How To Quash Rumours And Protect Your Reputation

This is quite a challenging topic to address as there are so many angles to consider. It’s the kind of topic that I would not normally tackle but recent events forced look at this objectively and take measures to protect my reputation.

This issue will raise questions about ego and how much you can actually prevent rumours, whether it’s a waste of energy and resources or should you just simply ignore it.

Firstly, working the the media, being a radio presenter, working as a comedian and being a blogger culminate to put me in the limelight in quite a big way. If you are in a similar position where you do put yourself in the limelight the more open and exposed you become.

Rumours can be true or not and can just come from people who are haters or jealous of your success and they can even come from people who you thought were your friends.

Whatever the source, it needs to be dealt with in a prudent way.

In my personal opinion, to ignore it is to simply bury your head in the sand.

The other option is of course to take proactive measures to make sure it is stopped in it’s tracks. That’s exactly what I did and why I’m so glad.

Being Passive

Just because you consider yourself a spiritual person doesn’t mean you hope the problem goes away using the Law of Attraction or breaking out the candles that ward of evil spirits. 😛

Being spiritual does not mean you have to be passive. I consider myself to be spiritual but I will always defend myself or those not strong enough to defend themselves.

Those Who Spread

It’s a sad truth that those who spread rumours are very weak and insecure. They are great marketers and have the gift of the gab so people will often buy into it. It stems from the need to belong.

When spreading rumours it enables them to connect with people and so they feel part of something bigger. They suddenly become interesting to those people and the response they get back is a bit like a drug. It feeds them and so then they feel the need to continue or that feeling will be lost.

Those Who Listen

In my opinion, those who pay attention to the rumours without either finding the truth out for themselves, or hearing the other side are much worse than the people who spread rumours. They also listen to feel a sense of belonging. In some cases it brings them joy to hear about the downfall of an individual.

Unfortunately it means they are also easily swayed and will believe pretty much anything they are told.

Both of those types are weak individually but feel powerful in groups that pay attention to them.

A person of true power, conviction and self respect will be feel powerful whether in a group or not; they will be indifferent to it.


When something like this occurs your first instinct might be to retaliate in some way! Do not retaliate! To do so puts you in the same category as the people who perpetuate or engage in gossip or hearsay.

You must fight the urge in every way possible and maybe even seek counsel until the feeling has passed.

Once it has, you can then move on and take the kind of action which is productive, not destructive.

Learning The Facts

It took a long time to piece together the puzzle of what these rumours were, how they got started and exactly how they were being perpetuated. I had to be careful that I wasn’t being a hypocrite and paying attention to hearsay.

The information I gathered from the many sources, the parts that tied up, are the parts you can relatively sure are true in the context of content of the rumours.

Pre-emptive Strike

This is not as harsh as it sounds. Basically I wanted to make sure I got to people first before anyone else did to make sure it was stopped in it’s tracks.

In the world of I.T. there is a concept in networking called spanning tree. It basically prevents loops in networks by putting network ports into a blocking state.

The pre-emptive strike is essentially the same principle. You essentially put blocks in to prevent the rumours going further. There is no guarantee of it’s success but it’s probably the best step you can take!

In this scenario I spoke to my peers, organisations where I volunteer or work at where I thought there was a chance of the rumour spreading to and even some social clubs at the first possible opportunity.

I explained that they was a chance that they would be hearing rumours about me. I said that they were not true, to not pay attention to them and that there are two sides to every story and should they ever wish to hear my side then they are more than welcome to ask me directly.

Once it was done I was relatively satisfied I’d put sufficient blocks in place to prevent the lies, hearsay and conjecture going any further.

Ego And Reputation

It this just an egoistic thing? Absolutely not! I for one have worked hard to be where I am today and to build that reputation. For someone to come along and potentially destroy it is simply not on!

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Warren Buffett

You only need look at tabloids to see the kinds of things said about celebrities that tear them down. Some bounce back, others do not. I’m writing this to make sure that should you ever be in the same situation that you are prepared and can bounce back.

I personally don’t read the tabloids and don’t care for gossip. Those people are human beings and whatever goes on in their personal lives is their business.

I’m so glad this all occurred for the following reasons.

i. It made me stronger and more resilient.
ii. It taught me how to deal with this should anything like this occur again.
iii. It taught me a lot about people and how to handle them.

I truly hope you never have to go through anything like this but should anything occur I truly hope that this helps you.

45 Responses

  1. Amit,

    I believe, many times spreading rumors can be flattery in some way. Many times ignoring such thing will do more good but it can be hard to come over as human we tend to be emotional people who react on emotion which is natural.

    Good to keep positive always.


    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Preeti, I agree with you to a certain level, I’ve had hate mail before and I as I mentioned on the post I wrote about it I considered it in the same vain as fan mail. However, this was entirely different. This was a person spreading various vicious lies about me. I had a choice; let it continue or take some action to protect all that I had built up. I chose the latter.

  2. J.D. Meier says:

    I really like the way you enumerated the options, and framed it out. It helps turn it from a problem into a challenge that can be acted on in a smart way.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Absolutely JD. I thought about it very carefully and decided it was the best option. Looking back, I ask if it happened again, what would I do? And my answer is exactly what I did.

  3. Hi Amit,
    The Art of War is a great book for doing or not doing battle with another. There was a time when I was younger that I believed much of what I heard, but as I got older and wiser I learned to use discretion when hearing something said about another.

    Take care…

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Justin,

      Firstly can I just say congrats on getting so many votes on being the best new blogger of 2011!! 🙂

      Believe it or not I’ve read it and that’s where I partly got the idea, not entirely…and there is no bad feeling on my part. I just saw it as a kind of battle where ultimately there is no winner, I just to the steps which I felt were best at the time.

      Thanks for the comment and good luck! 🙂

  4. Red Queen says:

    So how did you even know that these rumors were about to go around?

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Red, Good question. A very close friend showed me some text messages where the lies began and I’ve since seen heard that they’ve got more vicious. However, it really doesn’t bother me. I’m quite happy that I’ve feel I’ve done enough to prevent them going further. That was my only aim….by taking a single domino out I’ve stopped the domino effect. Does that make sense?

  5. R says:

    Hey! i personally think that people who start rumours have nothing else better to do, and have too much time on there hands, but it can be very hurtful if someone spreads lies about another person and very annoying to and sometimes these rumours can hurt just as much as criticisms to, but at the same time it teaches you alot about people their characters and who you can put your trust on….

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey R,

      It’s very true, I actually feel sorry for those kinds of individuals because as you said they have nothing better to do. Things like this occupy their minds. I’ve forgiven the people involved and if I were to ever meet them I’d just be myself and I’m not going to let the past affect how I deal with them now.

  6. Eddy says:

    It is very very difficult. It is more difficult than medical school or engineering and I’ve done both. The only thing that works is you have to compliment the person starting the rumor. You have to acknowledge that you know the false stories being told about you and also communicate that they aren’t true. At the same time, you must not say anything negative about anyone because you will just be adding more fuel to the fire. Adding some humor also shows confidence that these rumors are not affecting you. Eventually, the jealous person who started the rumor will stop as they see that you are not being affected and that you don’t see them as enemy. There is a chance that they may never stop but others will see that you are the good guy based on your actions. Other than that, humor is the only real way to deal with it but without insulting anyone in the process because that makes you no better than them.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hi Eddy,

      Thank you so much for leaving and sharing your thoughts on the subject. I couldn’t agree more with the humour. One of the reasons I took up comedy was to begin to see the funny in the all the insecurities I had and it truly does work wonders.

      Thanks again.

  7. Cynthia says:

    I’m a high school senior, and currently there’s a rumor going around about my sexual promiscuity. The thing is, some of what is being said is partially true. I’ve been hurt and angered by this situation, and I’ve really thought about revealing some of the not so pleasant things about the ex partner who made this all public. I realize now that that isn’t a good idea, and would make me just as bad. Thank you for this article.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Cynthia,

      It’s a tragic place to be in to have to deal with something like this but I’m glad you’ve made the decision you have and all in all, although you may not see it now, this event is there to serve you, to make you stronger. No matter what, know you’re not alone, there are people going through what you are right now, and there are people, genuine people, willing to listen and not just indulge in mindless gossip.



  8. sharlyn says:

    thank you for this article…
    its helped me realize I am needing to become stronger.
    my reputations been ruined because I am not weak but passive.
    i deal with autoimmune diseases and social anxiety.
    id love to start a blog to try and help myself help others.
    its always been sometwhing ive wanted to do is try and reach out to help others.
    im finding we must first help thyseol first
    i beleive anyone whos been put through this horrible thing is not a weakling if your still here to eventually get back up.
    it actually feels as though youve been beaten physically and mentally
    I also agree, those who are insecure and needing others to solidify who they are can be very cruel.
    it take a very strong person tomgo through a reputation fall to gey back up and prove thier innocence.
    i was bed ridden 3 years because of all the rumors gossip untruths said of myself.
    i almost felt guilty is how bad it has become..aguilty for not understanding or knowing what I did to cause others to bring me down to the ground.
    im being very brave by coming here to tell a bit of this…but thier comes a time where enough is enough and you learn like you said how to handle people.
    nobody is perfect I do know this.
    Although innocent people do not deserve thier reputation destroyeed.
    no matter what…
    just because some people do notmlike younfor what ever thier reason gives them no right to talk against you.
    Again thank you for this it gives people a chance to express themselves.
    id love to speak with you…:)

    • Wilhelmiina says:

      Thank you, Sharlyn. I would like to have discussed with you, sounds so familiar, including ruined health. But I can’t see any hope, yet. I feel that my whole life has been distroyed (and my partner’s, too) and there is no way to clean my reputation and rise up ever.

  9. Esi says:

    This rumors by haters have destroy my reputation though success follow me because I am opposite to what my haters say about me. But it is aweful to know that your story is being twisted and your name is being a bullied in communities and groups of people which you barely know they even exist. And I just realise these rumors effected me directly or indirectly. I don’t know what to do after years of being bullied.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Esi,

      It’s great to hear from you but understandably a difficult time for you. The most important thing is never just to take it. Take the kind of appropriate action that prevents further bullying. In my case above – I stopped the rumours from going further.

      In another example, in a job I used to work in, I used to get a lot of abuse from my colleagues, and one day I made the choice I wasn’t going to be their patsy no more. So I confronted one of them and had long chat with them to make it clear I wouldn’t take it no more. The other person involved, I started to give as good as I got, if they made fun of me, I made fun of them – but my jokes were better.

      My advice would always be to never just take it, the best solution is either to find a more creative way to absorb it, or return in kind.

      I hope some of that my help you Esi.

      All the best,


  10. Shane says:

    I have had people spread rumors about me that don’t even know me, the funny thing is when I looked up people that spread rumors it was all about kids doing it. but these people are older so not sure what that says about them. And not one person has been man enough to say anything to my face and are try so hard to hide it from me. after reading this page I see that like you say they must need to have some way of feeling some kind of power from lack of it. and maybe just be so bored they are trying hard to have something to talk about. nice to see you label them as weak and insecure.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Shane,

      Apologies for my delay in getting back to you, I’ve just returned from a holiday and I’m so glad you found this of use and especially the point about power. It sure does, for those people in question, it gives them a sense of significance and but for you, what is most important for you is what you choose to focus on in this moment…focus only on what is truly important to you, in creating the life you want, in enjoying your life and making it an adventure. Someone is always going to be ready to judge you for it, you just have to find your own way of accepting the way that life and people can be, and yet still move on and enjoy life! 🙂

      All the best


  11. K says:

    I feel like talking to friends about an upcoming rumor just adds more fuel to the fire? They will want to know what it’s about, etc., and it’s already painful enough knowing it’s going around..

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey K,

      Sometimes talking about it with the right people can help but I do understand how painful it can be so do whatever you need to, to rememdy the situation and do what you can do!

      All the best


  12. i like what you said i haven’t been fighting back there are pic i never took of me on the web being GAY and I have never been gay in my life i was married three time and i have date very pretty ladies my whole life I am Engineer for 10 yr and i have nice things people that i have never meet be saying am Gay and i never seen these people in my life and i can fight everyone for saying dumb shit and plus i dont need a jail record and people believe before they even speak to me

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Javier, what’s wrong with being gay? I don’t understand, maybe it’s because I live in a liberal place like the UK – but that’s something completely natural here.

      All the best


  13. bo says:


    I was doing business with these guy and we were using my mothers bakkie for a year and we bought our company car after a week he gave his friend our company car without me knowing that and then the car was involve in an accident and his friend run away did not pay for the car,after 2 months I decided to fix the car with my own money so that we can continue working and I also pay for the outstanding balance of the car because the garage wanted to take the car,after doing all that my business partner was busy spreading lies saying that he is the one who fixed the car and pay for the outstanding balance of the car and he was also saying that istole the money from our company and he was doing everything for me he even bought me a house and groceries, I’m very sad and I fill like killing him please help me

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey bo,

      There’s no simple answers to the points you mentioned, but it truly sounds like that is someone you should not have as a business partner – and maybe this situaion came along to you show you that before you and he developed the business futher – better to know this infomration now, then later down the line.

      All the best,


  14. julie Cottucci says:

    Thank you for your comments, they really made sense to me and have helped me with my plan.
    I feel my situation is horrendous as my daughter died but her partner started a hatred thing against me during her illness. I identified it in January, and moved away blocking his sms but unfortunately he started taking it out on my hospitalised daughter. It was akin to bullying. She died and he escalated his hatred spreading incredible lies, full of hatred and joined my ex partner and have taken a VRO against me which I will fight. There is much more but it sounds so horrendous when I see it written I cant even continue. I did believe at one stage that he was ill but infact he is very clever and wins a lot of support.

    Something however, which is very hard to bear is the fact that I do believe the lack of support and the ill will that he gave my daughter (he left her in April) she died in June contributed to her death.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hi Julie,

      I can’t even begin to tell you how saddened I am by your story. Naturally there is not a great deal I can do to help but I think you’re so brave by sharing it here and I truly hop you find a way through this. You strike me as very strong and a brave person.

      Sending you love


  15. Kyran says:

    Well i just got mtslef into this and i think reading this has prepared me for what will happen so im just happy that i did look up on what to do

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