One of the worst things ever, especially in school, is having to deal with rumors about yourself. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that no matter how “popular” you are or not, you will have to deal with at least one nasty rumor about yourself. Rumors happen to all of us, and even when they’re not that bad, they’re still horrible (if that makes sense).
When I was in college, I worked in a restaurant, and a rumor somehow started about me hooking up with someone. It wasn’t true, but that didn’t matter. No one was outwardly mean about it, but I knew people were talking about it when I wasn’t around, and sometimes I would get teased for it in a joking way that didn’t feel very funny to me. No matter how many times I denied it, the rumor just wouldn’t go away. I’m sure that there are some people from that job who still believe it, actually.
As frustrating as the experience was, it taught me a lot about dealing with rumors and gossip. Since I know a lot of you have to go through the same thing, I put some tips together so you can get through this rough time with grace and maturity – unlike the people spreading the rumors. Here are 10 tips on how to deal with rumors about yourself.
Ignore As Much As You CanWhen you hear a rumor about yourself, one of the first things you should do is try to ignore it. Sometimes, if you ignore something like this, it goes away. It also shows that you're above the rumor, and if you show that you don't care, other people will stop caring. However, I realize that this doesn't always work. I tried ignoring the rumor about me for a while, but that didn't make it go away. If that's the case, keep reading... Source: ShutterStock
Don't Deny Too HardWhether the rumor is true or not, our first instinct is to defend ourselves. This is understandable, but defending yourself too much will make you look guilty, even if the rumor is completely false. Instead of running around yelling at everyone that it isn't true, or writing about it on social media, ignore it (like I said before). Or, if you're asked about it, simply say, "No. That's not true." And leave it at that. Source: ShutterStock
Make People Feel Stupid For Talking About ItGo a step further than just simply saying, "No." Make people feel stupid for even bringing up the rumor, or for believing it in the first place. You can do this by laughing it off and acting like it's the silliest thing you've ever heard that you also don't care about. For example, if someone asks you if it's true, laugh casually and say, "Um, no. That's not true." Roll your eyes and then change the subject like it was never brought up. Blowing it off like this will make some people feel really silly for even thinking it could be true. Source: ShutterStock
Stay Calm and Don't Let Them See Your ReactionPart of ignoring a rumor is to not let other people see how upset or angry it is making you. Again, seeming too defensive and angry will make you look guilty. Crying about it isn't going to make others feel bad - it's just going to add fuel to the fire. People can be really mean. They want to see you react, because they want to watch the drama. Don't give them that satisfaction! Instead, blow it off, like I said before. If they don't get the reaction they're looking for, they will eventually stop. If they do? They'll keep going. Source: ShutterStock
Confront The Person Who Started The RumorIf you find out who started this rumor, say something to them! It's probably better to do this privately than publicly, as that can get messy and just make people talk even more. Confront the person in a calm manner, and say, "Why would you say something like that?" Make it clear that you're angry, but also show that you're the mature one here. Find out what their problem is and try to get to the bottom of things from there. Source: ShutterStock
Lean On Your FriendsDealing with rumors can be tough. Don't feel like you have to go through this alone - lean on your closest friends for comfort. We don't always feel comfortable going to our parents for this kind of thing, so instead, go to your besties. Talk to them, vent to them when you're angry, and cry to them when you're upset about it. Let them help you feel better. Source: ShutterStock
Don't Plot RevengeI know that sometimes it's tempting to fight fire with fire - or, in other words, start a new rumor to battle the one about you. But don't do this. It's immature, and you shouldn't stoop to that level. The best revenge is continuing to live your life by acting like nothing is bothering you. Trust me. Source: ShutterStock
Stand Up For Yourself When NecessaryI know I just spent this entire time telling you guys to ignore the rumors, but sometimes you just need to stand up for yourself. If things get out of hand and people are being really horrible, don't be afraid to defend yourself. Don't do this by whining "it's not true!" or crying. Do it by acting assertive and in control, and saying something like, "This is getting ridiculous and needs to stop. I really don't appreciate what's going on." Source: ShutterStock
Talk To An Authority Figure If NeededIf things get really out of control, you should definitely consult an authority figure, like a teacher, guidance counselor, or parent. If people are harassing you, that's not okay. You should feel safe in school or work, or wherever the rumor is happening. Don't be afraid to fill someone else in. They may have more power than you do to stop it. Source: ShutterStock
Accept That There May Be Nothing You Can DoThe worst thing about rumors is that sometimes, there is nothing we can do to stop them. Most of the time you need to just ride them out and wait for people to get bored, or find something else to talk about. I know it sucks, but sometimes it's best to just accept that and try to ignore and move on. It will give you a better piece of mind. Source: ShutterStock
Have you ever had to deal with a rumor that was spread about you? What did you do? What tips did I forget? Tell me in the comments!