It’s easy to get caught up in a discussion about someone else’s relationship. Celebrity gossip aside, even digesting the latest juicy infidelity details or relationship problems concerning people in your inner circle may seem like a harmless pass time, but it can actually effect your own perceptions of romance, psychologists claim.
While gossiping is actual natural human behavior, it can become insidious.
“It brings negativity into a relationship,” Kelley Kitley, LCSW, a clinical psychologist told This Is Insider. “The behavior is judgmental, and oftentimes, when people feel badly about their own situation, they gossip about someone else to make them feel better.”
Dr. Amie Harwick, a licensed marriage and family therapist, explained that even our obsession with the relationships of celebrities can seep into our own homes.
“Such a public depiction of relationship failure can absolutely instill fear in people, whether single or in a relationship, about the likelihood of relationship failure,” Harwick says.
“We take information about the world by what we see. But with the addition of social media and tabloids, our behavior modeling now includes an immense quantity of poor, and often untrue, behavior models,” Harwick explained.
In the age of viral news and click bait, it’s easy to get caught up in the negative relationship drama of people you know, and don’t know, but the solve for this cycle is simply replacing the negative images with positive ones.
“Spend more time finding positive relationship role models, and strive to achieve a plan for bettering your own relationship,” Kitley explained to the site.
Of course, positive relationship stories tend to not get as much attention and traction as the negative ones, but the moment we change what we digest, the sooner our relationships can have a more auspicious outlook.