Advice for Teens About Rumors and Gossip
Rumors and gossip can be tough for teens to face today; some teens love to make up stories about other kids at school and spread nasty gossip, even if it’s not true. This can be difficult for the teen who is the subject of those rumors and that gossip, as they may develop an unfair reputation and even see their own friends leave them over what they hear from others. If you’re a teen facing this type of situation at school or have a teen at home who has been the subject of untrue rumors, what can you do?
Ignoring the rumors and gossip can be a good course of action for some. Very often people will soon realize that these are just outright lies, and the person spreading the lies may get a reputation themselves as being someone that simply makes up gossip. It can be difficult to be patient and let rumors die down, but sometimes this might be the best choice. In a few months your teen may see that no one is even thinking about those rumors, much less taking them seriously.
In other cases, spreading the truth can also help. If you and your friends make it a point to respond with the truth every time you hear a rumor or some gossip repeated, this can cause fewer people to believe the untruth. For example, if someone spreads a rumor that you’ve done drugs at a certain party or slept with someone, you and your friends can respond to that rumor by telling the truth that you never touched the drugs or never touched that certain someone. State quite clearly that whoever is spreading that rumor is a liar. Other teens may even be impelled to confront the person spreading the rumors and the gossip about their lies.
In some extreme cases, it may be good to enlist the help of a school counselor or other administrators. If someone is spreading dangerous rumors, such as saying that a teen has guns or does drugs or is sleeping with others, these things can actually be considered slander and therefore illegal. A counselor may have a meeting with the parents of the teen spreading the rumors or may be able to offer suggestions.
In all cases, it’s good for teens to remember that school is only temporary and has very little to do with your life once it’s finished. Too often teens get depressed or anxious about school and their friends and what’s happening to them during the school year, but forget that it will soon be over and they can go on with their adult lives. The kids they go to school with now will go to different colleges or get jobs or move away, and everyone will make new friends. Rumors and gossip about teens now are not important when you consider the big picture of your entire life.