You, no doubt, have experienced the damaging effects of people gossiping about you. If you haven’t, consider yourself fortunate. Gossiping is such a popular way for people to spend their time, and tragically, the damage it can do spreads like a virus, until someone’s reputation is seriously damaged.
Figure out what kind of person you want to be, and then work on showing that to other people.
Perhaps you’ve been the focus of some gossip, and your reputation has been hurt. Maybe you’ve made some bad choices, and the gossipers are now using them against you. Or maybe someone is making up lies about you, simply trying to hurt you. You may feel like there’s no chance to counteract the horrible things they are saying. It’s going to take some time, but trust me, you can rebuild your reputation. Here are some ideas on how to do it…
1) Ignore the negative. It is very important to stop listening to all the bad things being said about you—it will only bring you down and leave you feeling discouraged and hopeless.
That was Sarah’s experience, “I was driving myself crazy, listening or even trying to imagine what other people were saying about me. I had to stop. Then I could finally move on.”
2) Figure out what kind of person you want to be, and then work on showing that to other people. You’re well aware of how you don’t want people to view you. How do you want them to view you? And why?
3) Find one other person you can talk to who will remind you of the person you want to be, and believes the best about you. If you can’t find anyone, be that person for yourself.
Are your friends adding to, or taking away, from your reputation?
Devon commented: “Until I could find a good friend, I had to keep telling myself over and over I am not the person they say I am. I’m a good person and though I’m not perfect, I’m working on getting better.”
4) Be honest about your mistakes. If the source of the gossip is rooted in truth, let people (especially the people you care about the most) know what is true, but that you want to change. Then, over time, go about proving it to them!
Time will usually heal a lot of difficult situations.
5) Figure out if you need a new group of friends. Are your friends adding value to, or taking away, from your reputation? If they are affecting your reputation in a negative way, you don’t have to neglect, or start talking badly about them, but you might want to add some new people into your life—people who are known to say encouraging and positive things.
Misty said: “I found out from another friend that the people I was hanging out with were only hurting my reputation. I still care about them, but I need to be careful about what influence they might be having on me.”
6) Show you care about other people. Smile, and be nice to people you see. Take a genuine interest in what other people are doing or thinking. People always appreciate someone who seems to care. You’ll find that people will be drawn to you, and less likely to talk badly about you.
7) Make a little change. Sometimes changing something as simple as your hairstyle or your clothes will make a ton of difference in how people view you. Be creative, and don’t be afraid to “conform” just a little bit to what seems to be the current looks.
Don’t ever try to turn into something you are not.
8) Be patient. It takes time to build a good reputation. And even more time to rebuild a damaged one. In time, the truth about you will be known. A good reputation is hard to destroy. Who you are as a person speaks for itself. Besides, sometimes people go on with their own lives, and forget what was said about you.
David had this experience: “I had people saying bad things about me. But after a while, people just kind of forgot about it. You just have to be patient and stay confident.”
Hint • If you’re feeling like you need to rebuild your reputation, ask your close friends or family what they see to be your positive or negative traits. What do they think would be beneficial for you to adjust, in order to help improve your reputation?
No matter what you do to rebuild your reputation, don’t ever try to turn into something you are not. Just remember to be true to yourself, and honest to your closest friends. As you seek to live the best life you can, you will be able to hold your head held high—no matter what other people say about you.
Next week, I’m going to write about how to Protect Your Reputation. What are some of the things you do to keep your reputation gossip-free? Let me know. Thanks for your help!