Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Boss and His Assistant Differ on Who Deserves a Thank You

DEAR ABBY: Many friends approach me for advice. I want to help them. It's in my nature to be helpful. However, there are times when I'm out of advice and just want to close the door. How can I continue to help, but also close the door without putting someone off? -- ADVISER IN INDIANA

DEAR ADVISER: Recognize that a fountain of advice must occasionally shut down for servicing and preventive maintenance. In your case, what you're trying to prevent is burnout. A friend will understand if you say, "I'd love to help, but I'm fresh out of ideas today -- let's talk about something else."