In any group, in any community, there is always “gossip.” Sometimes it is meant maliciously, other times people are just curious, and other times they might really be looking out for you. For example, you join a new group, and someone warns you to “watch out for Harvey…he is really two faced.” (Yes…that was a Batman reference…embrace the geekiness). They are probably not trying to spread rumors, they probably have just been burned by Harvey and are warning you so that you do not get hurt as well.
And maybe Harvey is as they say (well…we know he is…just do not let him flip that damn coin), but you could also get someone saying that a person is a real jerk for other reasons that may or may not be true. That person probably has other people in their lives that would say the exact opposite. A person’s opinion of someone or something is always going to be colored by their own experience. Maybe Tony thinks Nick is overly strict or judgmental because Tony was being very lazy and doing just the minimum to get by, but Nick is actually a very reasonable and laid back guy who just wants people to pull their own weight. With mentors especially, you hear of someone being really strict and demanding, but if they are a good mentor they are doing it to help you improve and grow.
People will always spin a story to favor them. If they had a bad experience, no matter what the reason, they will spin it. They may not like someone because they did not agree with them, but that does not mean a person is a bad person. You see that trope used all the time in TV shows…two people tell the same story as they “remember it” and then you find the truth was somewhere in the middle.
This is also true about things and places. Like hearing a very negative movie review and then seeing the movie for yourself and loving it. Or having a friend tell you all about how horrible a restaurant is, but having a lovely experience when you go. Everyone has their own expectations and preferences, we will never all like and dislike the same things.
Judge people and things for yourself, do not judge entirely on what other people tell you. If you receive a warning about a person, listen, keep it in mind, but get to know that person for yourself. Go places and watching moves to form your own judgement. You will miss out on so much if you base everything you do on what others say, and that person others warned you about may just be one of the best people to ever enter your life.