I'd take a physical wound over an emotional one. Broken bones can heal, gashes heal, punctures heal, bruises heal and all you're let with is a scar... emotional hurt lasts.
Not only does it last, but it can ruin people. A rumor can end marriages, end careers, end friendships, end reputations.
Hurtful words can break a person down to a shell of their former self.
Words can also heal. They can heal hurt, heal marriages, heal hearts.
While they can fix miss-communications, once they have been said, there is no turning back. There's no "take backs". If you say it, make sure it's true because if it's hurtful enough, it will leave a scar that can never be forgotten.
Gossip can ruin someone, but it's so easy to fall into that pit. Dishing the dirt is interesting because it helps us feel better about ourselves. We feel superior because "at least we are that bad, or that messed up or that out of control."
I'm just as guilty as the next person, maybe even more so, that's my demon to battle.
If what you are saying can't be said in front of the person you are talking about, then it's probably gossip and probably hurtful.
Proverbs 12:18 NIV "The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
to the moon and back,