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How to overcome small-town gossip

Updated April 17, 2017

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines a gossip as a person who reveals personal or sensational information about another person. Gossip can also be rumours, chatty talk or the act of spreading rumours about another person. Gossip can be hurtful, vengeful and detrimental to your life if you become the target. Small towns, where people are close-knit and tend to know and grow up with one another, can be notorious for gossip. Finding ways to overcome gossip can help you move on with your life if you find yourself being gossiped about.

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  1. Consider the source of the gossip and malicious talk. Most gossip comes from a person who is jealous, has self-esteem issues or other problems in her life. Gossiping about another person is a way to focus her negative feelings about her own life onto someone else. This type of gossip is meant to cause a reaction within you, and by ignoring it, you are not allowing the other person to succeed.

  2. Ignore the gossip, as long as it is not creating problems or issues in your personal or professional life. Hurtful words about your looks, home, friends, family and relationships can sting. However, ignoring the gossip prevents it from spreading further. Do not respond to the person spreading the rumours about you, as this may be enough motivation for him to stop.

  3. Confront the person or people gossiping about you, if you are comfortable doing so. Many people in small towns know each other (or at least know of each other), so you can talk to this person about the misinformation or rumour being spread through town about you.

  4. Counter the gossip by telling your side of the story. This can be especially important if the gossip is damaging your personal or professional reputation. Enlist friends and family to also counter any negative statements being spread around town.

  5. Hold your head high in spite of any gossip and rumours being spread about you. Small town gossip tends to focus on one person for a short period of time, moving to another person fairly quickly. Continue to live your life and be proud of who you are, no matter what any other person says.

  6. Tip

    Avoid gossiping or spreading rumours about other people. The saying "what goes around comes around" can be applied to gossip. People who gossip about others usually find themselves on the receiving end of rumours at some point in their lives.

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About the Author

Michelle Blessing has experience in child development, parenting, social relationships and mental health, enhanced by her work as a clinical therapist and parent educator. Blessing's work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and is pursuing her master's degree in psychology with a specialization in applied behavior analysis.

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