Dear American Girl,
There's a rumor about me going around my school. I don't know who started it, and it's not even true! Every time I try to put a stop to the gossip, it just gets worse. What should I do?
-No more whispering
Here's your advice:
Sometimes, it can be hard to stop rumors on your own. That's why it might be time to talk to a trusted adult, such as a teacher or a parent. He or she could have a solution for stopping the gossip at your school.
-Emma, age 12, Pennsylvania
Talk to your friends and ask them to help put an end to the rumor. If it comes up in conversation, a friend can stand up for you and say, "That's not true," or, "Can we talk about something else?" The gossip might be squashed before you know it.
-Olivia, age 11, Florida
You're right—sometimes when you try to stop a rumor, people might think that it's true. Do your best to ignore the whispering. If you don't pay attention to the rumor, interest in it might wear off and it won't be fun to talk about anymore.
-Kathryn, age 12, Indiana
When a rumor was spreading about me, I handled it by staying calm when it was brought it up. If someone started to ask, "Is it true that...?" I'd tell her that it wasn't true, but I didn't make a fuss over it. Chances are if you don't make a big deal out of the rumor, others won't, either.
-Melissa, age 13, North Carolina
As long as your friends know the rumors aren't true, who cares what other people think? The people who matter to you believe you, so just keep your head up and spend time with your true friends.
-Lindsay, age 11, Vermont
The next time someone talks about the rumor, smile and calmly say, "That's an interesting theory, but it's not true." Show them that the gossip isn't getting to you.
-Katie, age 13, New York
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes, if a bullying victim tries to stop gossip, she'll be ignored. But if someone else stands up for you, such as a parent, teacher, or friend, those bullies might be more likely to listen.
-Sarah, age 10, Massachusetts
If the rumor comes up in a conversation, try to change the subject. Say, "Have you seen any good movies lately?" or, "That test was pretty hard today, wasn't it?" If people see that you don't care and don't want to talk about it, this rumor might lose its power soon.
-Lizbeth, age 13, Virginia
When you're around the people spreading the rumor, focus on your body language. Keep your head held high, put your shoulders back, and stand up straight. Act as if nothing is happening. They might think that they aren't getting to you and drop the rumor.
-An American Girl fan, age 10, California
This situation might be a good chance to see who your real friends are. If your friends are passing along this gossip, they're probably not true friends. It might be time to find new buds who like you for who you are.
-Izzy, age 8, New Jersey
When someone confronts you about the rumor, say, "Of course it's not true! You're wasting your time talking about a lie."
-Ashley, age 10, New York
Is the gossip really starting to get to you? Maybe you should visit your school's guidance counselor. She or he can give you advice and help you feel better, too.
-Hailey, age 12, Wyoming
These bullies are looking for a reaction. The next time someone brings up the rumor, just laugh. Don't look upset or say anything—just smile, chuckle, and move on to something else. That won't be the reaction they're looking for.
-Samantha, age 13, Rhode Island
If you can, try to "accidentally on purpose" catch kids in the act. When you overhear them talking about the rumor, casually walk over and cheerfully ask, "Hey, what are you talking about? I thought I heard my name." They'll be forced to come up with a response, and they might be pretty embarrassed, too.
-Francesca, age 9, Illinois
If someone asks you if the rumor is true, just say, "The person who started that rumor must really be bored." Turn it around on the bully and make her look silly.
-An American Girl fan, age 10, Pennsylvania
Here's one way to respond to the gossip: "You can choose to believe that if you want, but just to let you know, it isn't true. So if you want to believe a lie, go ahead."
-Yanah, age 11, Ohio
Even though having a rumor spread about you is no fun, try to approach life with a smile on your face. Tell yourself, I am awesome, and this rumor isn't going to take away my happiness. Tap into your confidence, and be above the gossip.
-Joan, age 10, Virginia