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been working in Telecommunications and Information Technology for the
past five years, and wherever I go it's the same story, somebody knows
somebody who knows me, and they have an axe to grind!
Dear "Perennial Target",
The victim of a slanderer is caught in a difficult trap. Denials always seem to lend credibility, at least for some folks. Yet ignoring the slander allows the lies to gain credibility.
Legal action is a possible recourse. But that is seldom practicable, or even possible for the kind of slander that occurs around the water coolers and over the e-mail networks.
You indicate that you have identified a single source for this slander. Difficult as it may be, the best way to deal with the issue is to approach that person and have it out with them. You will have to think through your approach very carefully, because there is a real risk of making things worse.
If there is someone that you trust who would have some influence with the slanderer, you might ask that person to accompany you in meeting the slanderer. A neutral third party can help to keep the conversation moving in a helpful direction.
What you want to do is not to accuse and condemn the slanderer, but let them know of the damaging impact their words have had on you. Your best approach is to try to build or restore a good relationship with this person.
Another avenue to consider is to work at building a reputation that is so clearly at odds with the things the slanderer is saying, that they lose all possibility of being believed. That's not a bad thing to be working at in any case.
Good luck with this, and thanks for writing.
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