DEALING WITH A FRIEND THAT IS SPREADING RUMORS ABOUT YOU
Friends are important in life. They make life more fun and enjoyable. Friends share ideas with one another, confide in one another, go on movie dates and are always ready to support each other during difficult times. It is hard for anyone to live in isolation and this is the reason we create social circles. Friends are there to create memories that last long with you. But, what happens when a friend stabs you in the back by spreading rumors about you? What happens when you realize that your friend is plotting for your downfall by tarnishing your image through sharing of false information?
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Spreading rumors about someone is one of the fastest ways to destroy friendships because nobody will be happy to hear false stories about them especially when it is being shared by a friend. It can be very painful and difficult to believe. The foundation of every friendship is trust and spreading rumors about someone can easily make you feel betrayed and damage the source of your trust for your friend. Trust is one thing that can take years to build with several moments where you have to earn it through honesty, genuineness, respect, originality but on the flip side, it takes seconds to destroy.
Back then in High School, I was very sick for a couple of weeks that I had to be admitted in an hospital. I was rushed to the hospital by the house master of the school's boarding house who also happened to be my Economics teacher, after I was constantly vomiting and feeling dizzy. It took a while for me to get well. On getting back to the school, I started hearing rumors that the reason I fell sick was because I attempted an abortion. It was very difficult for me to handle especially when I got to know that it was my very close friend that started it all. Guess what? It spread so fast among the students because they know us to be 5 and 6, that is, close friends. The only thing that made the defamation die down fast was the fact that I was taken to the hospital by a school representative and they have the firsthand results of the test that was carried out.
So, what are the best ways to handle a situation where your friend is spreading rumors about you?
It is painful to discover that your friend has been spreading rumors about you but it is advisable to stay calm despite your frustration. Don't make the matter more complicated by reacting immediately when you are at the peak of your anger. It is easy to do or say things that you may regret when you are first hit with the shock. Take some time to breathe and stay calm. It is best to evaluate the situation and unravel how it makes you feel.
The next step to take is to talk to your friend about the issue when your raging emotion is calm. This is not the time to mince words or beat around the bush. You must go straight to the point and let them know exactly how you feel. However, you must choose your words right. Try as much as possible to respect your friend and don't use words that would make the issue get worse. The reason why you are having a talk is to try and settle the issues by demanding to know the reason for his or her actions. Ask questions that will make them tell you if they are guilty or not.
More importantly, do not let the situation get the better of you. You may feel embarrassed and ashamed of yourself knowing that everyone is talking about you. Try not to isolate or hide yourself from other people. It is important to stay with people that you feel safe around even though it may be difficult because your trust was just punctured. Staying in contact with people during this trying time is important for your sanity so that you don't get into depression.
Moving forward, evaluate the outcome of your discussion with your friend. Don't not be too quick to draw conclusions after you have confronted her. Take time to reflect her reactions during the conversation. Is he or she remorseful, defensive or arrogant? The reaction she gives will let you know the next step of action to take. You have to decide whether you will be able to trust or give your friendship one more chance. One more thing is that will you be able to confide in him or her the way you used to do before?
A genuine friend that still have your interest at heart should show some sense of remorse for their actions. If you notice that your friend does not care about the outcome of the rumor she's spreading after you've had a conversation with her then it may be better to go your separate ways. It is unhealthy to stay in a toxic friendship.