Negative Stereotypes Behind Bad & Ugly Gossip: People In General

The research into gossip goes back at least to the middle of the 20th century. Both men and women research gossip. Putting all of their research together, gossip is talk and writing about people — both other people and ourselves — in family, social, workplace, and public settings.

Much of the research shows that gossip is both positive and negative. I define gossip as good, bad, or ugly. Good gossip ignores or breaks stereotypes while bad and ugly gossip are based on negative stereotypes.

Negative stereotypes exist about everyone, no matter their age, gender, race, religion, profession, etc. These stereotype blog posts will help you understand the negative stereotypes about you. Each post will focus on one or two or a few characteristics.

My collection of stereotypes comes from books, magazines, newspapers, movies, television shows, radio programs, news shows, conversations, etc.

Stereotypes and categories overlap at times. I create categories of stereotypes as I have stereotype examples to put into those categories.

Stereotype Updates

I add stereotypes as I come across them.

New stereotype examples in each category are underlined.

Sign up for the mailing list to receive emails listing the new stereotypes.

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The Relationship Between Men & Women

war

Beautiful People

adulterous

vain

egotistical

greedy

status-seeking

arrogant

aloof

self-indulgent

rotten lovers

too impatient to work at relationships

Physically Unattractive People

political radicals (which stereotypes political radicals negatively)

homosexual (which stereotypes homosexuals negatively)

Geeks (Nerds)

real pains

know-it-alls

uninteresting

social outcasts

Blondes

dumb

less trustworthy

can’t be taken seriously

Brunettes

mousy

boring

less attractive

Redheads

mean

wild

hot-tempered

brash

Short People

arrogant

defensive

perverts

Heavy People

smelly

dirty

lazy

failures

unable to control self

unable to maintain personal health

take up too much space

Heavy Men

lazy

low self-esteem

lack will power

few friends

unattractive

sloppy

dirty

slow

unhealthy

Heavy Women

few friends

lazy

slow

unhealthy

unattractive

low self-esteem

lack will power

Thin Men

few friends

Thin Women

vain

flirtatious

egotistical

Women In Jane Austen’s Time

laughing is a sign of sexual availability

showing teeth is a sign of being garrulous, plebeian, vulgar

Nice Men / Sensitive Men

less competent

less hirable

lower performer

less likable

weaker

not assertive

not independent

LGBTQ People

promiscuous

nonreligious

lesbians are masculine

lesbians hate men

gay men are feminine and flamboyant

gay men are sexual predators or pedophiles

transgender women are drag queens

mentally ill

determined to ‘convert’ others

Infants

extensions of women

Crack Babies

hopeless

lost generation

permanently damaged

Single Parent Families

broken

Single Mothers

promiscuous

immoral

leeches

not trustworthy

selfish

dangerous to married women

strippers

raise children who resent and hate them

have questionable income

gave up on marriage too easily

desperate

milking the system

Single Fathers

deadbeat

clueless about cooking, housekeeping, laundry

can’t handle pressure

not nurturing

resentful

no good with infants or toddlers

emotionally inexpressive

ineffective at jobs

harming their children

ignorant

Women seeking abortion

kissing cousin relationships

ignorant about sex

childless

Children From Single Parent Families

end up in trouble

low self-esteem

behavior problems

Birth Mothers

bitch

irresponsible

abandoned her own flesh and blood

sinner

whore

slut

prostitute

dope head

weak

poor

unhealthy

uneducated

AIDs carrier

slick manipulator

Birth Fathers

drops out of sight

weak

poor

unhealthy

uneducated

drug user

alcoholic

AIDs carrier

slick manipulator

Adopted Children

screwed up

troubled

delinquet

burden to the family

yearn to find birth parents

Teenagers

juvenile delinquents

brainless

bubble gum chewers

hormone laden slobs

wild

rude

irresponsible

Elderly People

incompetent

sad

lonely

ill-tempered

demanding

selfish

stubborn

nosy

slow moving

snobbish

prejudiced

hypochondriac

bored

miserly

incapable of making effective decisions

deserve to die

An Unhealthy Old Age Is…

a punishment for living “wrong”

Government Officials

tell lies

cover up the truth

engage in conspiracies to deprive citizens of their  liberty

People Not Part Of Organized Religions, Conspicuous Consumption, Car Culture

weird

mentally ill

People Who Report Being Abducted By Aliens

masochists

inclined to fantasize

have a propensity to daydream

enthralled by novels

Terrorists

represent everyone in their ethnic group or religion

feel racism and hatred without reason

Cheerleaders

gum-chewing ditzy snobs

airheads

gossipy

mean

Homeless People

want to be homeless

single men

drunks

Unemployed People

lazy

freeloaders

Truth Tellers

naive

suckers

fools

People Dependent An Others

immature

weak

shameful

uniquely feminine

Newspaper Readers, Television News Audience, & Radio News Audience

unintelligent

uninformed

morons

uninterested in good news

uninterested in hard facts

want soft news, uninterested in world news

only interested in crime

Television Audience To Advertisers

lying

cynical

mindless boobs

Prison Inmates

liars about health problems

Points to Ponder

Did you notice that heavy men, heavy women, and thin men are all stereotyped as having few friends? Thin women, on the other hand, are stereotyped as flirtatious. Stereotypers believe heavy men, heavy women, and thin men are socially unsuccessful because their weight gives them little value. But stereotypers give thin women some social value. The other stereotypes about thin women are negative. To stereotypers, thin women have limited social value and limited social success.

Pay attention when stereotypers pick the same stereotype for opposite characteristics. They will do the same thing to you if it gives them what they want. Clues to what stereotypers want come from the situations in which they use stereotypes. Stereotypes satisfy a need within a situation. Those needs include superiority, control, and self-protection.

Strategies For Shattering Stereotypes

Choose a strategy based on the level of danger in the situation. Talk to the target in front of the harasser only if the situation is safe for conversation. If the situation is dangerous, create some kind of distraction. I now carry a personal alarm with me for creating distractions quickly.

Talking to the target instead of the harasser allows the harasser to just walk away. If harassing situations come up regularly in a workplace or other common location, you could also use these strategies at calm times to increase understanding about the consequences of using stereotypes. Just tell stories to your coworkers/colleagues as opportunities come up.

Adapt the strategies as you need to. Write about other successful strategies in the comments section.

Surprise The Harasser(s)

If you can possibly do so, give the harasser(s) a moment of dignity. People harassing others will not expect positive statements. The positive statements might be enough to stop them in that situation. One example:

“It’s obvious —– is having a bad day. Let’s give him/her/them time to
calm down and ease the strain on his/her/their heart(s). Let’s hope
tomorrow will be better.”

This statement tells the harasser(s) that they are under stress and deserve to feel better. By expressing concern for their health, you are letting them know you consider them valuable. They may not feel much value in their daily lives.

Visit the website below for resources on opening doors that give moments of dignity. Read People Success Example #5 on the People Success page. You’ll learn how I turned a bad relationship around using moments of dignity, and reaped an unexpected reward.

smilessparksuccess.com

Make Yourself An Example

This works best if you are not whatever is the reason for the harassment, not Muslim, not black, not Jewish, not Hispanic, not whatever. If you can identify any commonality between yourself and the target(s), talk about them to the target.

“Excuse me, but I noticed that we share a taste for … How would you
recommend cooking it?”

Your commonality will at least partially shatter the stereotype.

Provide Information About Stereotypes

If you can connect to the Internet, bring up the appropriate stereotype blog post and tell the target what the stereotypes are about you and why they are wrong. You could start with:

“Did you know there are stereotypes about everyone? The stereotypes
about me are …, but they don’t fit me because …”

You would be shattering a stereotype in front of the harasser.

Talk About The Consequences Of Creating Failure

Visit this Success & Failure Choices page to read about various types of success and failure. If you can think of an example from your own life, tell that story. Otherwise, use one from the blog below.

You could use this example from “Standout Success For 19 Year Old Joey Prusak”:

“A Dairy Queen customer saw manager Joey Prusak stand up for a
visually impaired customer. The bystander customer sent an email
to Dairy Queen. The story ended up on Facebook. The owner of Dairy
Queen, Warren Buffet, called Joey to thank him. Queen Latifah invited
Joey to appear on her show and gave him money for his college fund.
NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick invited Joey to a race. Good things can
happen to people who take care of other people.”

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Talk About The Benefits Of Living The Golden Rule

Remind the harasser of the Golden Rule:

“Since the Golden Rule is important to me, I’m going to treat you
the way I want to be treated. I also know that being kind to others
is good for my health.”

My favorite version of the Golden Rule comes from Buddhism, “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” See these Golden_Rule statements in 21 religions, 5 philosophies, and 2 moral/ethical systems to pick your favorite version.

Read up on the health benefits of kindness for details to talk about.

And again, write about other successful strategies in the comments.

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Critical Thinking Questions

1.  What’s happening?

2.  Why is it important?

3.  What don’t I see?

4.  How do I know?

5.  Who is saying it?

6.  What else? What if?

Stereotype Thinking Questions

1.  What is threatening my beliefs?

2.  How can I make it unimportant?

3.  What can I reject?

4.  What can I laugh at?

5.  How can I attack people who threaten my beliefs?

6.  How can I deflect?

The stereotype thinking questions are mine, based on my observations of stereotype thinkers.

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Online workshop that provides strategies to chip away stereotypes in both personal and professional relationships:

Simple & Effective Strategies For Ending Negative Workplace Gossip

“After participating in the gossip power presentation, I know I now have a better plan to be more effective in understanding how gossip affects every area of a person’s personal and professional life. Using her strategies on gossip power and gossip ears I feel I will be better able to navigate these areas both inside and outside the office. Paula does a great job, using both scientific research and personal anecdotes and examples, to develop strategies for turning the power of gossip into positives for anyone attending her presentation. I left energized and excited about her message and what I learned and am definitely looking forward to learning more at her glass ceiling presentation.“
Mark Spiers
SBDC Consultant

Paula is a fabulous motivational speaker. Not only does she speak on positivity, but she conducts webinars on gossip and how to get out of the trap!! She is very knowledgeable, professional and inspirational! I love Paula’s talks and webinars! She mentors women to bring out their best and believe in themselves! Thank you for all that you! The world needs you right now!
Lauren Ebbecke

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Paula M. Kramer
© 2015 to the present
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks or months.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Gossip Posters

Gossip Proverb

Good, Bad, & Ugly Gossip

Resource Websites

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Business Directory

betterplanetbusiness.com

Positive Identity Directory For People With Mugshots

myrecordnow.com

 

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