Gossip is alive and well and thriving on social media these days. Some people honestly have nothing better to do than run others down. How can you conduct yourself so as to avoid gossip & remain professional?
- If you happen to be caught up in a conversation that quickly turns to gossip, try to steer the conversation to another subject or politely suggest that since the person being discussed is not physically there to defend themselves against attacks, it might be better to discuss something else.
- Never, ever repeat any gossip, unless it involves a very close friend or family member and you feel the allegations made behind their backs are serious enough to warrant a discussion with them directly. Repeating hurtful or petty gossip will not help anyone, it will only make you unpopular for partaking in the gossip in the first place.
- If you resign from your job or freelance position, don’t discuss your reasons with other people. Simply say “Things didn’t work out as planned” and leave it at that.
- Develop the philosophy “What you think of me is your business, and what I think of you is mine.” People don’t need to know what you think of them. Nobody is perfect and just because you don’t like someone doesn’t mean they should stop existing. You are not going to like everyone you meet and not everyone you meet is going to like you. By the same token, if someone insists on telling you what they think of you, tell them it’s none of your business.
- The less you rely on other people’s opinions of you to feel good, the stronger your self-esteem will become. People with strong self-esteems are more successful in life because they can rely on themselves to feel good.
- Are people talking about you behind your back? Ignore it. Let them continue if it makes them feel important. Don’t react, don’t lash out and don’t try to defend yourself. Keep your head up high and continue living your life with integrity. There will ALWAYS be people talking behind your back, so get used to it.
- Make a point of always saying something nice about people behind their backs and learn to focus on people’s positive traits rather than their negative traits.
- Avoid gossipers at all costs and do not become friends with vicious people who like to gossip because you can bet 6 month’s pay they will gossip about you behind your back if given half a chance. Choose your friends wisely!
- Learn to mind your own business. Who cares what people do in their personal lives? As long as it doesn’t directly affect your job or negatively impact on you at work, does it matter? Nobody said you had to be friends with everyone you work with.
- There are times when gossip can be very damaging to your professional reputation and may warrant a visit to an attorney to issue a letter warning the guilty party that they may be sued for defamation if the gossip continues.
If you avoid gossip, gossip will tend to avoid you. Live with integrity, help others where you can, be kind and compassionate, be polite and behave professionally. If you do all of that, gossipers will find it difficult to gossip about you and when they do there are usually enough people around who will come to your defense.
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About the writer:
Amour Setter is an award-winning filmmaker, international producer, and principal at Auteur Film School.