Rumors can be harmful, they can damage our self-esteem, our health and our careers. Unfortunately, the way we respond to the rumor often makes things worse. The initial reactions make us angry, defensive and even counterattack. These reactions are generally ineffective. You can deal with these annoyances more effectively if you understand the dynamics. Once you fully understand the dynamics, you can effectively know how to deal with rumors.
The longer the rumor, the more harmful they become. As the rumors spread, they evolve. When rumors spread, people can add or omit details, either intentionally or unintentionally. If you respond quickly to a rumor, do not allow it to have time to evolve and spread. If you’re worried that, by responding, you’re encouraging the gossip to spread, it will spread on its own anyway.
Most gossip seems to be credible and that is why they spread. People retell these stories that they believe themselves. The source of the rumor has an impact on your credibility. The rumors that fit within stereotypes, prejudices and widely disseminated images are more credible. If a story about a love story is developed in the workplace, it is more credible if the couple is known to have lunch or travel together and the rumor will spread more quickly.
When responding to rumors, first identify the parts of the rumor that make it credible. If credibility resides in your own behavior, then change your behavior.
Rumors of packages will spread more quickly. If they say, “Do not repeat this or tell someone I said,” it’s usually the way rumors are packaged. When a rumor is preceded by this observation, you feel more secure in retelling because you feel that the path will not take you back. If you hear a packaged rumor, you can be sure that it has spread everywhere. You do not need to try to find the source, since you probably know who the source is.
Ending the rumors can be very difficult. You can not control how fast a rumor travels. If a rumor is already circulating, it is impossible to stop it. Instead of trying to control an attempt of rumors to arrive at the truth and to begin to discover how to circulate the truth as fast as the rumor circulates. If you trust independent third parties and factual information that is verifiable that contradicts the rumor, you have been inclined to treat the rumors very effectively.
Constructive responses are more effective than being defensive, angry or depressed. Your behavior can, in fact, give the appearance of confirming what is said about you. If you recognize the rumor and address it seriously, you will deal more effectively with the rumor.
When dealing with this, you will do much better if you maintain your self-esteem. Believe in yourself and present objective information and it is possible that you can stop a rumor in your tracks. I hope this has helped you learn how to handle rumors in a constructive way.