Below is a chapter from Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children. Over time we will be posting most of the book, though, should this inspire you to buy a copy, we would not be offended 🙂 Posted chapters can be found in the Table of Contents.

Rule #16: Ignore what other people think (Dad)

There will be times when you know that people are talking about you. Gossiping, making assumptions, spreading lies, or just plain talking shit are to a certain degree always part of human gatherings. You must rise above it because, at the end of the day, you cannot control or predict what other people are going to think, say, or believe about you.

Plain and simple, this sucks.

When these things happen, you will feel hurt, betrayed, angry, and disillusioned. Friendships will be tested, and you will be left wondering, “Why?” There is not much that we can say that will alleviate these natural feelings, only that in the midst of these situations, you must do your best to not let the despair and disappointment overwhelm you.

But we won’t leave you with “Just don’t worry about it” as our counsel. Here is what you can do: tell folks in whatever way possible, through others or directly, “If you want the truth, just ask me.” It is an unhealthy use of your time and energy to attempt to chase down and correct every rumor that may or may not be circulating out there, but healing can happen when others are mature enough to come to you directly.

We are sorry that these things have happened and will happen. To know that you will be hurt by what other people think or say about you brings us deep sadness. We also know that you can rise above it, live out the confidence of spirit that dwells deep within you, and be the you that we know you are.

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