If you have ever been subject to nasty rumors, you would know that they are more than just a juicy piece of gossip. There is a huge difference between rumors and gossip. Rumors can be extremely damaging to a person’s mental and emotional well-being. Gossip is just entertaining news, often not intended to cause serious harm. I was subjected to very nasty rumors all throughout high school. It started off as idle gossip which snowballed into a major web of lies, with exaggerated details, gory descriptions of imaginary situations which just turned into an ugly mess.
I was way too young and immature to even understand what hit me. I have never spoken about this before except to my near and dear ones. After a point, it just became impossible for me to go and clarify it to everyone. It just spread like wildfire. It altered my personality and haunted me for the longest time. It affected my confidence and I kept my interaction limited to a very few people. Whoever I spoke to or wherever I went, I felt they all knew about the lies spread about me and are judging me away to glory even though they probably weren’t even thinking about it. I could not enter a room with my head held high without the fear of being scrutinized. Fortunately, I found rock-solid support in my family and friends and that pulled me through.
Rumors can be extremely detrimental to people’s careers, lives, confidence, relationships and their reputation in society. They follow you like your shadow. Almost no one cares to find out the truth because the rumors are so juicy and entertaining. They are often started by a person who can’t accept the truth, is bored, insecure, who is extremely unhappy in their own lives, out of jealousy or just for pure sadistic pleasure. Sometimes even out of fear of their secret becoming public – they want to get to you first before you get to them.
How can making up stories about others make one look better in any way? If nothing, you are only creating a bad cause. After being judged, called names, hear people whisper, I determined to never judge someone based off something I randomly hear and never participate in spreading it to even one other person.
How to deal with Rumors?
- Clarify it with your loved ones first. That’s half the battle won with them on your side.
- Don’t let the rumors define you. If you know who started it – confront that person. They usually least expect to be confronted.
- Don’t hide, don’t be embarrassed, don’t be scared to enter a room, look them in the eye and be normal. When you don’t give them power over you, they get bored. It is not fun anymore and it defeats their entire purpose.
- Be calm and try to shed light on your side of the story. Although, don’t keep high expectations as it only happens in the movies, where you get this huge chance at redemption on a public platform. Just focus on your near and dear ones
- Be nice to whoever tries to bring up the topic. Don’t get extremely defensive and shoot down the messenger. Your personality, nature, reasoning and the way you handle the situation will change the minds of people. Good people see the good in others too. Trust me these people are the ones you want to hold on to.
- Sometimes not acknowledging, giving importance or paying any heed to it works. It dies down and is replaced with some other rumor.
It is awfully tough to be indifferent to these rumors. It takes a toll on everything. All your relationships are strained as a result. It took me years to get confident in my skin and not care what others think. In fact, after all these years I finally started feeling compassion for the people who spread rumors because clearly they find happiness in pettiness and live hollow lives.
Always remember – Yes, you will be swimming against the tide but you will reach the shore. The most important thing is to stay afloat. Best thing is to keep your head up, focus on your own life – your success will shut them up. Success and personal development is the best answer. The same people who spoke ill of you will want to be around you like flies.
It is absolutely imperative that you openly communicate with people who love and trust you. Talking it out and leaning for support is your big ticket to healing. TALK – TALK and TALK! Let your feelings out – isolating yourself will only make it more difficult.
Rumor-Mongers have no backbone, no ethics or principles in life. They are mentally sick in a way. Pity them, they are not worthy of any of your emotions. We could all learn something from how some celebrities respond to rumors about them. It is not easy always being in the public eye with the media constantly breathing on their neck.
Here is a quote from Hugh Jackman responding to rumors about him being GAY. “I have a wife and a son, but the gay rumors have started. I guess it’s a sign that I’m moving up the ladder” ~ Hugh Jackman
It is impossible to get everyone to see your side – accept that. The more you run around like a headless chicken to clarify your stance the more you will feel defeated. Rumors gain momentum faster than the speed of light. Not caring what everyone thinks will be the best choice you will ever make.
Chin up, Keep Smiling,