“I’m having trouble with some stories that I’ve heard about myself that aren’t true. I was just wondering if you could perhaps give some advice on handling having a rumour being spread about you with poise? Because I am dreading school.”

I’m so sorry that this is happening to you. It’s really frustrating to be forced into a small space with people who are treating you badly. The good news is that as you get older, you can take a more proactive stance in deciding who you want in your life. The bad news is that there are always going to be small-minded people with no lives of their own who insist on talking smack about others.

The best thing to do in a situation like this is to think of someone you admire, & try to imagine what they would do in a similar situation. When there are stories going around about celebrities, most of the time you’ll find that they won’t dignify the rumour with a response — they act as if it’s not happening, or just laugh it off. But sometimes you’ll find that they or their publicists will make a public statement to refute the rumour, usually only if it is a fairly serious accusation or something really nasty.

For example, Mary-Kate Olsen has ridiculous stories published about her all the time, as she verifies in the video above. “Who’s Dying Today?!” The video is totally worth watching, actually, because she talks about how you have to take gossip with a light heart & just brush it off. However, when she was admitted to rehab in 2004 for her eating disorder, the gossip rags murmured that anorexia was just a cover for something more sordid — an alleged drug addiction. Her publicist slammed those reports, saying, “Mary-Kate was not admitted for drugs. Period.”

So, just like celebrities do, keep in mind that how you react to the gossip-mongering should depend on what is being said about you. If it’s something ridiculous & inconsequential, then the best thing to do is just ignore it gracefully. If you make a big deal about it, it just looks like you want attention — which you will get, in spades, but it won’t be positive.

On the other hand, if someone is spreading something malicious or troublesome about you, then you need to form a plan of attack!

Find out who started the rumour & speak to them about it
It might be difficult to get to the bottom of the rumour-spreading, but you will find out. The person who is at fault might try to shift the blame to someone else, but you will know in your heart whether they did or not. When you know who the guilty party is, talk to them. Arrange a time to speak to them in private, or call them at home. Think about what you’re going to say ahead of time, & then go in for the kill. Tell them that you are aware that they’re gossiping about you, that it’s not true & that you want them to stop. I know it sounds crazy, but often this stops people in their tracks. They’ll realise that they’ve been caught & they’ll probably be embarrassed about it. If this conversation doesn’t seem to phaze them, you might want to talk to someone higher up — like your parents, teacher, boss, etc.

If someone mentions it to you, or asks you whether the gossip is true, smile & say no
The best defence is to be charming & happy & vivacious, & to act as if you don’t care — even if you do. After all, if someone is scowling & lying & telling nasty stories about you, & you seem to be happy & having a good time, who are people going to want to align themselves with? That’s right — you. People who gossip seem to hold all the cards, because they have their bullying tactics sussed, but actually, no one wants to be friends with these people. Mostly, people are nice to people who gossip because they’re afraid of being the next target. So don’t sweat it. You’re in the right, & people will realise it soon.

Find someone to back you up
You’ll feel much better knowing that you have a friend or two who believe you & are happy to defend your reputation. Brief them on how you’d like the whole affair handled — i.e., smiling & correcting people’s assumptions, rather than jump-kicking people in the throat if they even make a slight smirk in your direction!

Get rid of all of your anger regarding the lies
People usually spread rumours because they want to hurt someone or get a reaction. If you don’t show that you’re upset, & refuse to react to their childish antics, they will get bored & move on. Use EFT to get rid of your anger, confusion, distrust & bitterness. Alternatively, have a huge ragey shouting session in your bedroom until you’re hoarse — get everything on the subject out of your mind, & then get on with life.

Know that you can’t change anyone’s mind
The more you crow about your innocence, the guiltier you appear. Make a statement & leave it at that. It’s not your job to fix your reputation in someone else’s mind — & it never works, anyway. Let it go. Take a deep breath. I know that someone talking rubbish about you hurts, but remember — it won’t last forever. Just wait it out. Don’t be tempted to seek revenge: your life will be happier & less complicated if you just leave it alone.

Good luck to you, honey. I hope it all blows over soon.

“The only gossip I’m interested in is things from the Weekly World News: ‘Woman’s bra bursts, 11 injured’. That kind of thing.” — Johnny Depp