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How to deal with people who gossip about you

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How to deal with people who gossip about you

A big part of dealing with people who gossip about you is understanding gossip, the thoughts that run in the mind of those who gossip and the psychology behind gossiping.

In my previous article why do people gossip I said that the person who gossips is someone who carries some resentment towards you and who doesn’t have the courage to face you directly and so he found no other option other than talking about you in your absence.

People will gossip about you if they are jealous of you, if they aren’t strong enough to face you with their concerns or if they feel worthless. Those people try to make themselves more worthy by saying that they are better than someone else.

After all if I am saying that Sam is really dumb then I am only trying to tell people that I am smart or at least smarter than him.

Dealing with Gossip

You now know that the people who gossip about you are really suffering from serious issues and that there is no other explanation for gossiping other than an emotional imbalance that is affecting the gossiper's behavior. (at least at the time of gossiping).

Maintaining your prestige is one of the very important tasks you must do when dealing with gossipers. If as soon as you heard about the gossip you became mad, confronted them or threatened them then this will only show them how badly you were hurt by the gossip and how fragile you are. (see Why am i vulnerable to life problems).

Instead you must appear strong and not easily shakable. Take few days to calm down and during this period try to assess the size of the damage that could happen to your reputation as a result of this gossip.

Try to understand the main cause behind this gossip and the psychological factors involved in order to be able to predict whether this will happen once again or not. For example if you found that your workmates are gossiping about you because they are jealous of you then expect this gossiping to happen frequently.

The options you have when dealing with a gossiper

After you have waited for few days you can do any of the following options based on how important the person is for you and the underlying causes for his gossip.

  • Let him burn: This is one of my favorite strategies, if someone is gossiping about me because of jealousy I just keep sending him good news about me to keep him burning with his own fire
  • Confront him: If the gossiper is causing a damage to your reputation and if you don’t expect him to stop soon then call him when are calm. Tell him that you are aware of his doings and that only those who are scared to face one another directly gossip. Most people will apologize and remember your call the next time they decide to gossip about you. Make sure not to threat them because threatening will stimulate their anger and this stored anger will be released through more gossiping. In my book The ultimate guide to break any bad habit i explained how negative motivation can have a strong effect on people's behavior. Your call will be the negative motivation element that the person will remember whenever he tries to talk about you
  • Send him my previous article: My article Why do people gossip shows that the only reason behind gossiping are personal flaws. If the person is not important to you and if he has said really bad things about you then sending him such article is a very polite way of telling him “You are sick”

Preventing gossiping

I am sure you know how bad it feels when you discover that someone is gossiping about you. Because you have felt that already try to stop yourself and the people around you from gossiping.

If you can influence your friends then change the subject whenever they try to gossip about someone and if you aren’t the leader of the pack then at least try to prevent yourself from gossiping about others.

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