It wasn't terribly long ago when I was approached by a handful of friends who confided in me. It was a weird experience for me because, I'm not a warm, comforting person. I'm not a good shoulder to cry on. I'm really pretty cold and calculated.
This experience, however, led some friends to finally tell me that people notice that I don't talk about other people. If I do, it's positive or I'm giving them credit for some insight. I don't gossip. So, even though I'm not a warm, empathic person, people know that they can say anything to me and know that I won't repeat it.
It was also this time when I realized that I don't just have a mild aversion to gossip, I hate it. Really, I recall hearing friends of the past gossip ruthlessly about people who are still close friends today. If I have one regret, it's not calling out the pettiness of that behavior.
I've come to believe that gossip dies when it falls on the ears of a decent person. Maybe it has value from time to time. I haven't seen it personally.