Skip to main content

How to deal with Lies, slander and libel

Gossip is an oft ignored problem

The damages inflicted by gossip and slander can be severe. It is not by accident that scripture addresses gossip and the dangers that it can inflict. Gossip is often seen as a minor offense in the eyes of many people, until they have been the victim of such actions. Gossip can concern moral character with allegations of theft, infidelity, cheating, or other actions. It may also include allegations of drug use or criminal activities as well.

Although many people by their nature talk about the actions of others, the intentions may not be of a malicious nature. Spreading misinformation or distorting of facts occur by accident is very different from such actions occurring with a malicious intent. The malicious use of gossip can be based on revenge, political motives, or indirect assault on the person. Revenge minded persons often try to destroy a person’s character indirectly through slander and libel.

Gossip via slander and libel are painful to deal with

Gossip via slander and libel are painful to deal with

What are slander and libel?

Slander occurs when people present another person in a bad light based on lies. Slander is typically defined as being an oral defamation. Typically such slander makes them look bad in terms or morals or moral conduct. Lifting a person up to ridicule and defame their character based on a false representation of facts.

When the defamation which occurs is written, in print or broadcasted it is considered libel. Both slander and libel are considered ‘torts’, and carry with them legal penalties (a tort is a legal suit under civil laws). Like many legal torts, questions quickly arise concerning what constitutes proof or evidence. There are also statutes of limitations on the offenses. Since the statute of limitations on slander and libel are a year, it behooves someone to take action promptly on such issues when they choose to pursue legal remedy for their situation.

Preventing and pursuing remedy

Although a person may be guilty of libel or slander, taking the matter to court and winning the case may be a challenge. The mental status of the person along with their age will be taken into consideration. Many times when people are hurt, they find ways of hurting those they blame for their hurt.

In my case, the slanderer was my mother, and since she was an ‘old woman’, little could be done to keep her from slandering and libeling me and my husband. Since many people often allow little old women to talk, little was done. Even when legal matters were underway, her behavior was excused, citing that “she is just angry”.

It is difficult to prevent others from saying things about you. People often talk. Taking preventative measure such as treating people decently, using manners, and keeping ones reputation in a good light are helpful in dispelling false accusations. Keeping your dealings above board and steering clear of ‘questionable’ people and events are some of the better practices that can keep ones character from being impugned. Even in societies where freedom of speech is controlled” by government policy, they have not been 100% effective in keeping people from gossiping.

I need your opinion on a title


mia smith on October 18, 2020:

My daughter in law had told her family that I stare or steal purses. And this gossip was brought up by my niece. She steals from the family buy she blamed me and told everyone she knows so now every time I’m invited to her house she tells me that we have to stay outside or her sister keeps an eye on me....... All I have done is help her babysit, buy them whatever they need. She invited me to the store in the pretends that she wanted to spend time with me in reality she wanted me to buy her couches. Then she told me the her stove broke so I bought her one. Now she’s telling me that she’s going to Hire mariachis and I told her I would pay for it. My son has no clue of what’s going on .

john cookson on August 07, 2020:

my wife is a alcoholic when i talk to her what she has done spending money to buy alcohol she lies and blames my grandson that he has taken the money then she says things on her apps on her phone to other alcoholics that i have been abusing her which is a lie the only thing i do is ask her why is she spending money on alcohol without my knowledge what can i do about the lies she is saying about me what can i do

Lillian on March 20, 2019:

My ex biyfriend michael moretti put me on this gang stocker list saying lies about me now i have people i dont even know follow me around every were i go its crazy but its true its a horrable thing to do to someone

Cheryl on July 15, 2017:

I was hired to assist my Nurse Manager to open a NICU in the hospital Since that time I was trained to work nursery assuming that when the NICU was finally opened I would work there. However, one year and four months later, my boss is slandering me telling people that I do not know how to work in nicu fUNNY since I have worked in NICU for the past 34 years. What can I legally do to make her stop this lying.

DoveFreexrolo on April 26, 2016:

Hello There. I found your weblog the use of msn. That is a really smartly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read extra of your helpful info. Thank you for the post. I will definitely return.

Gary Melari on November 08, 2015:

Scroll to Continue

Thanks for this site! In being involved in the past with litigation involving slander and defamation of character in out neighborhood and winning our court case it became aware to my wife and I that even the internet had posts slandering and libeling our name. We took steps to dispel these horrible, cruel lies and with the help of our local Police Department and our Attorney have been successful in clearing our name. Interestingly enough there are still ignorant, stupid people out there that are persistent i