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

157 Answers
Last Updated: 12/09/2020 at 3:53am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Christina Hussami, MSW, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Strengths-based, solution-focused therapist focusing on helping clients find life balance and navigating down their own path leading towards overall well-being.

Top Rated Answers
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.
July 17th, 2020 6:38pm
First off, negative rumours are not always a bad thing. A person who invents those rumours is probably feeling envious and those who spread it as well. The more outrageous, in fact, the better the compliment to you. It may sound strange, but the fact that anyone takes the trouble to make up a story about you is rather flattering. This said and if there is a real need to address the situation, you can approach any of the rumour-spreading people (as long as you are sure you are on target) and pleasantly ask that person for his/her advice. "I hear this rumour has been spreading about me and I was wondering if you could help me figure out how to snuff it?" That person would rather be your instant ally rather than an enemy. You can turn this issue into a very positive experience.
September 22nd, 2015 9:15am
Ask them if you can have private talk with them and then ask calmly if they have heard any rumours that someone close to you is talking about you and you want their help to find out who it is so you can speak with them.
October 26th, 2015 3:41pm
What you shouldn't do, is fight back. That just makes more conflict that you have to deal with. Understand why they are spreading rumors about you. It could just be a misunderstanding. But if it isn't, ask the person why they started the rumor. Try to reason with them and figure out unresolved conflict.
July 26th, 2016 12:27am
If people are spreading negative rumors about you, you should find out if they're aware that the rumors thy are spreading about you are false. You should them inform them that the rumors they are spreading about you are false. The third thing is find out their motive.
September 29th, 2016 3:05pm
I will go to that person and ask her whats the problem. I will tell her that i prefer face to face conversation regarding my negatives
October 27th, 2016 4:57pm
I tend to try and talk to them about why they started to spread the rumor, or get one of my friends, that is also their friend, to ask why. Then I try to get them to stop by trying to talk to them about it. Because, for me at least, it's because of one of my sensory things I do to keep me grounded, when i feel like i'm disassociating. Then we try to work out a compromise.
February 5th, 2017 10:53am
I have found that confronting them bluntly is always the better choice, rather than being cagey and shady. You need to have a cool and collected demeanour and not give vent to nasty feelings.
February 26th, 2017 9:18am
Negative rumours are harsh, but do not be harsh to them. Regardless of your anger and frustration, simply ask them to stop. If that does not work, tell the person a story, a story of how the rumours affect you. Rumours are spread with the intent to hurt on a skin level. As soon as the people realise it has sunk deeper than that, they will likely apologise. Remember, do not be harsh to them. It is about forgiveness.
March 1st, 2017 6:38pm
Confronting a person that has been making up rumors about you is an uncomfortable situation for most people. The best way of clearing the air with this person is by approaching them without the intentions of retaliation and being aggressive. This will not achieve much. Identify what you have heard and let them know how this made you feel. Once you have told them why it bothered you, ask them to kindly stop saying mean or hurtful stuff because what there doing is bullying. That tends to stop the rumors being spread but if it continues then best you discuss what's going on with an authoritative figure, or a professional to help resolve the issue
March 5th, 2017 3:04pm
You have to stand up for yourself. Tell them to stop and tell others that it was rumors. And true friends will always believe you and ask you about the rumors when hearing them.
March 15th, 2017 7:14pm
The first thing you should do is know who you are, and know there is nothing those other people might say that would change who you are. Then ask them directly, often people who spread rumors will stop doing so if they are confronted directly, respectfully but with no fear.
April 18th, 2017 9:15am
Approach the people who are spreading rumors in a calm manner. Showing signs of anger, frustation, or hatred can intensify and worsen the situation. Politely asked what they said about you and why they said it, because it isn't true. Once you hear there response, request that they don't do it again and kindly thank them for hearing you out before you leave the conversation.
April 19th, 2017 9:23pm
Tell them to stop spreading rumors about me, or tell the counselor or my parents about it. Or I just do not mind them since what they are saying are not true at all
April 23rd, 2017 4:31am
When confronting people who are spreading negative rumours about me, I start with asking them if they said it. Then I will ask them why and try to come to a solution. If they keep up with the rumors or still act a certain way, I simply ignore it. I know from experience after a while they will move on.
May 12th, 2017 6:49am
I ignore it for the time being and wait for it to be forgotten, most rumors blow over fairly quickly. If they don't stop after a week or two, politely ask them to stop. If that still doesn't work, notify someone who may be able to help. Although just ignoring them usually works!
May 20th, 2017 5:52pm
In this case it is important so stand up for yourself. Go straight to them and tell them that It hurt you what they were telling about you. You dont't have to explain yourself just make sure that they were doing wrong. I think it is also important to understand what the other person is going trough - maybe their life isn't that great at the moment but you are allowed to feel angry but just be understanding
June 15th, 2017 9:12pm
I always come to the person who I believe is responsible and say something along the lines of "Hello, I've heard that you were saying that I [whatever the rumor is]... That is false information and I would like to know why you were spreading it. I also ask you to stop doing so." The key is to remain calm during the confrontation, be direct and clear, do not actually accuse someone but say that information has reached you/you heard/you saw/etc. that they were spreading the rumor. Then ask them why they were doing it and request them to stop. It's important to stay polite.
June 25th, 2017 9:33am
Tell them exactly how it hurts you and to their face. It's easier for people to be hurtful online so showing them that you are a person with emotions would be most effective. If you are confident, confront them in front of others to.
June 29th, 2017 2:25am
Be honest! Approach them in an environment you feel comfortable. Don't let anger overtake you. Be the bigger person. These rumors don't define who you are!
July 1st, 2017 3:33am
If it's someone who is not important to you you just ignore them, if it's someone who is important to you then you talk to them and ask them why they're doing it.
July 9th, 2017 3:14am
You can agree to meet this person or you could just message them asking them about the rumors and then just tell them to stop. Nothing has to get out of hand and escalate into an altercation. Just be mature about it.
August 9th, 2017 11:06pm
Basically I would ask them what I did that made them feel they needed to spread rumors and if it was something that made them unhappy. Then I would ask how we could talk about it and compromise or fix the situation
August 12th, 2017 11:04am
Confront the person and tell the person about the Rumours that are not true and ask that person to stop spreading it
September 22nd, 2017 10:45am
I will talk to them kindly to try to find out more about why they are doing what they are doing. Sometimes that is all that it takes for them to stop.
October 4th, 2017 7:43pm
I think about the reason why they’re spreading these rumors in the first place. When I was in high school a bunch of girls were spreading rumors about me. At first I was upset but then I realized they were because I was dating a guy that they both were into, so they thought that by spreading these lies it would get him to back off. So I talked to them saying that basically I’m sorry he doesn’t like you in that way but it’s not my fault. And you guys spreading these rumors won’t help in your case with him because you’re being seen as bad people. And that squashed everything.
October 13th, 2017 2:39pm
I talked to them personally and asked them why they are doing that to me, what pushes them to do that and how they got that wrong information. If they are aware that they could ruin my life by what they are doing.
October 25th, 2017 4:53am
I (personally) do not do that. I just block them off my mind. I focus and I tell myself I'm not who they think (or say) I am. Everyday I look into the mirror and give me a compliment. I don't think this is the right way to deal with the situation, but it surely works for me. And if you're going through this; everything's going to be okay. Tell yourself that, and believe it, cause it is true.
November 4th, 2017 8:09pm
People who spread rumors about you either don’t like you or naturally enjoy spreading rumors. It’s better to be more mature about it and not make a scene. You can just let them know that you know they spread rumors about you and you are not pleased. Don’t say anything else out of anger. They ld notice you are totally a different person and would be extremely embarrassed. Don’t give them the privilege of disrespecting you by arguing or overreacting
November 8th, 2017 7:31pm
I ignore them and show people who I am helping that I am a good listener and care about them and support them.