how much is too much?

Some people are private, choosing not to bare all about themselves or revealing confidences. Others thrive on sharing personal information, sometimes the most intimate facts, and have no problem divulging information that has been entrusted to them.

i once had a friend who would regularly tell me the most intimate details of her sex life with her now ex-husband. i was uncomfortable hearing this, but never said anything to her because, of course, i didn't know what to say.

What do you say to stop someone from saying too much?

when nosy people ask questions you don't want to answer

you know the person I mean - the one who does not hesitate to ask questions that may be just a little too personal - how much did it cost - or - how much do you earn - did you have sex with the guy on first date - what did the doctor say.

What do you say when people ask questions you really don't want to answer?

Not again!!??

Yup - just found out another person I know has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Another incredibly fit and healthy woman. I called her immediately, but again as the phone was ringing I was thinking 'what do you say?' She answered before I could clearly formulate my thoughts.

"I just heard about your breast cancer," I said. "I want you to know that I know and that I am thinking about you."

Although it was news to me, she had already had surgery to remove her breasts. I asked how she was feeling. We talked about some of the decisions she had to make and the difficulty she was having making them. I told her about my friend Diana who had breast cancer a few years ago and undertook extensive research in order to clearly understand her options. Diana (who has fully recovered) has since become actively involved in breast cancer prevention and is an incredible source of information, comfort and optimism. I gave her Diana's phone number and encouraged her to use it. I hope she does.

Did I say the right thing? I certainly hope so. Did I do the right thing? Absolutely!

when friends divorce

Friends of mine are getting divorced. It is a messy, angry, bitter, hostile, greedy situation. It feels awful watching them disintegrate. i like them both. I am trying to not take sides...I would like to remain friendly with both of them. Yesterday, she told me that I cannot stay neutral. I must choose between them. I'm not sure I can do that. Am I wrong? What can I say to make her understand?

your friend tells you she is leaving her husband -- what do you say?

Readers Advice:

  • This depends on the situation - ie was her husband cheating on her or abusing her or is she cheating on him? Generally I would say that regardless of why they split I am sorry for the relationship to be ending. What kind of support does she need from me - advice on getting a marriage counselor, babysitting, a good lawyer, support groups. I find in these situations you just have to make sure your friend knows that you are going to provide emotional support.
  • depends who does the separating?????? If the friend left a no goodnik..I would tell her mazel tov. If it was visa versa..... I would say....what a bummer...... let me know what I can do
  • You let her talk. People in these circumstances just want to know that someone is listening. What you don't say is that you know how she is feeling, because even if you have been through something like this, you don't know how she is feeling.
  • I'm so sorry to hear about your separation. I'm sure that this is not how you had envisioned your marriage.