PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Gossip And Rumors: From The Mentors

From Joyce
I think rumors are harmful 90% of the time. Sometimes when you get into a fight, it's somewhat "natural" for you to start saying bad things about the other person to another person. However, after you cool off, you'll usually regret what you've said. But if the people who heard you say that stuff twist your words and spread them around, you just can't stop it. It's like scattering feathers on the top of a mountain; you'll never be able to gather them all back! So my advice is to always think before you speak, especially when you want to say something bad about someone else. Just write all the things down and tear up the paper. It'll help you release your anger without getting you into trouble. When I hear that others are spreading rumors about me (which does happen occasionally), I usually ignore them. However, when others start spreading rumors about your family or those you love, talk to a parent or teacher about it.

From Tiffany
I think a rumor is harmless when it glorifies or exaggerates something good a person might have done. A rumor becomes ugly, on the other hand, when it hurts feelings or tarnishes the image of the person the rumor is about. When someone is spreading rumors about me, I try to find out who started them, and why. If it's a really outlandish rumor, I usually don't care, because not too many people will believe it anyway.

From Hydie
When I find out someone has been gossiping about me, I try not to get upset about it and just ignore it. But sometimes that's hard to do, especially if the rumor has to do with another person and not just me. In those cases, when it's not enough just to deny the rumor, I try to talk to the person responsible. Usually, the rumor was just a miscommunication and an honest mistake! That's why it's important to remember that talking to someone can be different from accusing or blaming. Being sensitive to the other person can really help you avoid a conflict. Sometimes though, it's not possible to deal with the person who started the rumor. For instance, you might not know who it was or if you do, you might not get along with that person. In those cases, I think it's best to just forget it and trust that your real friends will know the difference between the truth and the rumor. If you don't make a big deal about it, everybody else will soon forget about it and drop it!

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