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

161 Answers
Last Updated: 03/18/2021 at 6:41am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Lisa Groesz, PhD


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Top Rated Answers
March 26th, 2017 11:08pm
It can definitely be challenging to work up the courage to confront somebody, especially if you feel as if they are acting negatively towards you. Communicating with the person calmly and letting them know how you feel (without attacking them) about the situation. Most people tend to respond well when approached calmly. Try to approach them privately and tell them maturely what you noticed and how you feel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
January 31st, 2018 10:55am
First, ascertain for a fact that someone is indeed doing that. Determine what rumors are being spread, and who is doing it to you. Evaluate what you will achieve if you confront the rumor-monger. Be direct and firm when you do without being angry, accusatory or emotional. Listen to the answers they give, ask questions if need be, for clarification. Let them know how you feel about it, if you must. Forgive, if you can. Think of mending fences, if need be.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
May 15th, 2019 6:10am
The reason people spread rumors is due to insecurity, point blank period. As someone who has had 100% unfounded rumors spread about her on several occasions, including a pregnancy rumor, I have not found confrontation to be an effective tactic for dealing with rumors. The reason for that is that someone who is acting deceitfully about spreading rumors will not have qualms about lying to your face when disavowing responsibility or doubling down on the supposed veracity of the rumors. Defamation is hard to deal with, but you are better off focusing on how to lift yourself up and potentially reexamining the company you keep.
May 19th, 2019 6:21pm
To confront someone that has been spreading negative rumors about me I would take someone with me to witness the exchange so they couldn't say things that weren't said and just talk to them and get to the bottom of the reason why they are spreading the rumors. Lets face it when someone is spreading rumors there is always an underlying reason why. The only way to fix it is to find out what the problem is and try to find a way to resolve it. This way you aren't just stopping the current rumor that is being spread, but you prevent more rumors from being started.
November 1st, 2019 11:46pm
The way that I have learned to effectively confront people is to do so in such a way where you still realize that they are a person too. They have feelings, and emotions just like all of us. So, when you feel the need to confront someone, first analyze why you want to do so, and make sure that it will be worth it. Then, I would recommend to never confronting anyone in a super public area, try to get them one-on-one. Then it creates an environment where they can't rely or blame other people. I hope that it works out! :)