In a professional environment, protecting your reputation should be a priority.
Most would think of protecting their reputation in a direct way, by directly tackling external attacks on it with logical arguments and responses. Attacks on reputation however, are seldom sourced from logical reasons. Figuring out why there are attacks on your reputation and why gossip about you exists is a useless venture, as the attacks have already been made and the gossip has already been spread.
What you do when you find out about the attacks on your reputation and the gossip that is being spread about you is however, an important moment. You have to first realize that any gossip about you may not be a personal attack on you as much as it is a political ploy for someone to rise and take your place in an organization.
Approach these attacks analytically rather than emotionally. Gossip about you will either be true or it won’t be, but your starting point is should always be one of objective analysis.
Seeing Without Reacting
Your first goal should be for the gossip to not affect you in any form emotionally. You must acknowledge its existence without being trapped in the feelings that it gives birth to. Your frame should not hinder in the face of naysayers and attackers who operate behind your back.
One thing you should never do is reply with attacks of your own, as that is an automatic approval of any gossip that is spoken about you.
The short answer to how to make gossip about you become invalid is to continue being a good person, and acknowledge any truth that may be present in the attacks.
Know that attacks on your reputation will frequently contain an ounce of truth wrapped in a load of lies. Be honest with yourself and others, and if gossip about you contains any form of truth, then you must address it. Do not feel the need to respond in offensive ways toward the source of gossip. Do your best in disputing blatant lies with clarity, authority, but only once.
Addressing Truths in Mostly Untrue Gossip is Important
Your focus should be on addressing the hurtful truths about yourself and ignoring all the lies which they were wrapped in.
Go on being what you think a good person should be and always know that you cannot control who will believe the lies spread about you. The only thing you can control in these situations is how you will react to these attacks, so make sure to react in a truthful and noble way.
As time goes on, the lies spread about you will be disproved by the behavior that you hold yourself to. The people that started the gossip and attacks on your reputation will slowly take on the very traits that they’ve tried to label you as. They will become the liars and gossipers while your reputation is propelled by their efforts to destroy it.
Remember, if their malicious efforts are backed by truth, then change at once.
If their efforts are blatant lies, then your reputation will be in better shape than they found it in the long run. Focusing on proving the lies they spread wrong not with your words, but with your consistent actions, will utilize the energy they’ve put into discrediting you towards further building your reputation. To ensure this happens, act in truthful fashion, and be faithful to the standards that you hold yourself and others accountable to.
Breaking the Fourth Wall is Often Well Received
A method which may come in handy is to reference your knowledge of the gossip being spread about you in a sarcastic manner. This tactic works well when the gossip about you is damaging, but not overtly sensitive.
For instance, if there is gossip at your workplace about your short temper, then jokingly saying, “Be careful Jim! I’m known to have a short temper,” in a meeting can positively influence those who look on.
The reason this method works with topics which aren’t sensitive in nature is due to your act of addressing the elephant in the room and poking it with a stick.
Those around you will feel a sense of relief in your act of addressing whatever gossip may be going around you without them needing to. They’ll perceive you to be on the same page with them about their interpretation of you, all the while you go on to refute its accuracy with your calm demeanor.
Your ability to poke fun at a certain piece of juicy gossip about you does well to communicate its embellished nature.
Since you wouldn’t be taking it seriously, those who do would begin to question its legitimacy. Your addressal, yet refusal to refute the gossip being spread about you would indicate that you don’t perceive its truth to be damaging to you.