DEAR ABBY: I am part of a couples group that gets together on a regular basis for dinner. The problem is one of the women takes over the conversation, and it becomes her monologue. She just won't stop! She goes into minute detail about every aspect of her life for the last couple of weeks (or months or years!) and the lives of her family, friends, friends of family and friends of friends. These are people we don't know and don't care about!
We have tried to redirect the conversation by asking someone else a specific question. Before they can hardly comment, she jumps right in again. She's a nice person, and a friend. Can you suggest a kind way we can fix this, or do we just have to exclude them from these dinners? -- EARS HURTING IN OHIO
DEAR EARS HURTING: The woman may not realize how her efforts to be entertaining are perceived by the rest of you. Someone -- possibly you -- has to summon up the courage to tell her how off-putting her monologues are. It may not be an easy conversation to have, but it would be better than excluding her with no explanation. If, however, she is unable to change her behavior, the solution would be to stop inviting her.