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Emails to my Therapist

Bold in the Face of Gossip?

A very juicy account of our most recent presidential campaign is released today: Game Change by New York magazine writer John Heilemann and Mark Halperin of Time magazine.

I’ve only read an excerpt and I won’t burden you here with the scorching details, but the intimate material about one failed candidate’s family life was pretty stunning.

I started to think about how I’d deal with such a public onslaught. I can well imagine I’d find it devastating. A lot would depend of course on whether what’s said is true. But it could be pretty rough either way.

I wondered how people go on, what the principles are for self-management and care in such a situation. I found a bit of good advice on: “How Do You Deal with Gossip that Damages Your Reputation?”

“How do you deal with the gossip? That’s simple – you don’t. Not at least, as far as defending yourself, against those who are gossiping.

Hold your head high. Live by example and allow the gossip that tarnished your reputation, die a natural death. You don’t have to defend yourself or your tattered reputation. Just let it be. Those that know you, won’t believe the gossip. Those that do, have issues bigger than yours.

Gossipers can be insidious people and they can become a victim of other gossipers themselves. Gossipers feed on gossip. Today you are the talk of the town – next week it will be somebody else’s turn.”

I’m quite the gossiper myself these days (whereas as a teenager I was quite high-minded). I don’t like the idea of the gossiped-about individuals suffering. But I do love to read scurrilous bits of news.

I thought about this matter back during the Watergate days: how would those implicated face the rest of their lives? Well, they turned out to be amazingly resilient. Getting religion seemed to help a lot. And writing memoirs. And in the case of Bill Clinton, going on heading the ship of state.

If you have other good strategies, I’d be interested in knowing. My next novel–which will someday emerge–is a trifle shocking.

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Categories: career strategy, publicity, stamina

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