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Let Gossip Go in One Ear and Out the Other


DR. WALLACE: Luke and Nadia had been dating for over a year. About two months ago, I met Luke at the wedding of a mutual friend. We talked for over an hour and fell in love. He told me that he was dating Nadia, but he would consider not dating her if I would go out with him. I said yes. A week after we met, Luke called and said that Nadia and he were no longer going to date, so he asked me to go out. I happily said yes.

He and I have been a couple for about two months now, and these have been the happiest days of my 17 years on earth. He is a wonderful guy, and we are very much in love. Everything is perfect except for one thing. Nadia has been telling everyone in town that the only reason Luke left her was that she wouldn't give in to his sexual demands and that Luke and I were both "sex maniacs." These were her exact words.

This is a huge lie because we are not having sex and don't plan to. In fact, I've never had sex. Please tell me how I can get Nadia to stop telling lies. My dad said that I should start spreading nasty rumors about Nadia, but I really don't want to do this. — Sara, Hammond, Ind.

SARA: Vicious rumors can inflict a great deal of pain, but the best weapon you have against them is personal integrity. Don't compromise your integrity by spreading counter-rumors! Your father loves you, but his advice is lousy. Sinking to Nadia's level will intensify the pain, not end it.

These rumors have less power than you think.

Teens are excellent judges of character. Most of them can probably see through Nadia's self-serving lies immediately. A few may be fooled, but only temporarily. Enjoy your relationship with Luke and let the idle gossip go in one ear and out the other.


DR. WALLACE: I'm 17 and have a brother who is 18. Our parents own a greeting card store and work there six days a week. Every Saturday morning, my parents "strongly request" that I help them open the store and work the cash register. My brother gets to sleep late. When I ask why he can't work the cash register, they say he doesn't know how to make the correct change.

I feel ripped off. I'm smart and I get punished. My brother is dumb, so he doesn't have to help at all. It just isn't fair. Do you agree with me? — Jackie, Orlando, Fla.

JACKIE: No, it isn't fair. Since your brother can't make the correct change, he still could do other things that would be helpful. When you and your parents open the store next Saturday, your brother should be there, too. I'm positive the three of you could find something useful for him to do, perhaps in the stock room.

Make sure your Mom and Dad see my answer to your question.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. E-mail him at To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



2 Comments | Post Comment
It's more likely that the brother CAN make the change just fine but has figured out that if he pretends he can't, he won't have to get up early on Saturdays and work!
Comment: #1
Posted by: anna
Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:14 AM
I agree you should ignore the gossip whenever possible. Also, talk to Luke and come up with some plain and simple things to say if confronted by gossipy friends. If you have a united front and behave impeccably, the gossip will soon die down.

I don't mean that you should engage in long conversations - just say something like, "Do YOU believe that?", or "Nadia can say anything she likes, I/we know the truth." Enough to let the person know you are not bothered by rumours.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Miss Pasko
Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:31 AM
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