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Gossip guru: gabbing is great, but blatant blabbing is a whole other story.

HOW FAR IS TOO FAR? Let's be real--dishing dirt with your girls can be fun. But has your bud gone totally beyond blabbermouth? There are tell-tale signs: She dishes dirt daily; circulates gossip that's hurtful or untrue; or starts rumors by blowing minor incidents out of proportion. (Like that time she overheard Steve tell Nicole, "I'll call ya later," and immediately planted the seed that the two were a total item.) If more than one applies, you might have an OOC gossip goddess on your hands. So how do you convince her to jump off the rumor mill?

PUTTIN' A CORK IN IT Everyone (yes, even you) has repeated unsavory news at one time or another. Sure, you know what makes gossip so alluring ... but also dangerous. So you can't just ignore your friend's bad habit or drop subtle hints--you've gotta get Mouth Almighty to muzzle it. Why? Because friends don't let friends get tagged as vicious gossips.

THE CONFRONTATION Your pal has apparently lost sight of the downside to spreading rumors. It might help to remind her that rumors often hurt. Share a story about a sitch in which you (or someone else she cares about) were hurt by a rumor. Also, point out that she could eventually get stung. After all, no one takes a gossipy gal seriously--and if she's tattled too much, who even wants to dish with her? She could get cut out of everyone's biz. Even you are iffy about sharing sacred stuff with her.

BREAKIN' THE BUD'S BAD HABIT Don't just judge--offer to help Rumor Girl rehabilitate. Say, each time she's caught spreading gossip, she has to sing Kelly Osbourne's "Shut Up" in the school hallway. And each day she doesn't spread a single rumor? You have to belt out Christina's "Fighter"--because your girl is getting a little stronger, cooler, wiser!

THE FINAL WORD Rumors are a dime a dozen, but your BFF is worth a million. Your support and honesty can inspire her to keep her lips zipped, and save her from losing more than a few delicious tidbits. So treasure the friendship--and keep your own tongue in check, chick!
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Title Annotation:friends
Author:Bennett, Shanae
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2003
Words:358
Previous Article:Dear Carol.
Next Article:Laugh out loud.
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