Are You Being Trashed?

No matter who you are or how nice you are, some people won’t like you. That’s a fact we all have to live with. Even worse, people we thought were friends can turn on us. And sometimes we may become the victim of unhappy people who enjoy talking rudely about others.

Know the meaning of “trashed”

You are being trashed if someone is making harmful statements about you with intent of damaging your friendships and reputation — or at least not caring if the negative talk hurts you. The truth of the statements is not the issue because your detractor believes them to be true because of her perspective. If you are being slandered, that is a different issue requiring legal advice beyond the scope of this post.

Being trashed hurts

We may be unaware that we’re being trashed behind our backs. Or, a good friend may clue us in. This knowledge will hurt. Grief, denial, upset, and anger aretypical reactions, followed by a strong desire to defend ourselves. I recommend not giving in to that desire.

Remain calm

I realize this is, as the cliche goes, easier said than done. Chances are good that you don’t deserve the bad things being said about you. The urge to tell your side of the story is reasonable. But unless not defending yourself will result in direct and certain harm, I recommend staying quiet.

Don’t enter the fray

Why? Because defending yourself will force your friend to take sides. She may not side with you after all. And with good intentions, your friend may try to act as peacemaker, which can backfire. Also, if your detractor discovers you have entered the fray, he may escalate the number and intensity of comments, resulting in a feud that could be worse than the initial comments.

Slay the beast

I have found that the fewer times complaints and accusations are verbalized, the better. Let harmful comments die the early death they deserve.

Don’t be a bore

Another good reason to stay quiet is to keep from becoming a bore. Share what’s happened with a trusted confidante to help you gain perspective. But stop after that. Most people are willing to offer sympathy after one or two accounts of terrible treatment, but no one wants to hear the litany again and again. And every time you complain, you are keeping the comments alive and reliving your own negative emotions.

Pity your attacker

It’s sad when someone has nothing better to do, or derives a strange pleasure from, trashing others. Trashing others is also a way of getting attention and sympathy. The person may feel victorious if she causes you to lose a friend. Friends who let trash talk cause them to abandon you have tenuous ties to you at best. Let them go. And consider the tragedy of lives controlled by negative talk.

Be wise yet harmless

If you are clued in about someone’s true character and feelings about you, be grateful to have the knowledge. Then you can then be as wise a a serpent but as harmless as a dove, to cite advice the Lord gave His disciples.

Continue to live a life of integrity, with dignity. You can and will rise above negativity.

Your turn:

If you knew your friend was being trashed, would you tell him? Why or why not?

Have you been trashed? What did you do?

What is your favorite advice for those dealing with negative rumors?



Leave a Comment

Proposals: Know Your Audience

I … Love … Coffee … Love going into coffee shops, love ordering the perfect brew, love the ambiance of Starbuck’s and Caribou coffee and Seattle’s Best and Coffee People, and you name it! When my hubby wants to do something special for me, he’ll let me drag him to …

Read More

How Publishers Make Decisions

We all agree that book publishing is changing fast. New technology, new formats and new ways to sell books have changed everything.  Well, almost everything. One thing has not changed…the fundamental way decisions are made as to what new authors an agent represents and publishers publish. It has always been …

Read More

36 Pieces of Advice about Writers Conferences

It is the height of the annual Fall writers conference season so I thought I would compile all the posts we have done over the past few years on the writers conference experience and book proposals. If bound in a single volume it would be a small booklet of over 20,000 words. The …

Read More

Book Concepts That Will Never Sell

As a public service to our agency clients and the general Christian publishing industry (but mostly because it is a real drag being serious all the time) here are some book concepts that will never sell.  Don’t even bother trying to develop them. I Never Knew You: Depressing Bible Verses …

Read More

Travel Woes? It Will be Okay!

As I prepare to attend the ACFW conference, I recall how many things can go wrong on travel. They can, and they do. But the world will not end. Please remember this. How do I know? Because I used to consider myself indispensable. But the graveyards are filled with indispensable …

Read More

Proposals: Make Comparison Titles Work for You

When I mention adding comp titles to a proposal, this is the response I often get from both nonfiction and fiction authors: “AARRRGGHH! Why? It’s so hard!” Well, there are two main reasons as to the why: Comp titles show there’s a market out there for books like yours. Comp …

Read More

Long Live Napoleon Solo

The middle of September 1964 was one of the most historic periods in world history.  Rarely has humanity seen the kind of cultural shift that occurred fifty years ago this month.  Subsequent generations will never be the same. In one week, families, friends, fiends, fish and fun boat-rides changed forever, …

Read More

How To Stumble Onto Your Brand…

Erin Taylor Young has a remarkable gift for making her readers laugh out loud even as she’s delivering hard truths about living a life of faith. Her down-to-earth writing style invites readers into the books that God has given her and sends them away refreshed and assured that we’re not …

Read More