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by Abigail Van Buren

Proud Owner of Brand-New Home Gym Isn't Ready to Share

DEAR ABBY: I just finished building my dream home. My dilemma is, now that I have a wonderful home gym, my in-laws want to use it. I feel selfish saying no. But I'm a very private and somewhat introverted person, and I really like my space. I'm afraid if I agree, it may become inconvenient for me when I want to use it. Where do I draw the line?

Am I being selfish? If not, how do I refuse without disrupting the family dynamics? I have a feeling it wouldn't sit well, and so far, I've been coming up with excuses to avoid the situation. Please help. -- RUNNING OUT OF EXCUSES

DEAR RUNNING OUT: A tactful solution might be to "remind" your in-laws that you want the gym to be available for your private use when you need it, and suggest some hours or days when there wouldn't be a conflict. And hold a good thought. Interest in working out in gyms is notoriously short-lived, so your problem may disappear in quick time.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Etiquette & Ethics