Question: I am a 15-year-old girl and have a big problem. Some kids at my school have been spreading some very bad rumors about me to all my friends. This is destroying my reputation and upsets me very much. Answer: We can understand your concern. After all, the old saying that sticks and stones may break bones, but words cannot hurt us is wrong! Words can be harmful indeed. But here are some things you can do. First, ask yourself if what the others are saying is partly true. If so, you may have some changing to do and should begin immediately. And don't be surprised if it takes longer to build your reputation back up than it did to tear it down. Next, consider if the rumors are really harmful. Perhaps they are about a subject that irritates you and makes for good gossip, but they are really harmless in the end. If so, don't overreact or you will just fuel the fire of interest. Next, if the rumors are false and harmful, go to the people spreading them and ask them why they are doing this.
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