Rumor Has It

Brooke Anderson, A&E Editor

Rumors are viruses. When you hear a rumor from a friend, they often seem juicy and exciting and you want to pass it along to your friend and then it becomes a vicious cycle. They seem harmless at first—I mean Sally wouldn’t mind if I told my friend I saw her flirting with Brad, right? What you don’t think about in the moment is how that might affect Sally and the people around her. What if Sally wasn’t really flirting with Brad? Now that I spread that rumor it could ruin her friendship with him.

That seems like a broad and somewhat stupid example, but the point I am trying to get across is spreading any rumor, even something as small and trivial as someone flirting with another person, can ruin friendships and relationships or even their reputation in some cases. It’s not that person you’re spreading rumors about fault that you have nothing decent to talk to your friends about. According to pbskids, “words hurt as much as a punch. Sometimes more, because a punch may be painful, but at least it’s over pretty fast.” People don’t understand how much their words can hurt or affect someone’s life and that needs to be addressed.

According to Our Everyday Life, “gossip gives the person being talked about the feeling of not being part of the group. It diminishes her self-worth and makes her feel as though others are more important or worthy of having friends.” When you find out that someone has spread a rumor about you it makes you feel awful. You feel as if you can no longer trust certain people.

I had a rumor spread about me once. I had taken a summer earth science class to get into biology in ninth grade when it happened. I didn’t know anyone so I kind of latched onto a group of familiar faces that I knew from my junior high. They had also made friends with this guy from a different school so I tried to get to know him and become friends with him like the other girls had. Apparently, it seemed like I was flirting with him so the girls told him I had a crush on him and it scared him off and he didn’t ever talk to me after that.

Rumors, especially ones that you are questioning the validity of, hurt. They hurt the people the rumors are about and the people around them. Who knows, maybe that guy would have become one of my best friends, but because they saw the need to spread the rumor that I had a crush on him it ruined any kind of friendship I could have had with him. Don’t be the person that ruins someone else just because you want something ‘exciting’ to tell your friends.