Defamation

Postby peaceful_soul » Fri Feb 05, 2021 11:20 am

Hi everybody, I'm 25 years old and when I was 18 I worked for a year in a company where I was victim of defamation. Precisely, my colleagues in the department where we were working used to fart a lot. At the time I was working there I knew that when somebody came in our department and I wasn't there, my colleagues said to everybody that I was guilty for the bad smell. I never did anything to protect myself from the false accusations.
Now many years passed but people in my city talked a lot about this thing, even outside of the company and now everywhere I go and all the new people I meet, they believe in those voices. Basically my name and my face is linked to that and since I'm a woman it's not nice at all and I don't know what to do because now I feel guilty everytime there is bad smell even if i did nothing, because everybody thinks I'm the one to blame.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:58 pm

peaceful_soul wrote: I knew that when somebody came in our department and I wasn't there, my colleagues said to everybody that I was guilty for the bad smell.


No, they didn't. You have no way of "knowing" they told "everybody". As you pointed out, you were not there. Since you were not there, you are assuming, you are guessing, you are using your imagination based on stories they told you.

everywhere I go and all the new people I meet, they believe in those voices.


No they don't. Again, you are making assumptions. It is in your head that new people somehow know and care about some rumor from 7 years ago. Unless when you meet someone new you are saying, "Hi, nice to meet you. Have you heard about the rumor from 7 years ago about me? Do you believe that rumor?"

because everybody thinks I'm the one to blame.


Again...nope. This is again all in your head. In the rare case that there is a bad smell you have no idea what anyone everybody is thinking.

The bottom line, you have an active imagination about what "everyone" is thinking. You have absolutely, positively, ZERO idea what these people are thinking. When you meet someone new they are probably thinking, "Nice smile," but in your head it is, "This is the famous fart woman."

How did you get to have such an active imagination that you have the superpower to know what everyone is thinking about you all the time?

I'm going to guess that two or three colleagues 7 years ago told you that they blamed you for the fart smell in the office. They saw your reaction and this encouraged them to tease you. They didn't realize and had no way to know, that your imagination would run wild with the idea.

How do you move forward?

Keep a journal. In that journal document every time a person says to you something like, "Hey, you are the fart woman." Document their name, the time, and place. And document each bad smell where someone turns to you and says, "Hey, why did you create that smell."

You are not allowed to document glances of the eyes, whispers, or use your superpower of what you think people are thinking. You are only allowed to document what a person actually says.

After a week look at your journal. If you are honest, the journal will be blank. Look at it after a month. It will be blank. After a year? Blank.
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#2

Postby peaceful_soul » Fri Feb 05, 2021 6:31 pm

Thank you very much for your reply, I really appreciate it.

At that time I knew that they blamed me because in another moment I heard them saying it while they didn't know I was listening to them, but I didn't react.

And during these 7 years I went through many events that made me think that everybody believes those voices about me.

1. During a trip with a group of people I was entering in the elevator with other guys and one of them said "only people with good smell in here".

2. At dinner with some people, a dude said "let's drink some milk that makes us fart" and some of them were laughing and other were looking bad at me.

3. I was in a train with other people and there was bad smell and all the people looked at me.

4. I met some new people and we discovered we had friends in common, the first time they spoke to me they were super nice and friendly. From the second time they don't smile at me anymore and they barely say hello to me.

5. I was with other people and I begged to lift a chair and everybody laughed.

6. Yesterday I was walking in a park and I heard a voice saying "she farts all the time" then I turned and I saw the boss of that company where everything started.

I think that even if I change city, these rumours will go on and on maybe for centuries!
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Feb 05, 2021 6:58 pm

peaceful_soul wrote: I think that even if I change city, these rumours will go on and on maybe for centuries!


Quick...write down the very first historical person that enters your mind from the 1800s that is infamous for farting. Don't use an Internet search.

You give yourself too much credit.

Maybe look into research on ego-based concepts like histrionics, egocentrism, or narcissism. While it is normal and to a degree healthy to believe people care about who you are and your activities, it is not necessarily healthy if it is excessive. To believe "everyone" or even the majority of the people you encounter know who you are because of some rumor 7 years ago and that it will follow you to another city and for centuries is a clear indication of an unhealthy level of self-importance.
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#4

Postby peaceful_soul » Fri Feb 05, 2021 7:24 pm

I don't think that it will follow me in another city, but I'm sure that in the city where I'm living now these rumours will go on forever.

And people are infamous for many reasons in many cities and we don't know them all!

I've never taken this situation too seriously, but I'm very worried now because the points 4 and 6 happened very recently... and I thought "OMG again!" I just can't believe that people still talk about it :-(
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#5

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:12 pm

peaceful_soul wrote: I've never taken this situation too seriously...


What you have posted does not reflect the above. Maybe you do not realize it, but how you tell the story comes across as extremely exaggerated or inflated. Painting the picture that you are a "victim" and that "everyone" knows does not communicate that you don't take it too seriously.

I mean, how much more serious could you take it? If you were to go seek therapy would that be an indication that you take it "too seriously"? I guess it depends on what you personally see as too serious, which admittedly is subjective.

Anyway, I think there is plenty of room for you to take it less serious. I think there is plenty of room for you to not allow your imagination to run wild thinking "everyone" you meet has heard of your infamous celebratory status as the town farter.
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#6

Postby peaceful_soul » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:08 pm

I'm sorry, I wanted to write: I had never taken it too seriously in the past years, but now I absolutely recognize that I'm definitely doing it!

And it's because the points 4 and 6 happened very recently and I can't believe that people still talk about it... it's because of this that I'm sure that these rumours will go on forever in this city :-(
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#7

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:36 pm

Two points:

First, I think you are framing the issue too broadly. You keep using sweeping terms like "everyone" or "the city". Unless you live in a village of 150 people or less, then it is unlikely everyone in your social circles knows you as "the farter".

What is the population of your city?

Second, assuming that every person in your village knows you are the infamous farter, so what? Apparently, that is not stopping you from getting on elevators, trains, and going to the park. Whatever "victim" status you want to claim, apparently, it is largely if not entirely in your head. No one is stopping you from any activity or telling you that because of your infamous reputation that you are not allowed. Whatever shame or embarrassment you feel it appears to be of your own creation, reading into situations what you wish to believe.
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#8

Postby peaceful_soul » Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:10 pm

In my city there are 60,000 people, but really everybody in my circles believes it! I can never say "hey I know that person too" because then they will talk about me and this thing will come out. If I were a man nobody would say anything about it, but since I'm a woman then it's the first thing that people say about me when they talk about me. My reputation is awful! :-(

What really makes me feel angry is that if these people tried to spend some time with me, they will see that these voices are untrue! But they prefer to believe it because it's funny
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#9

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:29 pm

60,000...So basically, if I went to your city and asked how to find the woman that farts no one would have any idea what the heck I was talking about.
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#10

Postby peaceful_soul » Sat Feb 06, 2021 12:14 am

I think I will ask somebody to do that kind of interviews one day! Just to see how many people believe that.

Btw I'm not saying that 60,000 people have that idea about me, but I'm sure at least 1,000 people do have it. Especially among the youngsters. :-(
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#11

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Feb 06, 2021 12:55 am

peaceful_soul wrote:...but I'm sure at least 1,000 people do have it.


Hogwash. You have drastically inflated everything about this thread and continue to do so.

Seriously, you need to be careful. You've heard about the story of the boy who cried wolf, right? You are only 25. Eventually, you will encounter a real issue in life. Eventually, you will face an actual challenge to your reputation. Eventually, you will face real, complex problems that you will need to manage. How do you plan to do that when you are going down this path of "everyone knows and the rumor will continue for centuries" to "everyone in the city knows" to "I'm sure 1000 people know"?

You need to take a step back and try to gain some perspective. You don't want to be the person that no one wants to associate with because all you do is inflate and exaggerate things, acting like a paper cut is a severed artery. Eventually, same as the boy that cried wolf, no one will believe anything you say and no one will want to deal with you.
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#12

Postby peaceful_soul » Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:40 am

Why are you telling me these things now? Because you think that 1,000 people are not so many? Or because you think that I'm exaggerating about that number? Because I'm not and I can tell you why.
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#13

Postby quietvoice » Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:40 pm

`
Why not change your attitude about it to something like, "Who cares?"

I don't think anyone really cares. People are generally into themselves. Men, in general, think farting is funny, and women, not so much. Let them laugh. Join with them in the laughter. Make friends over it, if the opportunity arises.

Turn this around in your head, and things will turn around in your outer world.
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#14

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:20 pm

peaceful_soul wrote:Why are you telling me these things now? Because you think that 1,000 people are not so many? Or because you think that I'm exaggerating about that number? Because I'm not and I can tell you why.


You are missing the point. It doesn't matter if NOW you want to tell me why you think 1,000 is not an exaggeration. You have made sweeping claims repeatedly. When you initially posted I figured you must live in a small village where everyone knows everyone.

I think it reasonable to assume that this is not the first time for you to grossly exaggerate whatever is taking place. People pick up on that and it quickly becomes tiring. Then people begin using it against you, teasing you, and taking opportunities to give you a difficult time. What do you think happened to the boy that cried wolf? He lost his friends, no one trusted him, and some of the people in town never let the boy live it down.

Think of it this way. The boy says, "There is a pack of wolves ready to attack the livestock!" then the boy revises the story to, "Well two wolves is a pack, right?" And later it is, "Well it was a mother wolf and her pup, but I'm not exaggerating anymore and I can tell you why!"

My advice is to caution you against being this type of person. You don't want to be the boy that cried wolf.
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