DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are moving to a retirement community where we won't know a soul. I hate leaving our friends and the relationships we have formed here. I have never been especially outgoing or good at making small talk, but I know I will have to to fit in.
I believe you have written something for people who have this challenge. Can I get a copy? What are some tips on how to get started? We're relocating soon. -- FACING IT HEAD ON
DEAR FACING IT: You and your husband are opening an exciting new chapter in your lives. Managing it successfully will depend upon your attitude, so think positive. Please understand that the majority of people have the same insecurities you do. Not everyone is born socially adept. It is a skill that can be learned and polished with practice.
Everyone wants to be the kind of person others find interesting, attractive and worth knowing. The key to being well-liked by both sexes is: Be kind. Be honest. Be tactful. Don't be afraid to offer someone a compliment if it's deserved. Be well-groomed, tastefully dressed and conscious of your posture. Confident individuals stand tall. You do not have to be the smartest person in the room. Ask others what they think and encourage them to share their opinions. My booklet "How To Be Popular" contains many useful tips for polishing social skills for people of all ages. It can be ordered by sending your name and address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price. Remember, part of fitting in is showing an interest in and an appreciation of others. Be a good listener and people will think you're a genius. Good conversationalists are interested in what others have to say rather than feel pressured to fill the air with the sound of their own voices. It isn't necessary to be an authority on every subject. Keep in mind that most people can concentrate on only one thing at a time. Forget about yourself and your own insecurities and concentrate on the other person. If you try it, you will find that it works.