How to Confront Someone Who Started a Rumor About You

High school is as full of rumors as Regina George's hair is full of secrets.

Whether the rumors are big or small, about students or about teachers, completely untrue or based in fact, no one is off limits when it comes to tales told out of school.

No matter what the case may be, we've got some universal advice for confronting anyone who has started a rumor.

If you've found yourself in this unfortunate position, continue reading for ways to ensure a smoother conversation with your rumor-starter, one that may finally put the rumor to rest.

Cool Your Jets, Man

We both know that this totally false rumor has been a major injustice on your life. But before you confront the person who started this mess, try as hard as you can to settle your emotions first. Bringing an explosive energy to the match will only give your fellow students something else to talk about.

Perhaps even give the person the benefit of the doubt—you never know, maybe this whole thing was a big misunderstanding. That said, remain firm. Now is no time to let this person walk all over you.

Cady confronting Ms. Norbury about rumor

(Mean Girls via Paramount Pictures)

 

Get Your Facts Straight

Whatever the rumor is about, get ready to discredit these false facts with some reality. Come to the conversation ready to win with a list of concrete reasons why the rumor can't possibly be true. Setting the record straight is a sure-fire way to put the rumor to rest.

Rumors can often hurt the person they are directly about, but an unfortunate side effect is that these lies can also hurt others. You'll definitely want to crush this rumor if more than one person is affected.

 

At First, Tread Lightly

To get super meta, it may be a rumor that this person even started the rumor. Remember that rumors can spread like wildfire, and the source isn't always clear. Just because you've been told that this person started the rumor doesn't mean it's true. Remember, someone else could be covering their butt. This is another reason to remain calm before the rumor spirals even deeper.

Regina George spreading rumors

(Mean Girls via Paramount Pictures)

 

Have a Support System

Let your friends know that you plan on confronting this person before you start the conversation. Having people by your side, ready to support you if things go south, is a good way to remain strong in the face of injustice. You don't have to settle this dispute on your own. Hey, that's what friends are for!

 

Conduct the Convo Privately

As much as you may think you want a public showdown with this wrong-doer, you really don't. Ask to talk to them privately so that you can have a heart-to-heart without the peeping eyes of onlookers. You're both more likely to be on the defensive if your friends are by your side, egging you on; it's a recipe for a messy, verbal disaster.

Keeping things private promises a more relaxed convo, which is much more likely to end in an apologetic hug rather than a string of unapologetic words.

Hallie and Annie at camp

(The Parent Trap via Walt Disney Pictures)

 

Demand to Know 'Why'

You have every right to know why this person thought they needed to start a rumor about you—especially one that has absolutely no shred of truth to it. You may find during this conversation that the rumor-starter laughs off the situation, downplays the significance or generally isn't remorseful. In the face of this aloof response, demand to know the reason why.

By etching away at the surface of the problem, you'll eventually get to a point where the rumor-starter realizes this behavior is totally unnecessary. They'll likely be embarrassed for resorting to such childish act. Asking this question may even ensure that they never start a rumor about you—or anyone—again.

 

If you aren't quite ready to address the issue face-to-face, click HERE for five other helpful ways of dealing with a rumor.