What to Do if They’re Talking About You

People are talking, and you’re the one they’re talking about. Being the target of gossip can be frustrating, embarrassing, and hurtful.

Proverbs 18:8 says, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.”

Words hurt. The words of others can leave deep wounds on our hearts, especially when they’ve been shared behind our back. Since we can’t control what others do or say, there’s no way to permanently prevent others from talking about you. But here are five tips straight from God’s Word for how to handle it the next time the rumor mill starts churning out your name.

1. Say nothing.

Proverbs 26:20 says, “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.”

Your reaction will either make the gossip continue or die down.

Your reaction will either make the gossip continue or die down. In most cases, it’s best not to rush to defend yourself. Without new news there won’t be much to say. Ask the Lord to help you hold your tongue when others are talking about you.

2. Let your reputation speak for itself.

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us (1 Peter 2:12).

Establish credibility by living like Jesus calls you to. When others claim that you are doing things you should not, rest in the fact that you live out your faith in a way that makes others take notice.

3. Tell God about your pain.

Don’t perpetuate gossip by talking to others about it. Instead, talk to the One who knows all things and is more than able to keep your confidence and tend to your wounds.

Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

4. Let Him be your defender.

Psalm 10:17–18 says:

You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.

Ask God to be your defender, trusting Him to set the record straight in His timing.

Instead of rushing to defend yourself, ask God to be your defender, trusting Him to set the record straight in His timing.

5. Love the one who is doing the talking.

Matthew 5:44 says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Proverbs 25:21–22 says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.”

Words hurt, but God’s Word offers hope in all circumstances.

Instead of lashing out, pray for the source of the gossip. Especially if she isn’t a Christian, pray that the situation would give you an opportunity to be salt and light to her. Instead of gossiping in return, look for opportunities to speak highly of her. If you do, she isn’t likely to talk bad about you in the future and may recognize Christ’s love through you.

The old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” couldn’t be further from the truth. Words hurt, but God’s Word offers hope in all circumstances. Trust His advice the next time others are talking about you.

About Author

Erin Davis

Erin is passionate about pointing young women toward God's Truth. She is the author of several books and a frequent speaker and blogger to women of all ages. Erin lives on a small farm in the midwest with her husband and kids. When she's not writing, you can find her herding goats, chickens, and children.

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  • Great article!! 🙂

  • These are wonderful tips and truths!

    https://tizziestidbits.wordpress.com

  • Ginger

    Thanks so much for this article! Having a bad reputation and being talked about behind my back has always been a fear of mine. But just one question. You say to let your reputation speak for itself, but what if your reputation has already been ruined and you can’t make it straight?

    • Sarah, with Revive Our Hearts

      Hi, Ginger…it is difficult to “change” your reputation when you have blown it, but it is not impossible. As you live a godly life–acting like the Bible tells you to act, representing Jesus, living out Galatians 5:22-23–people will notice and they will see you as a girl who has changed, and your reputation will then be as a girl who didn’t let her former actions rule her life, but the good that is in her — JESUS 🙂 — is the ruler of her life! You can make it straight by changing and living like/acting like a Christian should act! Blessings to you! Give it to Jesus and let Him transform you: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

      • Ginger

        Thank you so much Sarah! Lords blessings to you as well!

  • Marie

    What if what they are saying is not necessarily mean or unkind, but simply annoying, but has the potential to get worse in terms of ruining friendships? I have a friend who is a boy at my church and some of the others like to make fun and spread rumors about us being together. I am afraid that it might ruin what is a pretty good friendship.

    • Sarah, with Revive Our Hearts

      As Erin said, “Since we can’t control what others do or say, there’s no way to permanently prevent others from talking about you.” So, IF you have a real good friend in the group talking about you, you might say to her that you really want to guard your friendship and would she help you within the group. Other than that, I would follow exactly what Erin said…1. Say nothing. 2. Let your reputation speak for itself. 3. Tell God about your pain. 4. Let Him be your defender. 5. Love [those] who are doing the talking.

      God bless you as you live out your freedom in Christ before a watching world. Let your reputation speak for itself.