DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been friends with "Kelly" for about five years. She sees me as one of her closest friends, but honestly, I don’t know much about her. Kelly is very reserved and is a homebody. I have met her siblings and boyfriend a few times, but other than that, I find our time together is me sharing my life and mishaps with her. I try to ask her about her life, but this is always met with deflection. Is there anything else I can do to make Kelly open up to me and stop being so distant? -- Let Me In, Boston
DEAR LET ME IN: Some people are masterful at not letting others in to their personal spheres, even as they seem to be close friends. This happens because most people like to talk about their lives and the daily ups and downs that they face. Having a friend who is a good listener can be a blessing for people who are involved in their own dramas, doldrums and simple day-to-day experiences, and like to share what’s going on with themselves. Reclusive people can easily hide in the midst of these relationships as it is rare that they are questioned about their own journeys.
How do you get around that? You could challenge Kelly and tell her that you think it’s unfair that you bare your soul and she does not. You can ask her questions and stay silent as you wait for her to respond. Chances are, you normally don’t allow awkward silences and quickly fill them with chatter. You can also give her space and let her share as she feels comfortable. Unless you feel unsafe within this relationship, you can just let her be.