DEAR HARRIETTE: A friend of mine constantly asks me what I've been up to, and copies whatever I say. If I'm in on an email newsletter, she will sign up for it. If I go to spin classes, she will start as well. I hate when people copy me. I have tried telling her less about what I am doing and asking her about her interests, but redirecting the conversation doesn't particularly work. I would like my copycat friend to start developing her own interests. How can she stop copying me? -- Copy Cat, Tucson, Arizona
DEAR COPY CAT: Clearly, you and your life are extremely attractive to your friend -- to the point where she has gone overboard in trying to be immersed in your world. Since it seems that you like this friend, why not take the offensive? Invite her to participate in an activity with you. Be inclusive as you experience whatever it is together. When she asks you about other activities or interests, do not answer her questions. This may seem awkward, but if you don't tell her what you are doing, she cannot copy it. You can also tell her that you feel like she is smothering you because she tries to do everything that you do. Suggest that you need a little space. Be sure to tell her it doesn't mean that you don't care about her. It just means that you hope she will choose to develop her individuality more.