DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a sister who is extremely private. When we talk on the phone, invariably she turns the conversation back to me, rarely revealing anything about herself. We live in different cities, so we don't see each other often. I am coming to her city in the summer and asked her if we could get together during that visit. I didn't dare ask her if I could spend the night. She has never invited me to visit her at her home, not even once. I love my sister and want to be there for her, but I feel like she shuts me out at every turn. How can I get her to open up? -- Let Me In, Detroit
DEAR LET ME IN: You and your sister have different desires. Given that it sounds like you are both adults, you should accept her for who she is and how she includes you in her life. She sounds pretty masterful at keeping you at arm's length. It is likely that she will recoil if you keep pushing.
When you come to town, invite her to join you for a meal or some other type of get-together. Choose to enjoy her company to the extent that she offers it. Being able to accept people for who they are without trying to change them is a great gift that you can offer to your sister and yourself.