The biggest exercise in futility is trying to control what other people say about you. In case you didn't get that the first time: the biggest exercise in futility is trying to control what other people say about you. It is tough enough when people talk about their opinions of the things you do, the way you dress or your goals. But, what do you do when they lie?
The hardest thing to do is sit back and watch people intentionally misrepresent you but under most circumstances, the best course of action is to let them talk. Most. Not all. Life is intricate and filled with variables. There will be times when it is wise to confront the source of the lies. There will be times when it is necessary to drop a defamation lawsuit on their heads. But, sometimes it is wisest to continue living your best life and let them rot in their own filth.
This quote rings true on so many levels.
Ever wondered why as soon as a friendship ends one party might go around telling anyone who would listen about the money owed to them or the various levels of maltreatment they suffered during the friendship? Especially when two seconds ago they would brag about the other person being the only one they could depend on?
How about the way every baby mama's child's father is a deadbeat after the break up. Even if it has been only three hours since things ended and seconds before she was telling him and everyone else that he was the most supportive person in the world and planning the wedding?
How about the way every man's girlfriend is a queen until she ends things and suddenly she was cheating her way through the entire relationship?
What about work? The prized worker suddenly becomes lazy and incompetent once they choose to leave.
Now, let's be clear. I'm not saying there aren't bad friends, deadbeat dads, cheating girlfriends or crap workers. What I am saying is that when persons cannot get to you they try to control the perception of you. It is hard to not fight back against lies being whispered to those around you but you must consider a couple things.
Firstly, when you get bogged down in trying to defend yourself from their lies these people get control through the back door. Secondly, the people who know you who really know you - (you know the ones who matter) will know the truth. Thirdly, some of the people who know them will also know the truth. People who spread lies to get the upper hand perpetually play the victim and so even those closest to them will see through and be fed up of their crap in due time.
The only thing you need to do is to let your character speak for you. So if your ex-friend is accusing you of owing him / her money, continue to always repay your debts. Eventually someone will question why this particular person is the only person you haven't repaid. If your baby mama accuses you of not being supportive, there is no need to pull out your receipt books / credit card statements to show just how much you've spent or to log the hours you spend with your child. Instead, continue doing what you've been doing and relegate her to a position of irrelevance in your life. If your ex-boyfriend is calling you a skank or a slut, don't spend hours trying to justify to others that you were faithful. Nope. Straighten that spine, stand tall and love your new partner the best way you know how. He will see through the crap and eventually those who matter will too. Finally, if after leaving your job they are saying you never worked hard to begin with... continue doing your thing, the work will speak for itself.
The thing about liars is that they know they are lying. Hell, they know that you know that they are lying. It is the reaction they crave. So don't give it to them. The important and the wise people will see through the crap. Time is longer than rope and so sometimes you just need to give people the rope to hang themselves with.
The biggest exercise in futility is trying to control what other people say about you. Focus your energy on your life, your goals, your happiness. That's when you win!