The synonyms of the word ‘Rumour’ are comment, news, fabrication, report, falsehood, scandal, gossip, story, hearsay, suggestion, hoax, tale, whisper, word, lie, innuendo.
There were 16 such words above that were quite relevant to the word ‘Rumour’, but out of those 16 words, 10 are extremely negative. All the previously published articles have explained about this topic in detail. But we all agree that rumour never does any good to the gossip mongers or the victim of the same.
I was wondering about the person who becomes the topic of discussion among many, about whom the rumour is being spread, who is blamed and accused indirectly instead of being talked or addressed in person or face to face. Just imagine how hurtful it is to be the topic of discussion for no reason. Just imagine how the person must be leading his or her life when he or she knows that there’re people talking behind him or her falsely.
A rumour about someone who is innocent can cause majorly four damages to that person:
- It destroys his/her REPUTATION
- It pushes him/her into NEEDLESS MENTAL STRESS
- It makes him/her to SELF-ALIENATE from own people even
- It stops his/her PROGRESS for SOMETIME or for LIFETIME
But I want to focus on the part where we can get out of this phase of being the target of rumours and gossips and live out our life as we, our family and our God intended for us.
I am very much aware of the rumours and gossips that have been spreading around in our community concerning my inability, my sickness and the assumptions they cook out of them.
Am I affected by it?
Yes, of course! I feel my reputation is spoiled, I avoid to face certain people in my life, even I avoid to talk to people over the phone, I suffer from regrets and mental stress… BUT I never allowed them to stop me going ahead…
Why and How?
‘How to handle rumours when we are the target?’ – I have FIVE solid steps that I follow and can help all of us dealing with rumours and gossips when we are the victims of it.
- Step back: Stepping back from the situation and the negative emotions surrounding us, temporarily help us big time. When the fire flares in front of us, we step back reflexively before we plan to control it. It is the same way that we need to follow when we face the flares of rumours and gossips trying to burn our reputation. Acting on our negative emotions like revenge and anger can cause more problems to us, so it is wise for us to step back for some time, till our negative emotions towards the person or the whole situation dies down.
This stepping back has always helped me to reorganize my emotions and reacting impulsively has always put me into shame and disgust. Take my words… I have gone through it.
2. Forgive and forget: When we step back, we plan to deal with the situation. We struggle to be at peace at the memory, the hurts haunt us. We might feel that avenging the person who wronged us or seeing them punished would give us peace of mind. But that’s not the truth. A negative feeling won’t be eradicated with another negative act. Only forgiving and forgetting the person who had done wrong to us with the help from above divinely can actually calms our hearts and minds down.
Today, I was talking to someone who wants to see her perpetrators to be punished in front of her eyes so that she can have peace. But I lovingly made her understand that’s not how someone can attain peace. It is only forgiving the person who wronged us, can allow God to work within us and we can have peace that is beyond human understanding.
3. De-identifying from the situation: We have a habit of identifying ourselves or relate to the situation very quickly or quite impulsively. That pulls us behind always. A rumour is an act of a person who is flawed. Though we are not perfect, yet we need to remember that someone else’s remark or the remarks of people don’t certify our characters. So why to identify or recognize the situation as a reflection of us or our characters? De-identifying from the situation is absolutely fantastic to deal well with the rumours and gossips against us.
4. Refocus and Look at the bigger picture: I always try to apply this step in my life. My future doesn’t depend on what people think or say of me. I am solely responsible for my life, no one else. It is only God who can make me or break me. I know this truth yet at times I struggle because of what people talk behind me, close ones spread rumours about me. I falter yet, try to shift my focus ahead instead of looking here and there.
Looking at the bigger picture of our life is important instead of dwelling in the mess created by some gossip and rumour mongers.
5. Respond to the person who wronged us: This step is optional. This step can be taken when we have come out of the mess completely and have built ourselves to help others going through such difficulties. We can go up to the person who wronged us or spread rumours about us and explain how hurtful what he or she did to us. It is always good to let the person know how it feels. But this step can be avoided if we are not confident enough to face the man or woman caused us so much pain.
Are you a target of gossip and rumour, today? I want to encourage all of you to follow the above mentioned steps and what Rajnandini suggested in her article on this topic – “I would urge you to take your hurts and scars to God who would heal you and fill your heart with His peace.”
While closing this article, I want to address to the people who knowingly or unknowingly become the medium of a rumour or lie about someone who is innocent. I will just quote a verse from the Bible for them where it instructs to think and understand about a few attributes that are very essential for our as well as the welfare of others… And in that list ‘following what is true’ is mentioned first.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Friends! Let’s choose TRUTH over LIES. Let’s turn away our ears from rumours and strive to search and research the Truth about everything and everyone. Let’s not heed a rumour and participate in a gossip journey which can be hurtful to someone who’s innocent.
Stay watchful and careful of rumour and gossips…