The Infamous Grapevine

The grapevine is an informal, unofficial, person-to-person method of transmission of information. It exists in every organization and in every social group and in most families.

Incredibly, it originated in the Civil War. It was inspired by the vine like telegraph wires strung from tree to tree across the battlefields that were used by Army intelligence. However, the messages that came over it were often inaccurate and confusing. Because this system was so unreliable all ensuing information or rumors were said to come from the grapevine.

The grapevine in currant usage, provides a platform for people to discuss their apprehensions, anxieties and insecurities. It also provides a release for wishful thinking, retaliation, gossip and emotional distress.

It is a bona fide expression that made it into mainstream conversations. When asked about statements made by another person, the other party often says, “I heard it on the grapevine.”

The grapevine presents a challenge in everyone’s life situation. You will need to understand its power and you will need to know how to manage the grapevine and how to deal with it effectively and to your advantage.

Frequently, you must confront the rumor dispensers and explain, defend correct and eliminate any distortions or ambiguous statements and facts. Unless it is innocuous, it is not a good idea to ignore any negative rumors or gossip about yourself regardless of its source.

Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305-788-4864,

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