Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

How do you effectively confront people who are spreading negative rumors about you?

140 Answers
Last Updated: 04/12/2020 at 8:23am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Stacy Overton, PhD.

Counselor

I am an enthusiastic life-long learner and also a professor of counseling. I have a passion for peoples stories and helping to guide and empower the human spirit.

Top Rated Answers
creativeWriter118
May 31st, 2018 4:08am
Don't even confront them. People will be talking bad about you no matter what and it's a waste of breath to talk to them about something that is not true. Just enjoy your life knowing that they're busy thinking more about you than you are of them.
Waceykinz
May 25th, 2019 12:46am
I've had this happen to me more times than I could count. I look at it this way, people who matter to me most know the truth so I have no reason to prove myself to anyone, especially people who find it entertaining to talk negatively about another human being. Responding/confronting someone isn't going to matter in the end (in my opinion) because if they cared about you or what you think, they wouldn't be spreading rumors about you to begin with. I used to confront people, but in the end, I realized that it bothered them more if I didn't stoop to their level.
AprylFools
April 26th, 2018 12:38pm
This is a hard one. People will start rumours through jealousy and other small tendencies which you may or may not understand. You can ask them directly why they're doing this, but you can also just do your best to rise above it.
hopedreamlove
January 12th, 2020 5:55pm
Be kind, but be firm. Don’t respond by using more hate, but do stand up for yourself. Have a chat with them, and let them know what they did is not right, but try not too get too rude with them, or spread rumors about them. “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can.” Your loved ones, the people who care about you, will know that the rumors are not true. Rumors can definitely hurt, but whatever is being said is not true. If confronting the people who started the rumors doesn’t work, be kind show everyone else what type of person you really are.
EmiiAmor
April 3rd, 2015 6:23pm
Approach the person when they are not around friends and by themselves. Explain how you do not appreciate how they have been talking about someone. If this is happening in a professional or school setting, you can also speak with a person of higher regard or a counselor that can take appropriate action for you.
LoverOfHappiness
February 8th, 2016 9:28pm
You can never change someone's mind nor actions. However you can go up to the person and ask for a civilized conversations and laying down what you need to address. Allow the person to speak their mind as well. And after that it is up to the person if they are willing to be a person who changes their negative actions or not. Either way, you get a fulfillment that you stood up for yourself in a nonviolent way.
Anonymous
October 14th, 2016 2:04am
I would confront them by talking to them about what it is they are saying and telling them to stop nicely, then I would tell a few people the truth because I know that that rumour would spread then.
ChaosCurrator
June 7th, 2017 4:44am
In my opinion, through experience, is to honestly ignore the rumors. Ignoring those spreading them will eventually move on. Far as those who ask you directly- best to simply dismiss them as slander and move on. The more energy you put in to them the longer they last and grow.
Anonymous
June 17th, 2017 3:40am
I would suggest to try and be as calm as possible towards them and ask them why they are doing this
HelpingHusky96
July 26th, 2017 1:20pm
One word from me kindness. Harmful people look for a hurt reaction. Try acting like it doesnt bother you and smile at them. Ask them face to face of possible 1-1 why they feel they need to spread such rumours. Tell them you forgive them. They wont know how to respond. (Sometimes) I woukdnt play fire with fire though.
richyShiny39
May 5th, 2018 7:35am
Tell the person that your life is your own and if you would please know that spreading false accusations can be very hurtful as well as it can cause problems with a future of a person. Also let them know that it will be up to them of how the spreading of rumors will end because slandering a persons name is against the law. If you have to do what you need to. Sometimes a person may say something and it may just be so lacking in the person to spread lies to make up for what's missing. This could be ignored if the rumors are not even paid mind but there are some things that you have to give your opinion.
shiningHeart83
October 12th, 2016 6:48pm
Confront them and ask them to stop because you know that they are the ones spreading the negative rumors, and it makes you upset. If they don't stop, report them to a teacher, guidance counselor, or trusted adult.
colourfulMango27
October 13th, 2016 5:21am
I will tell him/her personally, with a mediator or a counselor and we'll talk everything out. We would express our sides and iron everything out.
IsoMooses
October 13th, 2016 4:48pm
By staying mature, and by understanding that they are only people too, with complex stuff going on. I believe I can talk it out with them.
strawberryPudding82
December 9th, 2016 11:53am
Confronting people about negative rumors can be done by approaching them and saying something like, 'I understand there are some rumors going around about me that are untrue. I would really appreciate it, if it would just stop. I do nothing to harm others and would appreciate if the same were done for me.'
Anonymous
January 4th, 2017 5:09am
Confront this person with confidence. If you aren't confident your words will mean nothing to them. Also, deny what they are saying. Tell them what they're saying doesn't bother you, even if it isn't true. Finally, realize yourself that you are so much better than they are because you are confident, and you don't spread rumors about them.
avocadoallyson
February 8th, 2017 4:09am
The people who are spreading rumors about you probably don't expect you to confront them at all. Be direct and tell them that you don't appreciate the gossip they are spreading and that they need to stop.
ChrisToListen
July 21st, 2017 6:17pm
In my experience, the best to way to confront them is to ask them to talk with you. Once you get that opportunity, the first thing to do is to calmly ask them why they are saying those things about you. That way, you may find out why they're doing it, and it may be something that you can work out with that person. After you ask them why, let them know how it makes you feel that they're spreading those rumors. Most people aren't really thinking about how what they're spreading is directly affecting the other person, and in my experience, just simply letting them know, helps them to understand that it's not okay. And then wrap it up, let them know that if they have a problem, that they're more than welcome to come talk about it with you, and that you would never do anything to intentionally upset them. The most important thing here is tone of voice and emotion, don't get mad, don't get upset; just stay calm and collected through the whole thing. That's how I'd handle it.
VanessaGraceStory
August 11th, 2017 9:22pm
Sometimes you can't stop people from doing what they want to. If this is taking place at school then you have to go to the principal or even your teacher(s) because unless their underage you can only do so much.
Hirasun
March 16th, 2018 7:15pm
You can always contact a school official for the younger audience, or leave an anonymous note to the person to how it feels to be shamed. For those with a brave soul you can tell the person it is rude and completely unreasonable to hurt someone in that way.
Anonymous
April 26th, 2018 3:43pm
I directly confront them. I ask them why they spread rumors about me, and where they got the rumors from. I will ask them to stop kindly.
SundancerPipeholder
May 19th, 2018 2:13am
In my 60 years I have only come across this once or twice, I stand on my honor and duty, I've had several that have tried to under cut me but my reputation always stood true. If you are true to yourself and your duty you don't need to worry about rumers
IveSurvivedAndSoCanYou
July 28th, 2018 1:26am
You can ask them about them and ask why they did it, if it is in school you can let the principal or adult know what they are doing.
KurtCups711
August 15th, 2018 3:01pm
Acknowledging the rumors only gives credence to them. I'd put your energy into embodying the values/morals you stand by and your actions will speak louder than their words.
lightningdevi101
December 23rd, 2018 3:55pm
First of all, NEVER resort to violence; as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, violence is never the answer. Along with violence, things like revenge and self-harm are also not effective ways to confront people who are spreading negative rumors about you. If you want to confront someone, you can always stand up to them and tell them "I don't like what you're doing, please stop," but in this generation, kids don't back off that easily. You can talk to an adult, such as a teacher or guidance counselor if the rumors are being spread in a school setting. It's also beneficial for everyone if you speak to your teacher about holding an assembly within your school to spread harassment awareness, and how to stop harassment (because spreading any kind of rumor is harassment, regardless if it's negative or positive).
ArielDaisy
January 13th, 2019 9:40pm
I believe that people spread negative rumours because they are feeling intimidated by you or feeling badly about you based on something they have heard. From this, I would simple state that if they wish to believe the rumours then they do not know me as a person. If they wish to get to know me i would be open to telling them the truth, dismissing the rumour that was being spread and leave it up to their judgement. The people that are important are the people that are there for you when times are hard, the truth is always inside of you and that's all that matters. I would try my best to ignore the negativity that was being spread around about me as I know it to be untrue. The people spreading the rumours will feed off my anger or negative reaction, so I would chose to question their source of the rumour and wait for it to pass.
beachWave2002
November 20th, 2019 1:33pm
Confront the gossiper in private, you do not want to create a scene in public as things can go side ways and people may judge you as overly sensitive person. And be direct with him. Tell him about the rumor you've heard of and if he did it. Be discrete and on the topic. Be ready for denials. Ask open end questions like "Why did you do that?", and let him know how you felt about it. If he still denies or doesn't apologize then just be the bigger person and forgive him as he clearly doesn't care for your feelings.
softNutella25
November 29th, 2019 7:16am
If you're feeling hopeless, disinterested in things that you used to enjoy, have suicidal thoughts, etc., then depression seems like the likelier cause and you should contact your doctor to discuss. If you're symptoms are more related to feeling easily offended or "attacked", acute and temporary sadness due to hearing something that's sad, etc., then sensitivity may be to blame. Although it can be easy to confuse the two, depression is a far deeper issue that affects nearly every part of life until it is resolved. If you think that you may be depressed, please speak to your doctor.
Anonymous
February 10th, 2020 12:13am
Unfortunately even if I do a good job, there will always be people who are dissatisfied with me. It comes with the job. I can't control what others think and they have the right to their own opinion. I focus on helping people no matter what, negative rumours or not. Even Anthony Robbins has some negative rumours about him and millions of people still love's what he stand's for. I strongly believe that if you can't deal with the negatives, you'll have a hard time trying to help others. Remembering the good you can do when you really care about helping people, is more empowering than any negative rumours.
Anonymous
February 14th, 2020 4:29am
I would confront them, Asking what I did to them to cause them to bully me/ spread rumors of me.