I have been at a start up in Europe for a year. A friend brought me over to be design and technology architect lead of my department. Ever since our office filled with employees I have had a problem with false rumors and accusations behind my back. I have never instigated anything to cause this but for some strange reason I always seem to be thrown into the rumor mill about something I had no knowledge of and/or never caused. Im a regular easy going guy that is passionate about what I do. I don't have horns growing out my head or any oddities worth gossiping about.

I have tried to methodically think of why this could be happening and I have no solid theory or answer. Most of the employees are 20-40 year old females which is a first for me but never an issue. I don't flirt or fall into any questionable behavior. Also, Ive wondered if being an American in a European workplace is a source of sorts. I have great experience over my peers which is why I was brought over and I am extremely focused. I don't care much for gossip and games and I am always pleasant and professional with everyone.

Negativity rolls over me like water, I don't let it get me down it just pushes me to excel. How do I control back talking and false rumors without leaving the high ground? I tend to just keep my mouth shut and carry on..this has been my solution so far but I wonder if this helps or degrades respect of me. Getting loud and angry can backfire and I don't have time for extra drama.

Any similar experiences or advice? I'm more curious about this issue than irritated.

  • 2
    "Negativity rolls over me like water" - then shouldn't you just be ignoring these supposed rumours? Did something specific happen?
    – Brandin
    Jul 1, 2016 at 23:01
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of How to handle when you are the target of gossip?
    – gnat
    Jul 2, 2016 at 19:13
  • Are you an introvert? If you don't talk to people they know nothing about you and some of them starts to fill the gap with lots of imagination. Once someone told me I was rumored to be alcoholic in a gay marriage (I don't drink, I'm straigth and was a single at the time)
    – jean
    Jan 11, 2018 at 16:45

2 Answers 2


I'm confused about the issue... You state multiple times that you

"don't care much for gossip and games"

"don't let [negativity] get me down it just pushes me to excel"

"don't have time for extra drama"

It sounds like this is not an issue at all. If anything, you say it is having a positive effect on you by pushing you to excel. So, do your best to continue upholding immunity to it. It sounds like they are petty rumours that are occupying people's time and desire for drama. If it is unfounded, and you see no necessity for personal corrective action, just continue living as you do and don't let it start getting to you.

As far as you "being curious", this is commonplace, unfortunately, even in adult settings. Humans are social animals and have a natural tendency to become a part of one another's lives. Give them good things to talk about and continue living your life.


Question: How do I control back talking and false rumors without leaving the high ground? Answer:Your responsibility should be to influence peers with leadership, not to control their actions. Control yourself & stay on the high ground. Ex: Eagles are unique because they fly at high altitudes. Eagles mate in the air. They love on a high level! When eagles hunt prey, they LIFT the prey into the air to fight the battle. If you come down to your peers level you will not win. Question: Any similar experiences or advice? I'm more curious about this issue than irritated. Answer: Your Comment: "I have great experience over my peers..." stood out to me for some reason. This may be true. Just understand you can not lead if your peers will not follow. Experience-everyone needs it. Relationships - a must to build winning teams!

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