Rumor, by definition, is a currently circulating story about a doubtful situation, future event or a past incident. If the rumor is based on true fact then usually it gets clarified very soon since the stake holders clear the doubts of public as soon as possible to get their necks cleaned; though sometimes they tend to hide as their respect is on stake due to the negative post effects of the story whether true or false.
Generally speaking, rumors are either completely based on false grounds or become fragile because a lot of impurities get mixed when such stories are propagated in the society. In fact the story becomes more impure when more and more people discuss because it is human nature to add some 'spice' in the original story to make it more interesting and worth listening. Article written by Junaid.Tahir
As long as a specific rumor is not directly impacting a person's private life, he/she tends to enjoy it but sometimes some rumors have considerable mental or social consequences. For example, in our company we recently had a rumor that the senior management is going to undergo a major hierarchy changes due to which a high percentage of employees will lose their job due to cost cutting strategy of the new management. A lot of employees started gossiping in office, with their spouse and other family members due to which a ripple effect of stress was generated company-wise and at personnel and familial level. This ripple phenomenon kept on going for a couple of weeks till this morning one of the senior managers commented that most of the rumors are not true except one resignation.
So what should I do if I hear a doubtful news; below are some recommendations:1- Check if the source of the information is authentic. Usually people who talk about other people are in habit of commenting without being fair. Remember the quote: "Small minds discuss people, Average minds discuss events, higher minds discuss ideas and great minds act in silence"
2- Judge the situation fairly. Find the original source of information and ask directly if possible and applicable.
3- Discuss the matter with two to three person. If all of them have a different story then most likely the original story is lost or it is completely false. Consider the parts which are common in all stories. This will help extract the original components of the news.
4- Don't get too much engaged in rumors however a serious advice is not to ignore the rumors completely. The news might be genuine, hence you must consider the corrective and preventive necessary measures else you may face serious consequences. You must be logical and analytical in your evaluation of the rumor.
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Junaid Tahir, a telecom engineer and a blogger, writes articles on wisdom, happiness and stress management. His personal blog can be read here