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.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend, “Anne,” is currently searching for summer internships for her professional resume. There have been many that she has in mind, though there is one organization at which she really wants to intern. This internship consists of decent pay and flexible hours, and it looks amazing on resumes. The main requirement for this organization is a high GPA. Anne does decently in her schoolwork, but it does not reach the benchmark of the internship. This organization is very selective with its applicants. Anne has worked at different establishments and even has a lot of volunteer experience. She has all this experience, but she does not meet the GPA requirement. Should she just go for it? Or search for something else? -- Striving for Success
DEAR STRIVING FOR SUCCESS: Your friend should certainly apply for this internship and include a letter that speaks of her passion and commitment as it also describes why she thinks she is a good fit for the role. But she should not end her application process there. She should apply to several other internships, including some that better match her qualifications. Most internships are highly competitive. She should not assume that she will be selected for the one she wants. This would be true even if she matched all of the requirements.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)