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Making the Best of A Bad Reputation

Updated on November 10, 2011

People form reputations about things based on the footprints they create. Footprints exist in almost every aspect of life, whether virtual or literal. When visiting the ocean, footprints stay behind in the sand. Some say that using plastic grocery bags contributes to environmental carbon footprints. Even the computer you’re using to read this article leaves something called a desktop footprint. Which brings us to the most important type of footprint of all -- the ones our characters create, whether in real life or in a role play setting.

The Gossip

You've heard a juicy secret, and know it's because you heard it from your best friend’s boyfriend’s step-mother’s half-sister’s daughter. And she would never lie. When this happens, just nip it in the bud. Reply that you are not interested in the information (even if you really are). And if you have the urge to spread gossip, just don't. Remember -- those who gossip with you, are the first to gossip about you. But if life finds you being labelled a gossip, put it to good use! Gather all those secrets together and blog them to your heart's content. If you're worried about backlash, you can always use a pseudonym.

The Sexual Deviant

Every social group has one. (One of mine has at least two. Possibly three.) Even if you’re as pure as North Pole snow, use common sense. If you dress the part, then expect that people will talk about you. While it's possible to both dress in a sexy way and be seen as a classy person, regardless of race or gender, it's far easier to labelled the village strumpet. Should you fall victim to this, consider a career that showcases your ... other assets.

The Enemy

This isn't necessarily someone found in a formal list of enemies. It could be someone blackballed from an organization where you are a member, or even a blood family member. If you can't tell who they are, don't worry. The stabbing pain that occurs between your shoulders any time you turn your back will alert you to them. If it turns out that the enemy is you, then it’s best to burn as many bridges as possible. It's doubtful that you're going to need them later anyway.

The Brown-Noser

When it comes to helping those in power, these folk may as well don a red cape because they are the superheroes of kissing up. When entrusted with even the simplest of tasks, they go above and beyond doing extra work wherever possible. They pay attention to small details, then use the information to make life easier for those in positions of power. If this is you, pay petty comments from others no mind at all. They're just jealous that they didn't think of it first.

The Know-It-All

Psst. If people call you this, it probably isn’t because you really know everything, and they don’t exactly mean it as a compliment. No one will fault you if you aren’t first to answer every question, or don't offer help every single person in need. If this is your life's misdeed, try taking up a hobby instead. Like answering questions on Hubpages!

Stereotypes are often a miserable aspect of social behaviour. If you are a target of someone else's negative social label, consider the chance that you could be doing something that lends a ring of truth to the cliché. However, there’s a greater chance that the person suffers from a terrible affliction known as petty jealousy. These sad folk exist in every domain. If trying to work things out with them proves unsuccessful, then kill them with kindness. Be nice to them until they just can't take it anymore, give up, and leave you alone in favour of picking on a new target.

Please feel free to discuss these and other stereotypes in the comments below.


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