Dear Annie: I get together once or twice a year with a group of girlfriends I’ve known since high school. We are at our wits’ end with one I will call Miss Motor Mouth.
We are in our 60s, with families. Miss Motor Mouth has never been married or even been in a relationship. She is very self-centered and talks incessantly about her former job (she’s been retired for three years) and the people she worked with, whom we’ve never met. She loves to flaunt the obscene amounts she spends on purses, clothing and wine, and how many millions her brother is worth. It is impossible to discuss anything with the others without her interrupting.
One of the girls has terminal breast cancer. Miss Motor Mouth has absolutely no empathy for this friend because she chose to treat her cancer holistically. We are at the point where, after 43 years, we are thinking of not inviting her to the next gathering because we can no longer tolerate her incessant blather.
Would it be better to tell her how annoying she is? She seems oblivious to our feelings. What else can we do? – Singed Ears
Dear Singed: If you are prepared to cut her out of these gatherings, you may as well tell her why. Don’t gang up on her. One of you should meet her for coffee and explain that she seems to be monopolizing the conversations, and that you are upset by her apparent lack of respect for the woman with breast cancer. Say that you are sure she isn’t intentionally alienating her friends, and ask if she could try to be more sensitive. If she cannot or will not, you don’t have to keep inviting her.
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