DEAR ABBY: I am married, have a daughter I love and a fulfilling job as a teacher. But when it comes to socializing at parties and small gatherings, I have a problem. My husband loves to socialize, which is good because his job is in sales. I'm the opposite. I have a hard time making small talk and become very uncomfortable in social situations. I guess you could call me an introvert. I sense that people pick up on my discomfort, which makes them uncomfortable, too. Sometimes I simply have nothing at all to say to these people.
Abby, I'm tired of feeling like an odd duck at these kinds of events. I know I owe it to my husband to be supportive when he has to entertain. A while back, you offered a booklet I think might help me, but for the life of me, I can't find that column. How can I get the booklet? Life is too short to be anti-social and insecure. Sign me ... WILTING IN THE SPOTLIGHT IN NEW YORK
DEAR WILTING: Almost everyone suffers from insecurity in social situations at some point or another. People aren't born with social skills; they have to be developed. There are techniques that can be helpful -- and I do, indeed, have a booklet that may help you. Other readers have told me that, by following the suggestions, they have become more comfortable in social situations.
To order "How to Be Popular -- You're Never Too Young or Too Old," send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)