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How do I Avoid Being the Subject of Gossip?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2016
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Being the subject of gossip can be a frustrating and upsetting position. Whether created by real actions or malicious rumors, gossip can do serious damage to relationships, reputations, and group dynamics. Though nothing can fully prevent a person from becoming the subject of gossip, following a few basic precautions can help reduce the likelihood that the situation will occur. Don't share too much information with people you don't know you can trust, avoid engaging in gossip yourself, and think about how your behavior might appear to others.

One of the most important ways to stop or prevent gossip is to be circumspect with private information. Sharing problems or worries with friends and families is healthy and understandable, but it is important to tell private information only to those that can be trusted to keep it quiet. If a relative or friend is known to have a tattling tongue, it may be best to keep conversations with him or her to polite, public-appropriate subjects. It may also help to conduct private business only in appropriate forums; having a screaming argument with a spouse over the phone at work is certain to inspire talk among colleagues.

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Many etiquette experts cite the old maxim of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" when discussing the problem of gossip. Developing a reputation as a gossiper is likely to leave a person open to the same treatment; others may feel less inclined to be protective of the private information of a person known to spread rumors and tales. By declining to engage in gossiping at work or in social circles, a person can help develop an atmosphere in which that type of talk is unwelcome. Gaining a reputation as a circumspect and respectful person may engender the same behavior in others.

Though this may not always be possible or advisable, one of the best ways to avoid becoming the subject of gossip is by adhering to the rules of society. Most gossiping involves actions that are considered scandalous, immoral, or inappropriate in some way. Choosing to fly in the face of social tradition may be necessary in many situations, but it will tend to cause talk. While most etiquette experts stress that it is important to stick to personal principles regardless of societal rules, a general attempt to follow customs and standards can help reduce the chance of becoming the subject of gossip.

Unfortunately, some victims of gossipers are innocent or maligned bystanders, caught in the trap of other people's scandalous behavior or false rumors. In this case, the only options may be to confront the shameless chatterers in an attempt to shame them away from their behavior, or to simply ignore the situation. The outcome of either of these tactics may depend on the situation; confronting gossipers may simply throw fuel on the fire in some cases, while in others it may make the tattlers feel sufficiently apologetic to cease their behavior.

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Discuss this Article

anon237735
Post 5

Remember the old saying, " the only way three people can keep a secret is if two of them are dead."

anon237654
Post 4

anon163035: I would continue to be as good a person as I could be. Those who know you, and those who meet you, will know the truth about the kind of person you are, and can thus refute the rumours.

Additionally, make some new friends. As more people know the truth about you, they can help you to stand up for your reputation.

anon237647
Post 3

@anon16035: Ignore it. This can be difficult, though. In order to ignore bad things that are being said about you, you must first stop caring about what people think of you. The only people whose opinions should matter are close friends and close family. If they truly love you, then they will believe you over daritza.

anon237620
Post 2

Garbage. if some scum wants to slander someone they will do it no matter what, and the alleged law is damn near useless unless you are "in a position" or have loads of money. I was cyber-stalked for years and the cops were worse than useless, but if some politician's email or celebrity's email gets hacked then it's all of a sudden a big deal.

anon163035
Post 1

Some girl named daritza said some really bad stuff about me and I don't know what to do. help!

This is in glendale, CA. please respond or help. What should i do?

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