DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who is well-meaning, but extremely nosy and pushy. She is like the grand inquisitor of my life. If I tell her one thing, she asks me 10 more questions. If I don’t want to answer some of her questions, she gets offended and says that that’s what friends do -- tell each other everything. The thing is, she doesn’t tell me much about herself. She extracts all kinds of information about me but doesn’t reciprocate. I’m over it. I am tired of answering all of her questions. I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but I need to figure out how to get her to back off. Since I have allowed this for so long, I figure she will be shocked by my pushback. What should I do? -- Enough
DEAR ENOUGH: You have reached your limit, a sign of maturity on your part. In order to institute your new boundaries, you will have to flex your muscles and speak up. Next time your friend starts pushing for personal details that you would rather not share, don’t answer. You don’t have to say anything. When she asks you again or inquires as to why you aren’t answering, tell her that you have had enough of her inquisition. You do not want to answer all of her questions and you have decided that you aren’t going to do so anymore. If she acts hurt or offended, tell her that is not your intention. You just need your privacy. This may make your relationship cool off for a while, and that may be perfect, at least for now.