Surviving Gossip and Lies: 3 Ways to Move On When Your Reputation is Damaged

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

photo-24707230-goal-highlightAll Bonnie wanted was to continue as a great journalist for her major publication employer.  Then came the accusation.

An ex-informant who had aided Bonnie in reporting on a now-convicted embezzler, was claiming she “made up” his quotes and named him without permission.  In truth, he had repeatedly reached out to Bonnie and even made a brief appearance on television after the criminal’s trial.

As a whistleblower,  the man found it difficult to find anyone willing to hire him.  Suing Bonnie and the publication was his idea of income.  Bonnie listened in shock as her boss mumbled a few words and fired her.  It was she then who was blacklisted as potential liability.

One unchallenged lie of a selfish man destroyed her hopes and dreams.

So she changed them. Her passion for writing and research are now dedicated to charity fundraising.  She is content.  Bonnie’s in-depth stories move donors and change mindsets, amplifying her positive impact on the world.

 3 Ways You Too Can Survive Gossip and Lies

(1) Be completely honest.  Honesty begins with you and your thoughts.  Is there any behavior for which you need to make amends?  Is it your intention to add value to the world?  Without awareness we do not change.

If after self-inventory you believe your reputation was defamed through no fault of your own,  one option is to continue toward your goals despite what others think.

Ericka Daniels of EEW Magazine Buzz writes, “Gossip is a destructive cycle that leads to the undoing of the person spreading it. So hold your head up high. If there isn’t any truth to it, it will go away.”*  This may take time, however eventually your actions will speak louder than a gossip’s words.

(2) Reassess.  Sometimes it may be best for our mental health to end a relationship with an untrustworthy person, move to a new school or community, or change jobs.  Starting over comes with a mix of strong emotions.  Loss is hard, yet there is promise in the idea of a new beginning.  

Following a painful hit to my reputation due to lies and gossip, I felt my reasons for staying in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania wane. My sons and old friends were back home in Cleveland, Ohio. Two meaningful Pennsylvania relationships were difficult to lose, however moving has meant new opportunities.  It is a decision I am glad to have made.

(3) Say partial goodbyes to your plans. Bonnie enjoyed investigative journalism and the prestige of working for a major publication. However, breaking down the peripherals, she realized her basic joy is research and writing.  By finding a new way to use those gifts, she overcame what was once a disastrous situation.

Filter your expectations and allow the future its happy and not-so-happy surprises. Stay in the moment, practicing gratitude.  Ask, “Who do I want to be? What steps will I take today toward becoming that person?”  Fresh ways for using your talents can brighten each day.

Our Greatest Example

Jesus Christ, arguably the most misunderstood, misquoted, and slandered person to have ever lived, never forgot his mission. Enemies of his day cast rumors and lies throughout the population, even plotting his murder. Today, he is still maligned.

He left heaven for one purpose – not to defend himself, but to aim for the cross. He saw far beyond what others wanted to see, and right into our time, lives, and hearts. That is why he died, why he resurrected and why he promised to come back.

He loves you, no matter what anybody else says.

Today’s Helpful Word

Isaiah 53: 3-6

“He [Jesus] was despised and rejected—
    a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
    He was despised, and we did not care.

 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;  it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!

But he was pierced for our rebellion,  crushed for our sins.  He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.  All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.  We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord [God] laid on him the sins of us all.”


NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

*Based on a true story. Names and identifying details have been changed

*Daniels, Ericka. Empowering Everyday Women Online Magazine. Folks Gossiping About You? 5 Healthy Ways to Handle the Busybodies In Your Life. Retrieved on July 13, 2017 from


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