This week I decided to share an article that I had written with you. Feel free to comment or share. Thank you.

by: Rebecca Taylor

Communication can be a great thing but sometimes the wrong messages are being sent out. In this age of social media, e-mail forwarding and just plain talk around the town; certain problems have been known to arise. While it can be great to be interested in other people’s lives – sometimes things get out of hand. Rumours tend to pop up – and they can be hurtful. Some rumours are simply misunderstandings because someone didn’t get the whole story, or through the telling the details got skewed like a game of telephone that children play in elementary school. However, some people seem to derive pleasure from making up things and spreading them around. I would like to remind everyone about the importance of getting the facts right before talking about someone else. Before you spread something around – think about the other people involved. Is what you are planning to say going to cause harm, difficulties in relationships etc. Some rumours lead to allegations which could lead to slander.

George Washington said, “Serious misfortunes, originating in misrepresentation, frequently flow and spread before they can be dissipated by truth.”  Think before you speak because while the story might seem interesting now – what if you were on the other side? It is too easy to speak before we think.

For the person dealing with the effects of the rumour – it can be extremely difficult and in some cases severe emotional and relationship difficulties can take place. If you think it is important for someone to know a rumour for whatever reason – you need to think carefully. Sometimes, a rumour can easily be sorted out by going to the person that the rumour is about but this could be problematic as it would mean letting the person the rumour is about – know that there is a rumour and this could cause hurt. This gives us a vicious circle. Shana Alexander (journalist) said, “Trying to squash a rumor is like trying to unring a bell,” so once something is out there, the stigma may be long lasting even though there is little or no truth to what is being said.

We are all responsible for bettering our own lives and that of our communities – rumours are not helpful – they cause unnecessary aggravation. If we all make a conscious effort to think about whom and what we are talking about, we can help minimize the effects of idle gossip. None of us want to be the topic of a rumour and we don’t want the people that we care about to be either. It’s time to take back the conversation by considering what people are saying and should we repeat it or at least question it. You cannot believe everything you hear or read.

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