DEAR ABBY: My sister is driving me and our other sister nuts. There are five years between the three of us. We are all seniors who live in the same city and have always been close.
The oldest talks nonstop. It was always a family joke, but it's gotten worse. Now she interrupts people to tell her story.
A cousin we hadn't seen in several years came to town, and we all had dinner. Not once did my sister ask, "Why are you in town, how are you doing, your family, etc.?" She just talked about herself and her family.
It's no longer a joke; she is just plain rude. How do we stop her outlandish behavior without hurting her feelings? -- ALL LISTENED OUT IN IOWA
DEAR ALL LISTENED OUT: Stopping her outlandish behavior may take some risk, but it's worth it. Point out to her -- as kindly as possible -- what she has been doing and how it affects people, and tell her it has to stop before people start avoiding or excluding her.
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DEAR ABBY: I have a childhood friend who is seriously depressed. She sees a medical professional once a month for drugs, but doesn't get counseling.
She lives alone and is going through a contentious divorce. She has pretty much alienated her friends and family because she can't converse without crying and blaming everyone else for her problems.
Do you have any advice on how I might help someone who doesn't seem able to help herself? -- SYMPATHETIC IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR SYMPATHETIC: Suggest to her that she inform the doctor who is prescribing her medication that she needs more help than she is currently receiving. And if she isn't already aware of it, point out to her that she should go online and explore support programs or groups for divorced people.