HOW TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE TALKING BEHIND YOUR BACK w/ Alli Simpson
How to Deal With People Talking About You Behind Your Back
It feels pretty awful to have people talk about you behind your back. Since this kind of gossip may be subtle, it’s often hard to pinpoint the source. For this reason, you’ll probably make matters worse by trying to confront the people gossiping. The best course of action is to ignore them. You might also engage in positive activities to cope and try to change your perspective on gossiping.
Handling People Who Gossip
Do nothing.Though you may be tempted to act out or confront the person, sometimes the best response is to ignore gossip. Just think: the person didn’t give you the consideration of saying what they said to your face. Don't give them the consideration of taking it any further. Stop the negativity train by completely ignoring it.
- Many people gossip for attention or to get a reaction. If you ignore the gossipers, they may get bored and stop talking about you.
Treat them with kindness.Another great response to gossipers is a pleasant attitude. They will be bewildered as to how you could treat them so kindly when they have spoken negatively about you. Plus, if you reinforce your upbeat attitude, you may make the person feel guilty for talking about you in the first place.
- Pay the other person a genuine compliment, like, “Wow, you worked really hard on these flyers, Rose! The graphics look great.”
- Try to sound genuine, especially when giving compliments. You don't want to come off as sarcastic or insincere, as this will only make things worse.
- If you can't find something to compliment them on, try helping them instead. For example, you could open a door for them or help them carry something heavy.
Set limits with gossipers.If you have to spend a lot of time with people who talk about you behind your back, keep them at arm’s length. Just because you have to be around them doesn’t mean you have to act like their best pal.
- Be cordial, but refuse to get close to gossipers. Don’t tell them anything personal about you, which could later serve as ammo for even more gossip.
- Chatting is not the only way gossipers can get personal information. If you suspect that they might gossip, don't give them your user name on social media.
Verify the motives of the messenger.If a dear friend or acquaintance was the one who told you about the gossip, you may want to make sure this person has your best interests in mind. Most good friends would rather not spread any negative information about you that may hurt your feelings. If this person is involved in the rumors, try to find out why they felt the need to come and tell you, and how they reacted to the rumors.
- You might ask questions like, "How did you know this was going around?" or "What did you say when they were spreading that rumor?" You may even simply ask, "Why are you telling me this?" to better understand their motives.
- You don’t necessarily have to end your relationship with the messenger. But, it may be wise to watch this person more closely. They may not be as innocent as they try to appear to be. They could be fueling the gossip rather than trying to stop it.
- Let the messenger know that if someone has a problem with you or something you did, you’d rather them tell you about it directly than spread gossip. Say something like, “Next time you hear Aunt Margaret gossiping about me, please ask her to talk to me directly.”
Don’t engage in gossip.If you are being talked about, then you know how terrible it feels. However, you aren’t helping matters if you are guilty of gossiping, too. Some people just like to discuss others’ business, but they can’t do that if they don’t have an audience.
- The next time someone tries to gossip to you, say, “You know, this is starting to feel like gossip. I’d rather not talk about her if she’s not here to defend herself.”
- If you gossip about other people, then people will find it more difficult to take you seriously when you ask them to stop gossiping about you.
Talk to someone in authority.If malicious gossip is interfering with your performance at work or school, you may need to take the problem to a higher-up. A teacher, principal, or supervisor may be able to put a stop to the problem.
- You might say, “I’m having trouble with another student/coworker. I think this person is spreading rumors about me and it’s really affecting my ability to focus at school/work. Can you talk to them?”
- The student or employee in question may have a reputation for gossiping or bullying, so your superior may want to take disciplinary action.
Coping with Being Talked About
Distract yourself.It can be hard to stay focused on your schoolwork or job when people are talking about you behind your back. Instead of giving your attention to the negativity, pour your energy into positive activities to distract yourself.
- You might reorganize your desk, go for a walk around the block, go chat up a friend, or set a personal deadline to finish a project.
Spend time with positive people.When people are talking about you, it’s easy to feel isolated. Combat this feeling by making an extra effort to be with people who cherish you. These people can boost your mood, improve your self-confidence, and even make you forget negative gossip or rumors.
- Call up your best friend and ask them to hang out. You might also spend more time with your partner or family.
Remind yourself how great you are.Being talked about behind your back can make you question your strengths and abilities. Don’t fall prey to self-criticism. Instead, try to remember your value as a person by purposefully thinking about what makes you great. Sit down and make a list.
- Include all your positive traits, things you like about yourself and features others admire about you. You might list things like, “great listener,” “good shoulder to lean on,” or “creative.”
- Try to give yourself at least one compliment each day. It can even be something small, like the pretty color of your eyes!
Do something nice for yourself.Positive actions bring about positive thoughts and feelings. When you’re getting down on yourself due to gossip, treat yourself as kindly as you would a friend. Try to schedule a little time to be nice to yourself every day. For example:
- Walk your dog or play with your cat.
- Listen to your favorite music or sing in the shower.
- Write or draw something.
- Consider giving yourself a bigger treat one per week, such as a manicure, going to the mall or movies, or eating your favorite ice cream.
Don’t take it personally.You can deal with people talking about you behind your back by remembering that their words are a reflection of them, not you. You can’t choose what others say about you, but you can choose how you react to it. Write off gossiping as something the other person needed to do for themselves. Refuse to be a victim of someone else’s issues.
- For example, recognize that a person who gossips may be doing so because they feel insecure and are trying to make themselves look better by putting others down.
Realize they may be jealous.It may not feel like it when people are talking negatively about you, but this often happens because there’s something about you that intimidates them. The person may be envious of your looks, abilities, or popularity. Their nasty words may simply be a way to hurt you.
- If someone is jealous of you, try to be nice to them. This will give them less gossip fuel.
Recognize poor self-esteem.Another common denominator about those who gossip is low self-esteem. People who talk badly about you may do that to make themselves feel better. The person talking about you may regularly feel negatively about themselves or lack self-respect. As a result, they talk negatively about others, too.
- That’s why treating a gossip kindly or complimenting them may end the negative comments. These people may simply want some positive attention because they feel bad deep inside.
QuestionWhat if the gossip is coming from your immediate supervisor?
Licensed Professional CounselorLicensed Professional CounselorExpert AnswerAsk a colleague to act as a witness to the conversation and ask your supervisor to stop. If they do not stop, ask to speak to their boss or to human resources.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I hear my parents talking about me behind my back, either to other adults or with each other?
Licensed Professional CounselorLicensed Professional CounselorExpert AnswerThanks!
QuestionIs your friend a real friend if she gossips about you?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou may have to decide if you want to continue the friendship. Good friends don't spread negative information about one another.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if that person is one of your only friends?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf a friend is spreading rumors, you might choose to openly confront them. Ask why they would say these things about you. You may have to get some distance from this person or cut them out of your life completely.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if everyone believe them and no one would ask me the truth?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDon't waste your time on anyone who would believe negative things about you. Just keep being yourself. People will eventually see through the lies.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if people are talking bad about a friend?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou might say, "Hey, it's rude to talk about someone behind their back. If you want to say something to her, say it to her face." This should stop them.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if the gossiper rumor is being heard by your boss what can you do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou might try to head off the problem by asking your boss to have a meeting. Tell them what's going on and tell them how you have tried to stop it. Doing this may help them see you as more professional.Thanks!
QuestionGuys around school are saying that they have slept with me and I am a virgin what should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe best way to handle this is to not react at all. They may have started the rumor to get a reaction out of you, so just keep being your normal self. The people who believe these ugly rumors aren't your friends.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do you do if someone says something bad about you and you don't know who said it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust ignore it. In the end, you can't really control what people say about you. You can only control your reaction. Just keep being yourself and avoid those people.Thanks!
QuestionHow to deal with stress?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDo things you enjoy, like reading, taking a bath, exercising or talking to a close friend.Thanks!
If people are talking about you behind your back, try your best to ignore them since they're probably just bored or looking for attention. To distract yourself from the negativity, do things that you enjoy, like spending time outside, playing video games, or reading a good book. Also, try to surround yourself with positive people that make you feel good about yourself, which will help you forget about the gossip and rumors. Remember that at the end of the day, the things people say about you behind your back are a reflection of them, not you!
Sources and Citations
In other languages:
Español: , Italiano: , Português: , Русский: , Deutsch: , Français: , Bahasa Indonesia: , Nederlands: , العربية: , 中文: , ไทย: , Tiếng Việt:
of How to Deal With People Talking About You Behind Your Back was reviewed by on July 27, 2019.
Dec 19, 2019
Feb 7, 2019
Nov 29, 2019
Oct 30, 2019
Sep 21, 2019
Aug 26, 2019
May 16, 2019
Sep 15, 2019
Sep 13, 2019
Oct 12, 2019
Jun 22, 2019
Oct 12, 2019
Aug 8, 2019
Aug 30, 2019
Sep 25, 2019
Jul 24, 2019
Jan 16, 2019
Oct 14, 2019
Sep 27, 2019
Jan 27, 2019
Jul 5, 2019
Jul 3, 2019
Video: How to deal with people talking behind your back
ATeenage Girl From Russia Saves aHomeless Man, and Her Kindness Inspires Thousands ofInternet Users
How to Persuade a Christian to Become Atheist
20 Creative Mohawks for Black Men
9 Cotton Gift Ideas for Your Second Anniversary
Biofeedback Therapy for Headache Relief
Nvidia spikes after short seller Andrew Left says he is buyer
Cheeseless Black Bean Lasagna
817 Miles and Counting: Shawn Hikes for MS Awareness
How to Donate Your Kidney
7 ways to improve your burger
You Can Now Buy the Property Brothers Entire Home Line on Amazon
Major costs, modest funding
How to Get Rid of Soreness
How to Be Thorough in Your Oral Hygiene Routine