When I was in junior high and high school, I had a friend who was a huge drama queen because she always wanted attention. She would scream and shout and do anything to make people look at her. I figured out one day, sadly, that the best way to spread a rumor about her, was to tell her I had heard something about her. "I heard someone saying you're pregnant." She would then go around the entire school screaming and asking everyone, "Did you hear the rumor I was pregnant? Oh my God" and by the end of the day, everyone would have heard the rumor...because of her.
It's funny how easily rumors spread, and how easily they get distorted and warped by each person who tells them. One person tells someone that they think a person is cute, then another person says that they saw the two of them at this event talking, then another person says that they went home together, and then another person says that they had sex, and so on and so forth. It's ludicrous.
People don't choose their words carefully enough for one. So when one person goes to reiterate the original persons statement, they may use a word that they think is the same but conveys a different meaning. Upset can mean the person is sad, frustrated, or angry. Everyone seems to end up getting mixed messages. Then there is people who don't even see the event clearly, and feel the need to reiterate it to other people.
I find the best policy when it comes to rumors is to never believe it, unless the person it is about is telling me to my face. Even then, if I am repeating what they have said I try to take care of my word choice to make sure I'm reiterating the same message. If someone tells me something about someone else, I reserve my judgment until I know the real story from the person involved.
Everyone sees things differently, feels different ways, interprets words in their own way, and therefore you can never really trust that something is true. So why say it in the first place? Why repeat what someone else has told you? It's ludicrous.
I'm not saying I haven't spread my own rumors; I know I have unfortunately. But if we start with ourselves, and make a vow to at least try and be better about it....maybe people will stop getting hurt. Maybe people will stop losing things they care about, or being offended, or feeling a certain way about a certain person, if the rumors stop.
I'm all about trying to do what I can to make the world a little better, starting with myself. One tiny step, to maybe someday make a difference.