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20-40-60 etiquette: Friend gets too personal

My friend embarrasses me when he tells stories about me, and I'd like it to stop. Features Editor Matt Price is guest as 20-40-60 etiquette offers suggestions.
by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman Published: September 21, 2012
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QUESTION: I have a friend who always tells personal stories about me in front of our friends. I am sure he does not realize that he is totally embarrassing me. How do I shut him up?

CALLIE'S ANSWER: Take him aside later and explain to him how you feel. I am sure he isn't meaning to embarrass you.

LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: I think first you have to tell him that hearing him relive your own stories in front of other people is embarrassing to you. He may not know and may just assume that you find them funny, too. If he's a good friend, he doesn't intend to make you uncomfortable. You can also tell him up front as something happens that you don't want it shared.

HELEN'S ANSWER: When you don't want someone to know something about you, don't tell him, and, sometimes, it is best not to tell anyone. If you share a personal story, I would think it would be OK to repeat it.

If it is a shared personal experience, then tell the friend right then that you don't want anyone else to know as it might embarrass you. If the personal stories happened a long time and he is still telling them, remind everyone “It happened 20 years ago.” It really is embarrassing to have your words and stories repeated when sometimes you don't remember them at all.

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by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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