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by Abigail Van Buren

Sisters Puzzle Over Response to Parents' Secret Bankruptcy

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have lived in our home for 25 years, raised our children here and imagined living on this beautiful cul-de-sac forever. A woman who moved close by a few years ago has turned out to be the neighborhood gossip, spreading hateful rumors and expressing opinions that sadden us, based, we believe, on her own failed marriage and personal unhappiness.

It would be nice to dismiss her comments and believe that our friends will ignore her, but it's still hurtful and embarrassing. I have read that gossiping is related to low self-esteem and an effort to elevate oneself above others. What is your advice? -- KEEPING IT POSITIVE

DEAR KEEPING: My advice is to live your lives as you always have, and see your friends as you always have. By doing this, you will demonstrate that whatever the new neighborhood gossip is saying is fiction.

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