How to Respond When Someone Spreads Lies About You: 16 Steps

how to respond when someone spreads lies about you

Have you ever had to deal with a rumor or lie being spread about you? Maybe it was something simple like someone disliking you or your work.

Or maybe it was a little more serious. Whatever the case, dealing with negative rumors about yourself is not fun.

There are a lot of benefits to telling the truth. But on the other hand, people love a good story which is precisely why they spread lies so quickly. How to respond when someone spreads lies about you might not be so easy.

It’s just disheartening how much women (and men) continue to face when it comes to telling the truth about, abuse, and misconduct

In a perfect world, people wouldn’t spread lies about you. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world.

When people start to spread rumors about you, it can be difficult to handle the situation. Should you confront them? How should you respond? Read on to find out how to respond when someone spreads lies about you.

Whether someone is lying about you or you just want to validate your own story, here are some ways to handle the situation.  

What to do When Someone Spreads Lies About You

I’m sure this has happened to you at one point: a lie spreads about you that is so outrageous, so opposite to the truth, that it takes your breath away.

You feel exposed and vulnerable, even angry.  You get frustrated when someone spreads lies about you  It makes you want to call them out, or publically shame them.

You’re not alone. Luckily, there’s a better way to act and how to respond when someone spreads lies about you.

Imagine for a second that someone you care about is telling lies about you and it’s starting to destroy your reputation.

What would you do in this situation? The answer depends on the type of relationship you have with this person, but some common threads run through every difficult situation, sometimes we’re put in these kinds of situations at work.

This will teach you what to do when someone spreads lies about you.

1. Figure out who you can trust

It’s important to find a few people you can talk to about what’s going on, people who you know care about you, even if it’s just your mom or a close friend.

Let them know what’s happening and ask for their support. They might not be able to offer advice, but they can help you feel less alone and more supported.

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2. Speak with the person spreading the lies

If you have the opportunity to speak directly with the person who is spreading lies about you, make sure that you keep your cool.

Don’t respond with anger or hostility — instead, use this as an opportunity to tell them that you would appreciate it if they stopped spreading false information about you.

3. Limit contact with the person or people spreading lies about you

If someone has spread lies about you, the best thing you can do is limit your contact with them.

If you are in a situation where you must interact, such as at work or school, try not to let it get out of hand.

If they continue to spread lies about you and/or harass you, then report them to a supervisor or teacher.

They may be able to help reduce communication between the two of you and provide other resources.

4. Document the situation

If someone is spreading rumors about you and making false accusations against you, it’s important to document everything that happened so that if they continue their behavior, it’s clear what they’ve done and there’s evidence available for others to see as well.

This can also be helpful if there ever comes a time when someone tries to deny what they said or did — maybe even denying that it ever happened at all.

By being able to reference things like emails, text messages, social media posts, and more that support your side of things (and show theirs), it makes it much harder for them to lie about what went down between both parties involved.

5. Don’t run around trying to defend yourself

The first thing you need to do is calm down and don’t get defensive because it will make everything worse.

If you feel like you are being attacked, then just let the situation go. You don’t want to get into an argument with someone who is trying to use your weaknesses against you.

6. Don’t internalize the pain and don’t let it define who you are as a person

The second thing that you can do is not take this too personally and try not to internalize all of the negative things that others say about you.

The reason why people gossip or talk badly about others is that they are insecure about themselves or they want to make themselves feel better by bringing others down.

So instead of getting angry at these people, just ignore them completely because there’s nothing more that they can say about yourself that would change who you are as a person.

7. Don’t panic

It’s natural to feel angry and upset when someone lies about you, but try not to react quickly, especially if you’re in a public place where people can hear you.

Even if you know you didn’t do anything wrong, it’s important to stay calm and rational so that you don’t say or do anything that could further damage your reputation.

How to Deal with Rumors at Work About You

You used to like your job. It was probably the easiest job you had ever had because you got along well with your co-workers.

Then one day, rumors began about you. The rumor is harmful to your reputation as a work ethic and you feel stuck and unable to decide what to do how to respond when someone spreads lies about you.

No matter how good a team player you are, it is inevitable that there will be some people at your workplace who won’t like you, or who won’t like the way you do things.

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Even if you try to get along with everyone, some people will always have an issue with you for one reason or another.

The worst thing you can do, though, is to try to fight the rumors and allegations being said about you. Instead of fighting back, it is more important to take proactive steps in dealing with what others think of you.

What’s the best way on how to deal with rumors at work about you? While you may have heard of squashing rumors at work, in many cases, this can backfire and make matters worse.

Here are some tips for how to deal with rumors about yourself at work.

8. Remain calm

It’s important to stay calm and rational when someone is spreading lies about you, especially if the person is a friend or colleague.

This will help you maintain control over the situation and prevent others from getting involved.

9. Take time to gather the facts

If someone has spread lies about you, there’s a good chance that they’ve made up most or all of their story.

Before taking any action, you must learn exactly what has been said about you so that you can respond appropriately.

If possible, ask someone present at the time of the alleged incident for more information about what happened, this will help prevent them from spreading, even more, lies about what occurred.

10. Discuss the situation with trusted colleagues

This is a tricky one because you don’t want anyone else to get caught up in the drama and start spreading rumors about other people as well.

However, having another person on your side can help you feel less isolated and more confident about what you should do next.

If you feel that the slanderous information is going around in circles and/or has reached too many people for you to handle on your own, enlist the help of someone who will be able to give you objective advice on how best to proceed.

Depending on the severity of the situation, this could be an HR representative or an attorney who specializes in employment law or defamation cases.

11. Send written proof of what occurred if it is available

Send written proof of what occurred if it is available. If someone accuses you of something, it’s important to have written proof that the claim is false.

If someone is spreading lies about you, it’s best not to respond immediately on social media or with texts or emails because those messages can be easily forwarded and shared without your permission.

Instead, write a letter stating exactly what happened and give the evidence that proves your innocence or refutes their claims.

Keep this letter in a safe place until needed later on, such as if someone sues you for defamation or libel and tries to get your email records in discovery (evidence gathering).

Why do People Spread Rumors

Do you have a friend who has a reputation for being the “rumormonger”? One of the reasons people spread rumors is to feel important and have others talk about them.

However,  I think word-of-mouth can be powerful, but sometimes it’s better to hear from the horse’s mouth.

Why do people talk negatively behind people’s back? Why do they spread rumors? Have you ever experienced someone spreading rumors about you?

If you have, it probably left you feeling confused and mad, and to be honest, a bit helpless.

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It’s a confusing time because even if the rumor wasn’t entirely true, people will believe it. I’m sure you’ve heard rumors spread before, whether that rumor is about a celebrity or just a coworker.

Now, some rumors can be harmless to hear or may never even affect your life. However, other rumors can be damaging to your life and even lead to major problems.

This article is going to dive into why people spread rumors, how to respond when someone spreads lies about you and what you should do next if you hear one.

12. There’s a desire to hurt the person being talked about

People who talk behind other people’s backs don’t want to hurt their feelings; they want to hurt them because they think it will make them feel better about themselves.

This is why the best way to respond when someone spreads lies about you is by not responding at all — because if you get defensive, then it will just give them more power over you.

You’ll also lose credibility if you try to defend yourself against something untrue.

13. People spread rumors to help them cope with their insecurities

Rumors can also be an outlet for insecurity — people will often talk badly about someone else to feel better about themselves.

It’s a way for them to say, “I’m not as bad as she is,” or, “At least I’m not like her.”

14. People spread rumors to feel like they have control over their lives

People who spread rumors and gossip want to feel like they have some power over the people around them.

They are usually insecure about themselves and their lives, so they want to make themselves feel better by making others look bad.

This is why it is important to remember that when someone spreads lies about you, it has nothing to do with you — it has everything to do with their insecurities.

15. They have a lack of confidence

A person who says negative things about others probably doesn’t have much confidence in themselves or their own abilities.

Instead of working on improving themselves, they focus on tearing other people down so that they can feel better about themselves by comparison.

This is why it’s so important not to take what they say personally because it isn’t personal. It’s just an indication that this person needs some serious self-improvement work of his or her own.

16. They have a lack of self-worth

A person who lies about you probably has a very low opinion of themselves. They see themselves as worthless and insignificant, so they try to tear others down to make themselves feel better.

When someone spreads lies about you, it’s usually because they have low self-esteem and they don’t feel good enough themselves.

They may be jealous because they think that if people believe the lies, then they will seem better by comparison.

How to Respond When Someone Spreads Lies About You (FAQ)

Is lying emotional abuse?

Lying is a form of emotional abuse. Lying is an attempt to control someone’s thoughts, feelings, and actions.

It is a form of manipulation designed to keep your partner in the dark about something that affects both of you or your relationship as a whole.

Should you confront a liar?

Yes, but be prepared for the consequences. Confronting a liar doesn’t mean you should demand that they admit what they’ve done — this will often result in more lies and more attempts at dodging responsibility.

Instead, calmly bring up the issue.

Is lying a betrayal?

The answer is no, but that doesn’t make it OK.

Lying is not a betrayal. Lying is a violation of the trust that we place in each other when we share our stories and experiences with one another.

The problem with telling lies is not so much that it betrays others as it betrays ourselves — our integrity, our authenticity, and our humanity.

Final Thought

If it hurts you that someone would spread lies about you, then consider this; most likely these people don’t like themselves very much. 

They probably feel so bad about who they are that they must take it out on others.

If you can’t refute false accusations with the truth, you should find a different way to respond. There’s no need to burn bridges if you can avoid it.

In other words: don’t get into a shouting match over an accusation that is false.

Clearly stating your position, backed by facts and evidence, is always better than trying to make a scene or draw more attention to an issue that has already been settled or doesn’t exist.

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