How to stop rumours?
Scientific research is suggesting that the old aged – “Don’t dignify a rumour with a response” – is bad advice. The way rumours were handled in the most recent American elections seems to back up this new perspective. So if you can’t ignore the rumours, what are you supposed to do?
- Don’t play dumb.
Don’t act like you have no idea about what people are saying about you. Acting clueless will only make people think the rumours are true. There’s no point in acting like you haven’t heard the rumours if everyone else in your school or workplace has.
- Don’t let them see how much you care.
Avoid acting openly angry, upset, or hurt about the rumours. Even if they really were very mean and painful, if you let yourself get upset publicly, then you’ll be letting the other side win. If you really are upset about them, talking to some close friends will help much more than letting the world see you get upset. So keep a stiff upper lip, keep your head high, and don’t let them get to you.
- Don’t fight fire with fire.
Though it may be tempting to fight the rumour with a different rumour, you should take the high road and not fall into the low-life business of spreading rumours. Sure, you can spread a rumor about the person who started it, or spread a completely different rumor just to make people stop talking about you, but if you do this, chances are you’ll only make things worse and will look desperate and like you aren’t any better than the person or people who spread the rumour, to begin with.
- Talk to an adult or authority figure if you have to.
Sure, talking to an adult or your boss about vicious rumours may not be fun, but it can get the person who spread them in trouble and can make you feel better about the situation. If the rumours are being spread at school.
- Stand up for yourself.
Don’t confuse taking a stand for integrity with “being defensive”. Find a platform where you can communicate your side of the story. Since silence is not always so golden, it is good to have some things you can be prepared to say:
“I do not believe that is true.” or “This appears to be an unfounded (or vicious) rumour. Such things can do a lot of harm.” Look people in the eye when you say that. Make sure your side of the story prevails.
6. Find your friends.
Find a friend or two who will stick by you and who won’t listen to rumours. If you want, share how you feel with those friends. Don’t dwell on the situation, though. Spend time and energy having fun with your friends and doing activities you enjoy.
7. Speak up.
Consider speaking to the girl who’s spreading rumours. If you can, approach her. Calmly say something like, “I know we don’t get along. You don’t have to like me, but you need to stop spreading rumours about me and talking behind my back.” Don’t be angry or mean. Avoid yelling. Just say what you want calmly, clearly, assertively, and maturely. After you’ve said what you want, you can simply walk away. There’s no need to wait for her to say anything back. Leave her to think about what you said.