WHEN YOUR REPUTATION IS DRAGGED THROUGH THE MUD…

THIS is one post that I never dreamed that I’d be writing.

Nor is it one that I hope anyone needs to read. But I’m writing it, because sadly, this is something that has recently happened to me which means, in all probability, it could happen to any of us at any time.

I’ve experienced being truly gossiped and talked about twice in my life.

The first time, I was sixteen years old, targeted by a typical bunch of mean girls who spread rumours and lies about me and my best friend for the entirety of our final year of school.

Proper playground bully type of tactics which stung a bit but sure helped to make us popular.

But this time round, as an adult and woman in her mid thirties, it’s been a little more serious and incredibly disappointing and frustrating.

I do know who the person is and I’ve heard from many people about what this person has been up to but that’s not what I want to talk about today. For this isn’t a post about them or their behaviour.

But it is a post for anyone who may ever have to go through an unpleasant situation such as this. For those feeling alone or like no one is on their ‘side’.

Here’s how to survive a personal attack on your reputation, without losing your mind or dignity.

 

ACCEPT WHAT’S HAPPENING

I always think the worst thing you can do when you find yourself in a bit of a ‘shit storm’ is to keep your head in the sand. Why? Because you need to understand and acknowledge what is going on.

It hurts to think that someone is hell bent on trying to destroy you. It also beggars belief. After all what kind of person does such a thing?

But you need to accept it. Accept it, realise that there’s not a damn thing you can really do about, feel the anger, feel the disappointment and then move on as quickly as you can.

 

ASSESS THE DAMAGE

Look around and assess how much damage the person has caused. Have people changed towards you? Have things gone quiet on the work or social front? Have some things suddenly stopped?

I quickly realised that someone was working hard to destroy my personal reputation when I began to notice all of the above and it didn’t take a genius to figure out who was behind it.

So the damage was easy to see.

People whom I believed to be friends distanced themselves from me very quickly. I lost regular visitors to my blog. Some people ‘unfollowed’ me on social media or began to ignore my interactions. I also lost ‘back links’ to my blog and never heard from some ‘friends’ ever again.

The damage was obvious and easy to spot and as I knew who and where it was coming from, it made things much easier to cope with and helped me to feel in control.

 

LEARN FROM IT

When major challenges appear in our lives, such as a personal attack like this, life can feel pretty bleak, but I’m a firm believer that they can help us to learn and grow.

I wouldn’t wish what has happened to me over the past six months on anyone, however in a funny sort of way it’s been almost a blessing in many respects.

Because having my name dragged through the mud – albeit incredibly unpleasant – has been a life changer for me. So much good has come from it.

It’s taught me (again!) to trust my instincts about people. So for e.g, the first time I met the person who has tried to damage my reputation, I very quickly got ‘bad vibes’. But – and this is my fault – I chose to ignore them.

I’ve also learned that if someone goes out of their way to merrily tell you about personal grievances they have with others (often many others) or asks you to distance yourself from a person, to beware. Because there’s a high probability that one day you’ll also be on their hit list.

Some things have hurt. For example, losing some friends I genuinely cared for has been painful at times.

But the silver lining is that I’ve realised that true friends would never walk away so easily because of the words of another, so in some ways, they’ve done me a huge favour.

I think most of us would rather have a handful of loyal mates in their corner than a hundred or so friendly pals whom are quite happy to ‘leg it’ when someone fills their minds with hatred.

So on a positive note, situations like this really do show you who your friends are.

 

ToDreamOfDressesFINAL11

 

DON’T GO ON A REVENGE ATTACK

One of the hardest things as a human being is to not to go on the attack when someone is attacking you. Particularly when it’s been done unfairly and covertly.

But I urge you not to.

Sure, every fibre of your being may be after blood or ready to spill some, but in my opinion it’s best to let the anger go as quickly as possible and move on with your life.

As I mentioned at the beginning, you unfortunately cannot stop anyone saying dreadful things about you nor can you stop people believing or acting on what they are told.

But. You can keep your dignity. You can keep your cool. You can learn from all the nastiness thrown at you and take away some good.

So sit back, let it go, learn the lessons and wait for karma to do its worst.

And never forget – people always find the truth out in the end.

 

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

As hurt or as angry or bewildered as you might be, don’t for one moment stop and let them affect your life. The motto ‘keep calm and carry on’ could never be more apt for this situation.

Use all that anger you feel and channel it into your work. Use that feeling of outrage to become a better person. Keep working, keep living and once you know how the land lies, stop paying the situation your attention.

They will probably hate you for it as these kind of people seem to feed off hurting and trying to ruin others. But you will feel a million times better so head up, shoulders back and on you go.

 

(AND FINALLY!) FEEL SORRY FOR THEM

If you can.

Sure they don’t deserve it but just ask yourself this…who would you rather be?

The type of person who enjoys trying to destroy others or the person who rises above such an attack with grace, moving on without as little as a backward glance.

Pity them, feel genuinely sorry for them and be proud of the fact that you’re a better person who would never, ever dream of stooping so low.



Lips

 

 

 

 

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53 Discussions on
“WHEN YOUR REPUTATION IS DRAGGED THROUGH THE MUD…”
  • Im sorry to hear you’ve been going through this, it is awful. Women are often so awful to their fellow women.

    I totally agree not to seek revenge. Things will unfold as they should without you trying. After all, success is the best revenge!

    Keep pouting!

  • Im sorry to hear you’ve been going through this, it is awful. Women are often so awful to their fellow women.
    I totally agree not to seek revenge. Things will unfold as they should without you trying. After all, success is the best revenge!
    Keep pouting!

  • Without knowing the details, it still sounds pretty grim so well done on getting through it with your head held high. Those people you lost weren’t really friends so it’s no loss really. Sometimes life waves a red flag to show you where the assholes are buried and this is just one of those times.

  • Sorry you went through this Kate, it’s sad that even adults feel the need to act in this way, like being a human isn’t hard enough as it is. Sigh. Glad you were able to put pen to paper on the topic though as it’s a really lovely way to take control of what must have been a really upsetting period.
    Head up high Mrs, you’re lovely xx

  • I am so sorry you to hear that you have to go through this , people and especially some women out there just seem to like trying to destroy the lives of other women…….I will never ever understand why !! As women I think we should stick together and support each other the best we can, I totally agree with you on the bad vibes, I have a couple of times been on the receiving end of this type of bullying tactic,mainly because I will not follow the crowd, never have never will and I always told I am too nice …..!! Well I will never change from being too nice. Well done you for getting through this,it must have been hell at times and hopefully you have grown stronger through it .BIG hugs from me :-) xxxx

  • It’s a real life lesson I think to not listen to gossip and take it as truth without first taking a moment to assess and go with your gut. Well done for managing to hold your head high in this situation Katie

  • I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had to go through this. I went through the same thing myself last year and what made it all the more difficult was that my Dad had just died completely unexpectedly, which the person in question actually used against me – it was awful and one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to deal with. I was attacked both personally and professionally. I agree with everything you’ve said in your post and hope that you are able to really believe what you’ve written. I hope that the situation settles soon and that you remain strong in knowing yourself. Sending love x

  • Oh Kate I am so sorry to her this. You have the best attitude towards what has been happening as difficult as it may feel at times. Take care xxx

  • Oh huni, I am so sorry that you have experienced this. Women can be vile sometimes and this situation must have been (and still is I’m sure) so upsetting. It is so hard when it is done covertly and also when people have a different opinion of the person, than maybe the truth. Lots of love huni xxx

  • Oh goodness Kate, I’m so sorry that you’ve been through this and you are so strong to not react, hold your head high and even try and express sympathy or pity for them.
    Like you said, every cloud has a silver lining and whilst not pleasant at all and something nobody should ever have to go through, you can now see who your true friends are/were. Your attitude here is so mature and measured, such an inspiration as always and I think calm and classy :)
    Hope you’re on the up and up, haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate hate (and that’s really sad for them)
    X X

  • Aww! Bless you! It’s so rubbish you have had to go through this…There are some very nasty people out there. Well done you for holding your head up high and rising above it! Sending love & hugs x

  • This is awful – but sadly not that shocking, which is sad. Glad you’re getting through it and I’m totally with you on the don’t go on a revenge hunt, it’s never satisfactory and like you say people find out the truth in the end anyway. Being the adult – however tough that is and feels – is the way to hold your head high and earn respect from your true friends. It feels a bit shit though at the time, doesn’t it? Hugs x

  • Kate, for many of us you will always be an inspiration. I discovered your blog when a friend shared your “I hope I hope I hope” post, which as you know inspired me to go on and produce a video with a similar theme for families of children with SEND. You rock and I feel so sorry for those so called friends who have abandoned you, they have lost a huge asset! Continue doing what you do, inspiring so many of us to be all that we can be and look after yourself, these attacks hurt, even when you are trying so hard to not let them.

  • What a horrible situation to have to go through. It sounds like you handled it all with poise and dignity, which is probably more than could be said of many. I’m glad you’re OK and you’ve risen above it. It sounds like this person needs your pity as I just can’t fathom why anyone would behave like that. It’s not a way I’d expect a child to act, let alone a full grown adult. x

  • “And never forget – people always find the truth out in the end.”

    They absolutely do.

    Honestly, I find this sort of horrible behaviour to be one of the most tiring part of being a human. So I can only imagine how tiring it must be to be the person who has made you feel this way. I feel very sorry for you and am incredibly impressed at how well you’ve handled it. This post is the definition of ‘being the bigger woman’, so to speak. Bravo.

  • It’s funny, if not unfair, that the loveliest people endure such hardship or the worst of others when they’d be the last people to do anything similar. Why can’t the upstarts, cold hearts, self-centred or shallow ever turn on each other?
    The answer is because it’s easier to walk over or damage someone who always sees the best in people, than someone who could match them in their narcissism and nastiness.
    You’ll already know, I’m quite sure, that much of it stems from either jealousy, or a feeling that if they ‘played nice’ they’d be abused instead. In their minds, it’s eat or be eaten because their conscience and morals aren’t functioning properly to tell them otherwise.
    You’re right to feel sorry for them; the real tragedy is that there are so many of these people about. Who think only of themselves. Who need to put others down to build themselves up. Who need to be pootling around the lives of others because their own lives are unexciting, unfulfilling, or downright unhappy. Essentially, their attack has so little to do with you.
    Sorry for the essay but I must add this: you are a lovely person with a beautiful nature who doesn’t deserve to be treated in this way whatsoever. Take heart that being the bigger, better person makes you inspirational, where their behaviour just makes them embarrassing. Carry on as you were, my sweet. You’ll have the last laugh, I promise. xx

  • My goodness what an inspiring post. What you went through sounds awful but I’m 100% with you and your response and how youve handled it has been spot on. Bravo indeed xx

  • Kate, I love your blog and although I rarely pout and almost never wear heels, you talk the the same language I do.

    Keep being you, trust in youself and carry on being the remarkably fabulous ‘you’ that you are.

  • Good on you for rising above whatever horrible nastiness you have had to endure! It’s disappointing to read any grown adult would behave like that. You’re a strong lady! Xxx

  • What a sad person it is that knowingly strike out at someone with the sole intention of bringing them down. I’m so sorry you e had to go through this, but this is an incredible post, which not only shows your maturity but your loyalty to holding you head up and not stooping to their level. I wishes you an easier time and thank you for writing a brilliant post. Take care xx

  • I *think* I might know what/who this is in reference to from the grapevine… You seem to be taking the mature approach to this, and I love how you’re so strong and positive :) So much love you stunner! I wish us ladies would support each other rather than feel like we constantly have to compete against each other xxx

  • I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been put through this.
    You’re right to rise above it. Move onwards and upwards, the truth will out.

  • This is so weird. Why would anyone do that? Put it down to jealousy and move one – but you’ve already done that! Well done you. This is all great advice. I will never understand women sometimes! X

  • I’m so sorry this happened to you. You are right in saying we all have probably experienced that in our lives….and not just in the mean girl years, and NOT just from outsiders. But it still hurts no matter what age. I think you have met this with uncommon grace and dignity. hugs

  • I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this Kate. You were my friend before you started your journey into self employment and blogging, and although I haven’t seen you in recent years (Although it would be ace to catch up)!, I’ve always known good things were meant for you. Believe in yourself, sugar. I may be far, far off the mark but you are so much more real than some more “honest” mum blogs I have discovered so keep on inspiring xx

  • I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had to go through this, but a big high five for the way you have handled/are handling it. I’m a big believer in forgiving and moving on, as otherwise the negativity lingers. Thank you so much for putting yourself out there and sharing something so tough too. Sophie xx

  • I think it’s safe to say that lots of us in the community know who you are talking about here, and many of us have had unpleasant experiences with her too. But a wolf in sheep’s clothing will always be discovered and you’re so right to rise above it all. I really feel for you, that you’ve had to go through all of this – it must have been really truly horrible. Next time I see you, you get a huge hug (and a glass of wine) xx

  • Well done Katie, I can’t imagine how upsetting this must have been. I love the bit you wrote about forgiving because as hard as that is sometimes I think the thing is the person who has done this has done it because of an insecurity with herself and i do think she must be quite a sad person deep down to be treating people this way. Not that it’s fair you’ve had to endure this nastiness. You have dealt with it so well, very gracefully and know that a lot of people will know exactly how you feel and empathise! xx

  • So impressed with your honesty and courage. It’s inspiring. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this, it’s so unpleasant and so demoralising. Having been through similar, I know how hard it is not to internalise some of what’s being said – I think writing such a clear and thoughtful post is an excellent way to exorcise those demons.

    As some of the other comments have already said, I believe the person you’ve posted about will be seen for who she really is in the end. The truth always comes out in the end.

    Until then, keep on being true to yourself and honest in the way you interact with others. Big love x

  • What a horrible thing to go through! Not knowing any of the details it sounds like you have taken the right approach. Reminds me of a recent Jim Jefferies sketch where he talks about how you can only win hate with love – seriously funny, I don’t want to spoil the punch line so I’m just gonna say it’s worth checking out :)

  • People can’t stand to see another person being as successful (or God forbid more so) as them. It’s competitive jealousy and insecurity. I’m so out of it these days I have no idea of the background to this, but I’ve seen it happen time and again. It’s a shame, but you’re right – it says more about the other person than it does about you. And for what it’s worth, in every single walk of life I’ve experienced, this kind of thing always comes back to bite perpetrators. I’ve never had to actively pursue revenge justice. It has always come along naturally in its own time.

  • So shocking Kate. Especially when you’re always saying how we should raise each other up, as women. One would expect your friends to be like you. Sadly others let their insecurities push some people down. And sometimes we judge others incorrectly. But don’t worry, there are still many people who think you’re lovely, inside and out! x

  • I am genuinely in shock at this, I have met many a blogger over the years and know what you mean by going with your gut instinct!

    I hope to never go through what you have and it disgusts me that people are obviously jealous of the success you are having and want to see that damaged!!

  • As I’ve already said to you privately, it’s a shame, but some people, seeing a sweet, kind, successful person will automatically and very weirdly want to ruin everything for them. Chin up, chicken. Your response was spot on. xx

  • You’re such a class act Kate, someone I really look up to. I’ve always found a voice of support and encouragment on your blog – especially towards other I’m only saying now because .Your honesty and positivity on here gave me the kahonas to start a ball rolling that ended with me leaving a job I was incredibly unhappy in. I’ve thought about emailing you my thanks several times but didn’t want to seem like a nutter! I’m only saying now because it might be nice to know that behind your back, there are also people who you’ve inspired, probably more than you think. Keep on doing what you’re doing girl!

  • You 100% have the right attitude with this lovely. Whoever they are and whatever their reasons, that’s for them to worry about. You only have control about the way you react to a situation, not always how it came about. Continue to react with positivity and love and you’ll be just fine x x

  • What a super awesome response to make. I definitely believe in not lowering yourself to their level, whoever they may be. And you are right to pity them, they must have something inside that makes them sad. Stay strong, you lovely lady. Xxx

  • What a horrible thing for you to go through. It’s hard to fathom why some people are so downright nasty and jealous of others. You really do have to pity them, as what kind of sad life do they lead that they have to try and destroy someone else’s? You’ve held you head up and remained proud, well done you xx

  • This is just awful to hear. I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this and I really hope you get everything straightened out again soon. All your advice is spot on though and I love the finishing sentence. Much love xx

  • I’m so sorry you’ve gone through this. It all sounds very familiar so I know how much it can hurt and how black it can feel. I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said though, very wise words. In my case had I not gone through what I went through I wouldn’t have left my job or been able to take more blog where I have, so I’m actually a little bit thankful. It’s also always good to know who your real friends are. Lean on them. Xx

  • Oh honey, I am so terribly terribly sorry to hear this. What a unnecessarily horrible thing to have to go to. It still horrifies me that no matter how old you are there are some people who will never grow out of being playground bullies and there are others who won’t stop following those bullies around adoringly. You are so brilliant being the stronger person and rising above it. It just goes to show that, as I have always thought, you are one of the most radiant lights in the blogging world. Big hugs lovely Lucy xxxx

  • Oh, I am so sorry to read that you’ve been through this. I have to confess that I read it with heart thumping as it brought back awful memories of having had a similar experience a few years back. The truth is that yes, you might lose “friends” along the way but they weren’t the true ones, and you’ll also find that there are lots of us out there who are quietly cheering you on (completely unaware anything was going on, in my case) because we think you are fab. Huge kiss.

  • Sorry to hear you went through this. It sounds like you’ve dealt with it the right way and taken out the positive from a hard situation. It’s horrible to think that adults can act like children and hurt people like this.

  • Just read through some of the comments – what fab support you have! 😊

    I recently experienced something similar, though less public and not professionally damaging. But I understand the hurt and frustration caused by somebody treating you so badly.

    I read something once which I found incredibly difficult to act on for a long time, but if you can nail it then it’s life-changing:
    Other people’s opinion of you is none of your business.

    Or, precisely what you say in your post, ie. Don’t allow yourself to be too effected; forgive and move on quickly, head high. And definitely don’t react (they hate being ignored!).

    All the best xx
    #TheList

  • I’m so sorry to hear you had to go through this. I don’t understand how people can be malicious and hurt another person. I’m glad you’ve come out the other end, stronger and having learnt more. Sending you love & hugs x

  • This is a very sad and brave post and I am sorry that this kind of thing both happens and has happened to you. Forgiveness and not talking revenge is such mature and kind advice. Being new to the blogging world the idea does make me anxious that there is a shadow to being so public but the positive is that you can move forwards and good friends are there to be with you though it with wine wherever possible! x #thelist

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