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Topic : 06/20 "You Ruined My Reputation"

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Created on : Friday, October 14, 2005, 03:59:42 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 10/20/05) What happens when you're the target of malicious gossip and your reputation is in question? Seventeen-year-old Hannah knows about this firsthand. She says that since junior high, she's been called a slut, a skank and a whore. See the surprise message for her from the school bully, Emily. Then, a woman tries to dispel the rumor that she was born a man. She even went to extreme measures by posting her birth certificate and baby pictures on a Web site! Plus, Kristi is a wife, mother, and owner of a daycare center, but an anonymous letter made her the main suspect in a child pornography case. What will it take for the rumors to stop? Share your thoughts.

Find out what happened on the show.


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June 20, 2006, 4:22 pm CDT

been there

It was so hard to watch this show today, and even harder to read these posts.  I have been in their shoes.  I was picked on all through middle-high school.  Reason?  I have curly hair.  To this day, hair is a touchy subject.  Then during my senior year,  my ex-boyfriend (who was stalking me) said some ugly things about me.  I couldn't believe it.  I was so hurt and upset,  I didn;t even want to go to school anymore.  I went to college and came home only when I 'had' to.  The first time I went back I ran into some friends and there were others there who started in on me.  One guy who is my forever hero told them to knock it off, I was innocent of everything and we were no longer in highschool.  I am thankful to him he basically told them to 'consider the source.'  I still do not go home for reunions; and don't know that I ever can. Otherwise, I am married to a wonderful man and have two beautiful children.  I live about 500 miles away from where I grew up.  

June 20, 2006, 4:28 pm CDT

Agree with Seacart

Quote From: almadani


Dear Dr.Phil  

I heard that you don't like Muslim people only because they are Muslims :'( 


but we like you simply because you are Dr.Phill :)  

and because of all the efforts and the help that you provide to all peoples and species :)  


please say that what i heard is wrong :(  



Hi Khalid....I agree with the other poster - Dr. Phil is probably one of the least predudiced people  you'll see on  TV here. Any other account would be from tabloid press where they just make everything up to sell their magazines!!  From his show, they seem to be accepting of  differences,whether race,religion, gender,etc. How did you get to Alabama from Bahrain? School, I imagine. Remember,don't believe everything you read !!!:>)   
June 20, 2006, 4:37 pm CDT

It is not only teenagers, it happens to adults as wel

I work in a small factory, where you get to know people,do things with outside of work, than they take that friendship and use it against you. Now making friends at work is not a possiblity, with this particular person working in the same factory/department. I have been verbally, emotionally, physically abused from this person and others that she brought into the situations. This person has threatened my life on several occasions, but says them so no one else can hear them. I have told the assistant supervisor of the situation and found that this person is on the side of the other person, and just laughed about the whole thing. To the point that this person making trouble has enhanced her rumors to the point of  telling co-workers of my life outside of work with male companions, to which 2 of them work with us. One of them has told other co-workers what I look like with no clothes on, in details. Since this has occurred I refuse to even go out with men. I have been told that I have to have a man in my life to be happy, cause otherwise you are lonely. I have this co-worker, "I do not mean a man in my life to be happy, what I need is for everydody in the company to mind there own business and stay the Heck out of mine. " I have gone to the point of unplugging my phone cause of overhelming amount of hang up calls all time long.  I have gone to the supervisor and HR, but have not seen any good come from it. I am now going to Legal sources to see what I can do to prove to the supervisor and HR personnel.  I do not go out of my house without someone with me, I do not go to any social gatherings dealing with these people, I use to buy cakes for monthly birthdays out of the kindness of my heart, don't do that anymore, that last time I did I was told that "I was trying to be a mother to a co-worker, this co-worker was told I don't know why you are seeing her, she is old enough to be your mother, she has a daughter who is better for you and in you age group." My daughter is well aware of what is going on, she insisted that I tell the supervisor and HR cause she is tired of hearing everything, so I did. I have also not said anymore of it to her. Where can one go for help to get your frustrations out that doesn't cost money?? Dr. Phil, I am glad you got your own show, I watch it almost everyday, when I am awake or home. You have helped me out a lot in a lot of situations, but this one is harder to work out, what else can I do to make this group of people understand that I will not quit because they are ruining my reputation?? I have been told that I should switch shift or find another job?? I said NO, I will not let them win. 
June 20, 2006, 4:49 pm CDT

It's ruining my family too!

A rumor about my husband abusing my daughter is now going around town. It has gotten to the point where somebodied lie has had the police barge into our home remove our child from the home, they strip searched her without my consent or a warrant. We have proven ourselves innocent many times over and over again. My husband was in the process of adopting her (she not his biologically, her sperm donor never wanted anything to do with her) and it has put a screaching hult on that. He is the best thing that has ever happened to her and now because of a lie and rumors he cannot adopt her. It angers me to know people can lie and spread rumors like this and get away with it. I wonder how they sleep at night. (I have noticed that those that are liying their lights are on most of the time) Im sick and tired of going around town and being pointed to and called abusers when were not.
June 20, 2006, 5:01 pm CDT

getting back

     There's a book called the innocent by Harlan Coben about a young man who spends 5 years in prison from trying to break up a fight and the other fell and died. Later one of the detectives is getting a divorce and as revenge his wife takes out a classified ad under men seeking MEN and lists HIS cell phone number!!!!!
June 20, 2006, 5:27 pm CDT

06/20 "You Ruined My Reputation"

In case someone comes here needing some of Dr. Phil's advice... I found an article listed as a link on this show that was really interesting and I think could be helpful to anyone of us going through this right now so I wanted to share. So if anyone is going through this now...please read below and, even if not, informative advice. Best wishes to all... SEA

When You Are Wrongly Accused

False accusations and gossip can destroy lives, even if the accused is innocent. If your reputation is under attack, Dr. Phil has advice on taking your power back.

* Accept that there is no way you can erase what has happened. Even though the accusations may be unfair and untrue, the situation is real. You need to get out of denial about that in order to deal with it in the here and now.

* Ask yourself what you would like to see happen in order to clear your name. Is there anything that anyone — the authorities, your co-workers or someone in the community — can do that could ever make the situation better?

* Understand that people might come forward to admit they were wrong. And they might not. It is up to you to put this behind you. Give yourself what you wish you could receive from others. You need to say to yourself, "I know I didn't do this. And I will give myself what I wish the community, the authorities, etc., would give me."

* Begin the process of closure by not reacting to what you think people are saying about you. If you allow yourself to be intimidated, feel guilty or shrink away because of what people think, you are putting yourself in a prison.

* Don't try to address every accusation. "If you decide to start defending yourself, that will become your full-time job," Dr. Phil tells a guest. "If you answer every story, every piece of gossip, every allegation in your life, that's all you will ever do." You will be completely consumed by this and it will take over your life.

* Stop reacting to the rumors. "You give it legs by reacting to it," Dr. Phil tells his guest. Don't draw attention to yourself defending the rumor. "You need to give yourself permission to just live your life. If there are people out there who think something about you that you don't like, then those won't be your friends." There will be other people who will like and respect you for who you are, and they will be your friends.  

* Stand up for yourself and say, "I'm taking my power back. I'm not going to give them the power to pick my feelings. They're wrong and I can look myself in the mirror knowing the truth." Dr. Phil tells a guest, "You have to decide that you believe in who you are, what you stand for, and what you do, and you just need to go forth and do it." You need to walk forward from the situation. "Who you are and what you do, that will win out in time."

* Know that it's normal to feel a twinge of guilt even if you're completely innocent. We always hear about guilt by association. But there is also guilt by accusation. People hear something negative and tend to believe it. If you accuse a person unfairly, he/she still has that twinge — just from having the finger pointed at him/her.

* Don't fall into the trap of acting out with non-directional frustration. The stress that comes with being wrongly accused can lead a person to act out with those closest to them, like a spouse or child. Remember that the enemy isn't your loved one; it's an outside force.
June 20, 2006, 5:38 pm CDT

there's only one true judge

i was voted most likly to ever have freinds in school,i must admite becouse of other students teasing me i droped out of high school.Since then i have 4 beutifull children and some of the best friends there ever could be.A also have a home and a very nice life and i believe if u ignore the words being said just believe in yourselfs and god couse like i said you must believe there only WORDS,THERE'S ONLY ONE TRUE JUDGE AND THATS GOD
June 20, 2006, 5:39 pm CDT

06/20 "You Ruined My Reputation"

Quote From: linusnsnow

I know just how it feels I live in a HUGE city in Canada My Reputation will never be the same ever again As long as I live no matter where I move.. I Feel like everyone is going to know who I am soon as I say this, I feel I will be judged even on this website... I don't leave my home but maybe 3 times a month, Soon as people see me or my boyfriend they stare at us, they know who we are... no matter where we go in the city... Some of the people in the City even go as far as following us home, spitting on us, and even openly cussing at us.   

My Parents we just charged with murder of a child. So now because we were living there when they killed him people say we should not even be allowed to breath the same air as them,  that we are a waste of space, it goes on and on and on and on.     

So while I know this was tough for these people to talk about with Dr.Phil I wish my problems were as easy as some of them... I don't know what to do about this problem I have no idea...     


I wish one day to be able to walk in the street again..  but I also I wish that a time machine would be made and I could go back and do something to fix the wrong my parents done  

When we think our lives are bad we find someone who has it worse. Little consolation I know. People should be more cautious of what they say. When someone kills someone else there are more victims here than just the one who got killed. Both familys are victims. You do have my sincere wishes that the people who are giving you such a hard time will come to realize that you are a victim of this crime too. You will be in my prayers.
June 20, 2006, 5:45 pm CDT


 Dear Dr.Phil,
I tivo your show daily and skim through the topics to decide wheather or not i want to view a particular show. I wasn't really going to watch today's show but strangely enough i did - and i am writing this with a very light and happy heart. The show was about ruining peoples' reputation - i am happily married and have no major problems with regards my reputation - however, the show's topic took me straight back to my school days and i remembered everything like it happened yesterday. I have had time to heal and forgive and move on so i won't get into all of that - i just wanted to tell you that something u said - your one statement on today's show has really hit me like a ton of bricks - u said,"if you know who you are, be who you are." Wow! No big fancy words - just a plain and simple, direct, straightforward statement. I loved it! Thank you. It helped me decide what to do regarding an issue with which i have been struggling for a few weeks now. A family member who i love with all my heart just pushes people away - he has little control over his life at the moment due to a certain set of circumstances, and hence he attempts to control/manipulate everything and every person in his life. The worst part of this puzzle is that all the other family members feel so bad for him and his life, that they end up functioning out of guilt around him. Consequently, he feeds off that and it a vicious cycle. I have stopped feeling guilty around him - and i treat him like i would any other person. But he never ever makes any effort to connect. In fact, he makes an effort to be rude and inconsiderate and downright unpleasant. Like i said, he just rubs people off the wrong way. If i didn't call him - i would probably never ever hear from him. But like u said, i'm going to say, "Enough of this crap." I really want this to be a non-issue for me and my sanity. Its hard because i've tried this in the past and gotten truly hurt in the process. But i'm not going to change who i am just cause its hard - I know who i am and i have the integrity to be that person. I'm going to do it.
Thank you for the quote - as you can see, i am going to put it to good use!
June 20, 2006, 5:52 pm CDT

Reputations and Empowerment

Being short, I was constantly tormented and the butt of rumors at school. The people who were likely to do it were usually lower income, insecure people who were acting out at everyone, not just me, though because I was short, I was perceived as an easy target. (They found out pretty quickly that I was NOT)  


When I was in junior high school, life at school was terrible. The other guys grew and I didn't. Rumors, innuendo, and threats abounded. My folks took pity on me and moved me to a Catholic high school (I'm not Catholic), which was college prep. I got not one, but three college degrees after that. I don't take any guff from rumor mongers and socially malicious people. I tell them, if I am confronted on a one to one basis, "Gee, you must be terribly insecure about yourself as a person to have to act out like that!" when they say something inappropriate, and that usually shuts them up. It makes them the focus. They don't like to be pointed at themselves. 


Re: the woman whose reputation was attacked by people spreading rumors that she was running a porn business in a day care center: 

To anyone who comes forward with this type of rumor, I'd say, "I'd like the names of the people who told you this," and follow the trail back to the originator, and sue them for slander (if spoken untruths) or libel (if it was in writing). You have plenty of witnesses who led you to them. You can legally sue for any lost revenues and damages, as well as emotional distress, arising as a result of these rumors.  


Re: the woman who was rumored to have been a man and had rumors circulated about her that a sex change had happened, let me say this:  

It is slander to accuse anyone verbally or spread rumors about someone, with something that isn't true. (They're gay, transgendered, got body lifts, they're loose ethically, they use drugs, etc, etc) It is something that can be sued over for damages, particularly if it results in loss of a job or income. If someone circulates something in writing, it is libel. There are laws that say you can sue someone who deliberately libels or slanders you with intent to commit harm. Sometimes, just a letter from a lawyer telling them to cease and desist is enough to get these jerks to stop. The woman on the show knew, by tracking back to the individual who perpetrated this, so SUE, for goodness sake! That will clear the matter, make a clear statement to everyone that this is not acceptable, and will make it clear to the individual that he is in the wrong.  


The main thing to do is be ethical yourself, not to resort to similar slanderous rumors to discredit the one who discredited you. They're not worth the trouble. You have better things to do with your life than worry about what others do or say. If they do or say something that causes you harm, you DO have legal recourse. You are NOT helpless, unless you beleive you are. You do have options. At work, talk to human resources. With peers, speak bluntly to get at the truth of things. Look past what they are saying to get at WHY they are saying it, and respond to that, never to the rediculous rumors. 

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