love spreading stories that were overhead or were told by other people even without verifying the credibility of the information. What is much worse is that sometimes, other people tend to overshare stories that they are not allowed to or not supposed to tell from which information could turn into buzzes.
Some Filipinos consider tattletales as a stain in our culture but for some, it is some sort of entertainment. Probably, chismis is already embedded in our culture but a lighter take on hearing and telling credible stories only coming from reliable resources is somehow acceptable but it still depends because you also have to weigh if it is ethical to share the stories that you do not personally own. In others’ defense, gossiping is a human nature. From chitchat to long conversations over coffee, we sometimes can’t get enough of the hottest tea. At some point in our lives, we also get intrigued with the stories about other people and we would just find ourselves asking more questions about what happened. Uy, aminin!
Paano malalaman kung chismosa/chismoso ang iyong kapitbahay or officemate?
Filipinos’ lives are like a one big movie industry and the more your life story is intriguing, the more it will be a blockbuster. For some, it is a way to ward off boredom but sometimes, it reaches the point where a small issue becomes a big deal, and a simple truth turns into exaggeration. Whether you are at work, salon, jeepney, any public space, or even at home, you could hear gossips not only about the lives of people who are familiar to us but also about what’s going on with the celebrities locally and internationally who we do not even know personally in real life. It is sometimes amusing on how some of us are so hooked with the stories about the lives of people we do not know or do not know us at all. To know if your neighbors or officemates are legit chismosas, you need to watch out for these three red flags.
- They feast on the tiniest details of the story they have just heard. Chismosas tend to overreact with simple tales that they overheard. Sometimes, they become intrigued even with some issues that should not be considered as a big deal. They scrutinize even the tiniest bit of information that they could extract and once they found an interesting story to weave out of it, the gossip will just explode like a bombshell.
- They are overly interested whenever there is a tea to spill. Their sharp sense of hearing heightened whenever they hear the latest scoop and no matter what they are doing, they would stop for a while to focus on the storyteller. There are low-key and obvious chismosas but they have one thing in common – they are nosy and love to pry on people’s private affairs.
- They tell you stories they were not authorized to tell. Sometimes, we feel uncomfortable when our colleagues, neighbors, or friends are telling stories we are not supposed to know. You can tell if they are chismosas if they do not even stutter or hesitate to tell that story about other people. They feel so confident telling it as if it is their life story to own. They do not even bother to validate if it is true.
Ano ang dapat gawin sa mga chismosa?
If you are becoming the target of the tongue wigglers or becoming involved with the chismisan, there are still ways to rise above from the gossips. Even though we want to avoid them, we just can’t because you either work in the same space or you live on the same street. But, if you cannot paddle your way out from their presence, you could still deal with them so you will not be engaged or will not make you feel that you badly want to flip the table right in front of their faces. You could use these defense mechanisms to combat the chismosa virus that could wreck your reputation or could involve you in their clubs.
- Be professional. One of the basic ways not to be involved is to maintain professionalism at work. You are not in your job position to collect the hottest trends and latest chika so focus on your work and shrug off those colleagues who would possibly lure you into a deep chikahan. If you are on a break and not doing anything and you cannot really get away from them, just listen silently and be neutral.
- If possible, refuse to listen. If you really do not want to get engaged, refuse to listen. You may focus on doing some things or make a believable excuse just to escape from them. Sometimes, if you are too marupok, you could become a member of their club because you might find yourself enjoying every latest scoop that they are bringing even during early morning.
- Ignore them if the chismis does not bother you. Still having a well-lived life despite the chismis about you? Well, good for you because you do not seem to give an ‘f.’ Ignoring those who are stabbing your back or taking ill of you is a talent and it sometimes pisses them off because you are unshaken.
- Confront them if they are already affecting you. Even though we try our best to remain stiff despite the rumors against us that chismosas are spreading, there are times that we would really lose our cool. If this happens, confront them face to face but be calm. Make them feel that they should be the ones to feel uncomfortable when you are around because you are fully aware of the tales that they tell about you. Chismosas are usually silenced once there is a confrontation.
- Too worst? Take legal actions. If they are aggressively crossing the line already, it is now time to step up and take legal actions most especially if the chismis is affecting you emotionally and mentally. The case that you could file depends on the gossip or threat. You could file grave threat, unjust vexation, libel, and oral defamation or slander.
Honestly, chismisan is being normalized nowadays whether in face-to-face or in the virtual world. In the era of digitalization, chismis is evolving because it could reach a wider platform through different social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Whether we admit it or not, there is one moment when we spent a couple of minutes just to read an intriguing long post or screenshots that would spark controversies on the people involved but we should not reach the point when we are the ones spreading news or stories most especially when we were not authorized to do so. Karma is a b*tch, so as for the golden rule “Do not do unto others what you do not want to do unto you.” If you overheard a chismis, just zip your mouth and keep it to yourself. Do not stoop that low and become one of the peddlers of rumors and gossips.