It's Not That Serious
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
Proverbs 19:11, Holy Bible
So many companies and people are falling into scandals these days. Large corporations, politicians, celebrities, and the teen at your local high school. No one is immune.
an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage.
the outrage or anger caused by a scandalous action or event.
rumor or malicious gossip about scandalous events or actions.
I'm not sure that I completely agree with this first definition. Malicious gossip can be false, mean, and hateful. Scandals are not always true even though the information in them is repeated and passed along as truth.
Gossip is called gossip because it's not always the truth. - Justin Timberlake
Living Your Unique means that you will likely attract some level of scandal and gossip. People will use your difference to point out how cool and smart they are. They get laughs and social status at the expense of your reputation.
How do you fight back when you are the target of malicious gossip?
The first thing that I will tell you is this: don't panic!
The worst thing that you can do at this point is allow the scandal or gossip to get next to you. My opening quote put it this way "be slow to anger." In other words, don't get caught up in the emotion of what people are saying about you.
On that note, I also do NOT want you to take this lying down. You deserve R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Embrace this. Don't let them convince you that your difference means you are "less than."
Here are three strategies to combat the ugliness of scandal and gossip:
Continue to live your life as if nothing is happening. This wikiHow walks you through 15 steps to Squelch Malicious Gossip. Being cool about it and IGNORING the comment let's them know that "this doesn't bother me." Continue to tell yourself "this too shall pass." Remember that you will not be in this situation permanently.
Remember that the gossiper is the one with the problem. This article on How to Stop Gossiping and Creating Drama reminds us of this FACT: I don't own the problem, the gossiper does! People who spread rumors and exaggerate facts have their own problems. You are not the problem here. They are! Remember that.
Be your best self. One of the things that can catapult us downhill when dealing with scandal and gossip is that it often contains a kernel of truth. When I was in high school, I once wore socks that didn't match - by accident. It wasn't a trend back then. Someone saw it and decided to make a big deal of it. So I pretended that it was my own trend. "Yeah, it is really cool isn't it?" In other words, own the true part and flip the script. Here are some more strategies from Harvard Business Review to help you change a bad reputation.
I hope this post and these three articles have helped you see that you CAN live beyond scandal and gossip. Focus on living Your Unique, holding the gossiper accountable for their behavior, and living the best version of You.
Don't get caught up. It is NOT that serious.
And know that you have someone here who is in your corner. The world needs Your Unique!
And I am cheering for you!