I was burned by a gossip.

I used to be really close friends with a woman I met at my daughter’s school; we clicked the second we met and became close very quickly. We talked on the phone a ton, hung out all the time, and even went on weekend trips with our families together. Well, I came to find out that this woman, who I confided in about a variety of personal things, was gossiping about me and sharing with other friends some pretty private things that I had told her in confidence. I’m angry and sad and feel betrayed, and I almost immediately stopped calling her and stopped attending social events where I knew she would be. I think she’s confused about why our friendship ended so abruptly, and I’m sure she’s talking about it to many of our mutual friends. Should I confront her and explain why I no longer desire her friendship?

No! Chatty Cathy loves nothing more than a good, dramatic confrontation to give her something to talk about. Just go about your daily life, don’t shut yourself off from your mutual friends, and don’t discuss your friendship with her to anyone. If someone asks you why you’re not friends anymore, look puzzled, smile, and say, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. We’ve always been friends.”

I know you didn’t ask about them, but I have two more points to make here.

1. Be suspicious of people who are so enthusiastic about being your friend. I’m sure you’re terrific, but anyone who gets all best-friendy right away with someone they barely know is someone to be wary of. I try to hate everyone I meet the second I meet them, and then am pleasantly surprised when they turn out to be okay.

2. This has nothing to do with your problems, but I’d like to point out here that the key to being a good gossip is to not tell everyone and her mother everything you know about every person in town. You’ll be like a shooting star gossip, burning out before you can recognize the true wonder of knowing all kinds of shit you have no business knowing.

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