How to Deal With Rumors


Rumor is widely spread talk without a reliable source, like “They say John is getting married soon!” or “I heard he used to be a thief.”

Rumors can seem harmless; they can also hurt. They can ruin a person’s reputation and even their health. They are not easy to get rid of either. Unlike true gossip, rumors tend to stick in people’s heads for a long time, even after they are proved false.

As it is impossible to verify a rumor, it is important to know how to distinguish it from actual news. Often, a rumor will stir up our emotions and affect our decision making, especially if it has been affecting our health. For instance, if you hear that a famous person died, it can trigger panic and irrational behavior. It can also cause us to lose sleep and make irrational decisions at work or in life.

Some rumors may be confirmed as true, but most of them cannot. For example, a student might overhear teachers discussing an early dismissal before it is announced and know that the rumor is true. However, other rumors might not be confirmed at all, such as the rumor that a rap superstar stopped by for ice cream in your hometown.

With the advent of social media, rumor spreading has become easier and faster. As everyone in the social network is both a receiver and a spreader of information, a rumor can have an enormous impact on society.

In fact, a rumor can be enough to cause an entire nation to panic. The rumor that the nuclear leakage caused by Fukushima will pollute salt was widely spread on the internet in 2011 and led to a massive consumption of salt around the world.

As such, it is important to know how to deal with rumors at work and at home. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent them from becoming harmful. In the workplace, effective leaders should do their best to reduce ambiguity and create an environment where open communication is possible. This way, employees can ask questions and be reassured about what is really going on.

Another way to stop rumors is by practicing active listening. This will allow you to understand the other person’s perspective and help them defuse tension. Additionally, it is essential to avoid gossiping and using social media to besmirch other people’s reputations. Ultimately, office gossip is not good for the team’s morale or the company’s reputation.