“It is always assumed by the empty-headed, who chatter about themselves for want of something better, that people who do not discuss their affairs openly must have something to hide.”
― Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
Rumour is gossips or tall tales about someone behind their back. It is the only tale where the target is not involved directly and personally. No fact check is needed for spreading a rumour. All the rumours are either half fact or unverified or false buzz. A naysayer plays a dominant role in spreading rumours. Unclarity is the base for it and ignorance is the immediate and preventive solution.
Rumours are mostly intentionally created and spread by envious and fools. It is also a story passed on the mouth to ear by a group of people who changes its form from the creator to the final listener. Rumour is not bullying, but no less than that in some cases. Everyone is a victim of rumours at sometimes in their life. Some laugh at them while some take it seriously.
Becoming a rumour target is very easy, no one can control it but can upgrade themselves to handle it. Social media and the internet are the strong sources for spreading a rumour parallel to word of mouth.
So, what to do if you are the target of rumours?
Stay calm and be patient – Nothing is wrong with being a rumour victim. Listen to it, laugh at it, make yourself comfortable against it, and pretend like nothing is wrong. All you need to do is not to lose your temper. Losing temper may become chaotic. Though, these are not shorting out your problem but will help you to stand firm and reach out to a probable outcome.
Remember, Newton’s third law – “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”, the more you frustrate and lose your temper, the more you are fuelling up your rumour. So, regulate your negative emotions, and don’t let them control you.
Do not hide it from you Elders/Seniors – Yes, never do this. Hiding rumours about you from elders and seniors is a big mistake. It can not be away from their earshot longer, better inform them before they hear about it, so that they do not believe the rumour. Also, at the workplace informing seniors about your rumour prevents you to undergo serious consequences like termination, firing up, losing credibility, and so on.
Keep communicating with people – Communication is the best way to involve people in your decision, vision, and building relations. Communicate and act with people in the same manner you used to be before, but be the first one to talk about what they have heard about you on noticing changes in their behaviour. They should be aware of the whole story as a rumour is always a misinterpreted part of the story.
Speak up to the spreader – If possible, speak up to the one who created a rumour about you. Try to know the reasons behind this act, and if some differences or misunderstandings are found, communicate together and sort it out. Do not treat them as your enemy, do not yell at and become angry with them, rather be calm and cool while talking to them. You can start like, “I know we don’t get along, there may be some differences and misunderstandings between us. But, that does not mean to spread a rumour about me instead you could have talked to me. We could have a word and clear out our differences.”
The Last Corner
Rumour should not be taken seriously, as it is baseless gossip. Our happiness, mental peace, and relations are also dependent on our reactions to rumours. There is no need to give an explanation to people, instead of that focus should be on our work. We should know our priorities while dealing with rumours. Unnecessary attention can only air rumour.
If you ever fail to handle it, remember this famous quote –
“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”