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by Abigail Van Buren

Habit of One-Upmanship Pushes Women's Friendship to the Limit

DEAR ABBY: I have a good friend I'll call Josie. She's kind, generous and always willing to help. There is only one problem -- she lies.

The lies she tells are ridiculous. I find myself getting more and more angry as she stumbles through her stories. If someone makes a comment, she takes over the conversation and we hear a looong story about the same thing happening to her but much worse. I could say I climbed Mount Everest and Josie would say she climbed it twice.

What can I say or do to get her to stop lying? I'm so tired of it I'm thinking of quietly ending my friendship with her. -- TRUTH WINS IN TENNESSEE

DEAR TRUTH WINS: One person trying to convince her to stop probably won't do the trick. Josie won't quit lying until she finally hears it from others and realizes that it isn't achieving the desired effect, which is standing front and center in the spotlight.

Tell Josie in plain English that what she's doing is infuriating and that she's doing herself no favors. But when you do, realize it will probably be part of a farewell speech rather than an opportunity for a new beginning.

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