Drama and high school go together like spaghetti and meatballs. Most people participate in rumor-spreading at some point or another throughout high school, but it is important to not be one of those people. Rumors can often hurt people emotionally and sometimes even physically. Inflicting pain of any sort on others qualifies as bullying, and bullying is unacceptable in all circumstances.
During high school and in “the real world,” it is important to live by the golden rule to “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Part of this means not participating in potentially hurtful drama. It can be difficult to separate yourself from the drama and rumor-spreading, but if you remain mature and follow the following six tips, you’ll help to reduce drama and be a better person during high school:
Ignore the rumor mill.
Ignoring the rumors is easier said than done, but it will help if you always remember that rumors cause harm and pain to other people. In a few years- or even hours- when a new rumor starts, no one will remember it- except the person the rumor was about. Knowing this, is it really that important to perpetuate the latest bit of gossip at the expense of the subject’s feelings?
If you do not encourage the rumor mill, then the person who started the rumor will realize how immature and unnecessary it is. Even better, when someone tells you a rumor, why not politely confront them about the immaturity of spreading drama and hurtful comments? This will cause them to think twice before starting the next rumor, and hopefully it will eventually help to stop the practice almost altogether.
Understand that you probably never know the whole story.
Rumors spread quickly in high school, but what most people don’t realize is that they hardly ever have the whole truth. By recognizing that- even in the most dramatic and juicy of gossip stories- there are probably circumstances that you don’t know about, you help to squash the temptation to spread the drama or rumor.
For example, consider the girl who has recently lost weight. You’ve heard that she’s anorexic, and judging by the amount of weight she lost so quickly, it certainly looks that way. However, what you don’t know is that this girl was recently diagnosed with a thyroid problem. Her metabolism is much too fast, and she’s losing weight uncontrollably. She’s started medication and is trying desperately to return to a healthy body weight. Her family is very worried about her health. And here you’ve been adding to the stress by telling everyone that she’s got an eating disorder.
Or take, for example, the school “slut.” She’s promiscuous and has quite a reputation for being sexually active with many partners. You heard that she even slept with a college student in the next town over. Well, she did sleep with that college boy, but what you don’t know is that she only slept with him because she was date raped, something that has traumatized her for life. And the slew of boys in your school who claim to have slept with her? More than half of them are lying. She’s going through enough trouble without her peers spreading drama about her, and the stress of the rumor going around her high school (one that you yourself perpetuated) is almost too much for her to bear.
Just remember, even if you were there, unless you are one of the parties involved, you’ll almost never have the whole story. Recognize this, and remember that when you pass on a rumor, you could be spreading outright lies that could really hurt your classmates.
You can also avoid the rumor mill in high school by not getting involved. Simply ignore the drama. Others will respect you, and your stress levels will probably be dramatically reduced. This doesn’t mean you have to keep to yourself or remain friendless throughout high school; it simply means that you shouldn’t respond to any rumors or drama (whether they’re about you or not) and that you should try to avoid those annoying individuals who do. This will help you to better yourself as a mature individual.
Ignore the drama starters.
Anyone who starts rumors and drama should be ignored. They are typically looking for attention, and by giving these rumor-starters the attention they crave, you are encouraging them to continue starting hurtful drama. You have two options with these individuals who seem to be constantly surrounded by drama: First, you can ignore them completely. This will save you some stress and (as discussed above) will hopefully help them to get the point that no one is impressed by their drama.
Secondly, though, you also have the option of reaching out to this person. Some people start rumors because they are jealous or in need of help. Try to be a friend and see the reason why this individual feels the need to spread rumors about others. You might just be the positive force they need to change themselves for the better.
Keep your private life to yourself.
Everyone feels the need to talk and gossip. But if you do not give them anything to talk about, then when they do start gossiping, they will not be talking about you. If you do not trust a person, do not talk about personal topics such as your sex life, your grades, your other friends, or your family life. This will only give them information to spread and will lead to trouble in your life.
Obviously, everyone needs to talk about their feelings, but you should only do so with trusted friends. Avoid using personal topics as conversation-starters or as a way to impress others, as these are both great ways to find your personal information spreading around school like wildfire.
Accept the beliefs and choices of others.
Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and viewpoints. As a positive individual, try to accept their opinions. It may be hard to do, as you do not want to encourage viewpoints that differ from your own; however, in the end, it will benefit you and help you build as a person. By accepting others’ personal life choices, you will not be inclined to spread rumors about them.
Remember, no matter what you believe or how you choose, someone, somewhere disagrees with you. Whether you’re a Christian or an atheist, a republican or a democrat, a pro-lifer or an adamant supporter of women’s rights, your beliefs are always going to offend someone. Regardless of your beliefs and choices, someone out there thinks that those beliefs and choices are stupid.
You wouldn’t like it if they used their differing viewpoint as a reason to make fun of you, though, would you? Of course not! You’d expect them to try to respect your opinions and choices enough to not spread rumors or gossip about you. So give the same respect to those people you disagree with by not spreading rumors about them or judging them for making choices that you disagree with.
Everyone has a different life story that builds who they are. It’s important to accept that fact and to rise above the drama and the pettiness that so easily drag down those who aren’t cautious. Try to be as mature as possible, and set a positive example for your peers. It will be difficult, but in the end, you’ll be a stronger person for it.
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