Advice

Why Rumors Can Drive You Mental Even If You Are In A Healthy Relationship

You can try to shut it out, but it seeps in anyway. 

On Sept. 14, Chrissy Teigen posted a sexy picture of herself, in a slinky black dress, leaning up against handsome hubby John Legend. It was their four year wedding anniversary—but they’ve been together for 11. It appears to be one of the strongest marriages in Hollywood.

Do you know what to-day is #itsouranniversary ❤️

A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

They are always together, always support each other with their public words, and are trying for baby number two through the difficult journey of IVF. Together they share baby Luna, almost one and a half.

But just hours after posting the happy snap of her happy relationship, outspoken Chrissy came across a tabloid story that made her head spin. Then she posted it. With the blaring headline, “Chrissy & John: On the Brink Of Splitting,” In Touch Weekly had gotten under the model’s skin.

“Oh in touch go f**k yourselves, you exclusively dumb pieces of trash,” she captioned the pic.

Oh in touch go fuck yourselves, you exclusively dumb pieces of trash

A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

Friends and fans applauded her for calling the magazine out, and it’s not the first time she’s called BS on a story she claimed was a lie. In 2013, she went on a rant, saying that John would never cheat on her after Page Six printed the following, claiming the singer cheated on her in a club one night—in full view of other patrons.

“Cute crooner John Legend cheated on his Sports Illustrated swimsuit model fiancée, Chrissy Teigen, by smooching a young woman the other night at a Manhattan hotspot, Page Six has exclusively learned.

“Legend’s lusty lip-lock came days before Teigen complained via Twitter about other women who want to ‘[bleep] my fiancé.’ And Legend has this week been talking about his impending marriage, and baby plans with Teigen in interviews. Sources tell us the kiss came when Legend was at Acme on Friday night. A spy said the suave performer was partying with male pals who struck up a conversation with ‘two pretty girls in their late 20s, one blond and one brunette” at the next table. After ‘chatting all night,’ the witness said the blonde got up to go to the bathroom after 1 a.m., and ‘John followed her.’”

Nice try, says Chrissy, who does appear to have close to the perfect relationship with John, even though they claim it’s not.

Serious outing to The Ivy London for shepherd's pie! @monicarosestyle @eosborne_makeup @dayaruci ❤️

A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

Still, solid or not, rumors have power. And they can erode even the happiest of relationships if you let them. Nicholas DiFonzo, Ph.D, Professor of Psychology and author of The Watercooler Effect: An Indispensable Guide to Understanding and Harnessing the Power of Rumors, tells Personal Space that rumors often do shift our perceptions of things.

“Rumors routinely affect our perceptions by making some ‘data’ more salient than other data,” he explains. “Rumors that a couple is breaking up seem likely to draw attention to ambiguous behaviors (and all behaviors are ambiguous) and then consider how these behaviors might be consistent or inconsistent with the break-up narrative. This goes for outsiders, but also for the couple themselves.”

So it does bleed into the relationship, even if it’s a healthy one?

“Rumors routinely (and typically) serve to increase distrust in relationships,” Nicholas continues. “Gossip-type rumors (evaluative social chat that is unverified) have long been known to serve a ‘cheater-detection’ function for groups of people. People get found out for the things they do, in part because others in the friend group speak up—and they may like to talk.

“Conversely, I think a couple has to make a decision beforehand about whether or not they trust the other, and this would help to shield them from harmful effects of rumors about their break-up (or about supposed reasons they are breaking up or should break up). My old definition of rumor is still a good one: ‘unverified information in circulation,’ but I’ve adopted an additional definition:’“stories we choose to believe or disbelieve.’ This latter definition highlights the role of the person hearing the rumor, and whether or not they extend the benefit of the doubt to the rumor target.”

What can you do if you’re famous (or not) and the rumors will persist?

Know who your friends are, stick to those who won’t spread bad information. Ignore, ignore ignore. Literally pretend like it’s not there, and go about your busy life. Stay above it. And constantly communicate with your partner. Talk about what you’re hearing in private and reiterate your trust in each other.

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