Rumor remedy: What to do when you are the victim of untrue rumors

Is someone spreading rumors about you? There’s a way to handle it. Photo: Untrue rumors can make a teen feel isolated.

SALT LAKE CITY, March 8, 2013 — Sometimes things aren’t that serious, but you aren’t sure what to do. You just want some advice. Write the Ask Angela Column by sending an email to or through the Ask Angela Facebook page.

Dear Angela, I recently heard a rumor about myself that is totally untrue.

It’s a small rumor that isn’t going to ruin my reputation or anything, but the more I think about it, the angrier it makes me! I don’t even know this guy! Who does he think he is? And how did he come up with something so ridiculous?

What makes matter worse is that I have some serious dirt on him that I had decided not to share. Well, I made that decision a couple months ago and in light of this new information, I think it’s time for me to say something. What’s your take? Should I share my info? Should I confront him? How should I handle this? Sincerely, K

Dear K, You have three main options:

1. Confront the guy.

2. Retaliate; spread rumors of your own; ruin his life.

3. Let it go.

You can choose any of the three or you can even create a combination plan using numbers one and two, but the best option, in the words of the rapper Mase would be to, “Breathe, stretch, shake, [and] let it go.”

Re-read what you’ve written here: “It’s a small rumor”, “It’s not going to ruin my reputation”, “I don’t even know this guy!”

So it’s obvious from your question that the rumor doesn’t really matter and neither does this guy. So take a deep breath and let it go. If you choose to obsess over this rumor, telling everyone, “I didn’t do this, I promise I didn’t do that,” “He made it up blah, blah, blah,” you’ll become the girl who doth protest too much, and that girl is always seen as guilty.

Your roommates clothes tumble out of the dryer. What to do?

So, if you want this rumor to remain as insignificant as it already is, then just let it go.

Besides, “letting things go” is a skill you should know how to employ for the rest of your life. It’s best to get practice doing it now.

Sometimes it’s hard to let things go, but look, you are probably already doing it. Here are some life examples, where you probably already apply this handy social tool: 

1.  You got your milk to cereal ratio wrong and there’s no more milk left. Not the perfect breakfast, but it still works. Let it go and eat up.

2.  Some girls called you Katie when your name is Kathy, but they walked away before you could correct them. Chase them down? No, for now, let it go.

3.  Your roommate leaves her clothes in the dryer and isn’t home to move them. Time to flip out? No, let it go.

4.  Your teacher calls on you, and the student behind you starts talking. Interrupt her in your best snooty voice and say, “Excuse me, he meant me”? Nope. Just let it go.

5.  Your mom starts telling you a story she’s already told you twice before. Stop her with a “Yeah, yeah, you told me last week”? Nope, again. Just let it go.

Angela Trusty is the author of the advice column Ask Angela. Ask Angela appears Tuesdays and Fridays here in Communities and Saturdays in the Deseret News. Follow Angela on twitter @angelatrusty.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Angela Trusty

Angela Trusty brings her great life observations and advice Communities.  Angela also authors   ‘Ask Angela’ which also appears bi-monthly in the Deseret News. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the lucky sibling of 5 sisters and 1 brother.

She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, but Baltimore will always be her home. 


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