Glendale students and counselor give opinions on spreading rumors.

Roni Norbury

Bethany Gott, Reporter

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True or false? We all buy into rumors sometimes. Most people don’t like to think of themselves as gullible, but rumors tend to slip through our mental process before we actually think about what was said.
“Rumors can potentially have a very negative effect on a person,” Debbie Presson, Glendale Guidance Counselor said. “The reason why rumors typically start comes back to plain jealousy, or maybe intimidation. Rumors can affect any age really. Teens usually have more rumors because that’s the time they get a sense of themselves.”
Gabby Mathews, Glendale junior peer mediator deals with groups of students who have problems, sometimes started by a rumor.
“Rumors can start through miscommunication usually with big groups of people and in this day and age with all the social media, it is really easy for a rumor to start,” Mathews said. “Rumors can affect people because it changes the way other people view that person- even if they don’t know that person, when they meet them, they’re already going to have an image of them in their mind.”
A rumor can start for all kinds of reasons, whether it be a misunderstanding, jealousy, concern, revenge. But in the end, rumors all seem to have a negative impact on the person it’s about.
“It really sucks to know that people will think something about you when you know it’s not true,” Maizie Bassham, senior, said. “I think a rumor could start about anyone. I’ve had two rumors start about me, that I know of. The second rumor happened last year. Someone started a rumor that I was bulimic because I got sick in gym class. I think I just overworked myself or something and I ended up throwing up in the bathroom.”
Very few tales have a positive effect on people. They can sometimes not only affect the person the rumor is about, but also the people close to them.
“The second rumor actually got back to my mom and she was really concerned about me,” Bassham said.
When thinking about how a rumor affects the person it’s about, people tend not to think about how it can affect that person’s family as well.
“If a rumor were to get really bad, then it could really have an emotional strain on a person,” Mathews said. “I think it would be really hard on that person’s family. They wouldn’t be able to help their son or daughter, or sibling or whoever in their family it’s about.”
Everyone knows about negative rumors and the effects they can have on people, but is there such thing as a positive rumor?
“There is such thing as a positive rumor in some ways, but I don’t think people really consider it a rumor.” Mathews said.
It’s hard to tell if rumors are true or not, that’s why carity is key. Stopping a rumor means understanding why it is wrong in the first place.
“If I had a rumor start about me, then I would first try to ignore it and if it continued on, then I would try to find the source of who started it and confront them,” Mathews said. “It’s important to calmly shut the rumor down because if a person is willing to misconstrue your image, then they are obviously just trying to get a reaction out of you. If you give them a big reaction, then you’re just proving that, in a way, they’re right.”
Presson gives a few tips on how to deal with a rumor and how to prevent them from happening.
“If you know who started the rumor, then confront them personally about it,” Presson said. “It’s plain and simple, don’t start something if it isn’t true. It all boils down to respect. The number one way to fix a rumor problem is to respect one another.”

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