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How best to deal with gossip?

(9 Posts)
wahttodo Sat 19-Jul-08 10:49:05

Have name changed,as I'm a bit blush that this it bot herring be so much.

There is a man I work with who has become a good friend over the years. We have DC's the same age, support the same football team, have similar sense of humour and both like to dance at a party. He was always nothing but a friend to me, but a few months ago, we did have a moment, at a party, when it could have been something else. It was swiftly dealt with, we have talked about it, agreed it was the drink, we both have great home lives, don't want to spoil the friendship etc and since then have gone back to normal.

But I have recently realised that our colleagues are gossiping about us. We do get along well and spend a lot of time together, so it's perhaps not surprising and previously I would have laughed it off, but because of our moment, I'm finding this really difficult to deal with. BTW these are not young girls gossiping, but men in their 30s/40s/50s smirking when I leave or re-enter a room:

Possible actions I can think of are:

- do nothing, just ignore
-talk to the man I think is the main perpetrator, but say what?
-make a formal complaint about harassment

Can't help thinking that doing anything would just make it worse, but am starting to feel really uncomfortable, when I had previously thought I was well respected at work. Any ideas?

wahttodo Sat 19-Jul-08 10:50:30

bot herring? that's bothering!

BetteNoire Sat 19-Jul-08 10:51:29

Ignore, ignore, ignore.
Don't give them any fuel for their petty suspicions.
They'll move on to another topic.
IME, men are just as bad as women for gossip.
It is indicative of boredom, and a lack of anything interesting happening in their own lives.
Pity them, and rise above it - difficult as that may be. smile

OverMyDeadBody Sat 19-Jul-08 10:51:53

I'd sy ignore it, at first at least. Apart from smirking when you emter a room what are they doing to make you think they are gossiping aobut you?

My main advice would be not to take it too seriously, You and your friend know there is nothing wrong so what does it matter what people think or say behind your backs?

blowsy Sat 19-Jul-08 10:54:03

Bot herring grin

Although it must be horrid to know they are whispering about you, I think ignore. It will die down when someone else gives then something to gossip about.

I think if you complain or talk to the main gossip you will only add fuel to the fire.

wahttodo Sat 19-Jul-08 11:06:35

I know you're right, but I'm a doer, I want to do something.

So no-one thinks it would be a good idea so say something like "do you have something you want to say?" next time it goes quiet when I walk in and face them down?

I don't really know why I know they are gossiping, but I'm pretty sure, although of course it could be the slightly guilty conscience.

For instance, we sat in the kitchen to eat our sarnies together yesterday and talked about sport. When we went back into the main office, they we practically nudging each other. I suppose I could spend less time with my friend, but also feel why should I?

BetteNoire Sat 19-Jul-08 13:27:58

I think that if you say something to the gossipers, it will just give them something more to gossip about.
Just continue with your friendship as you always have done.
If they are too immature to grasp the concept of a friendship between a man and woman, it just shows them in a bad light.
Leave 'em to it - they'll soon find other fodder for their tittle tattle.

ilovemydog Sat 19-Jul-08 13:38:47

Problem is that if you have a work with the man who you think is spreading it, could make matters worse. He is a gossiper, and will talk about you behind your back, but not to your face.

But, having said that, I had a problem at work once. It was all males and there was a rumor about me and one of the guys who is a friend to me and my DP - the usual, having an affair etc.

My male friend found out who was spreading it, and told him that the affair was not true and Mr. Gossiper apologized

Either that or take the piss out of your colleagues. Like in the lunch room or crowded meeting, say to your male friend, 'how's the affair going for you?'

And then laugh....

wahttodo Sat 19-Jul-08 16:57:14

Thanks everyone, I knew really that it was best to ignore, now all I need to do is stop thinking about it.

ILMD - yes that's exactly what I would have done before the moment, but now it makes me blush.

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