DEAR ABBY: I’m a 15-year-old girl. When I’m with the high school group of kids at my church, I try to extend myself and talk, but they never reciprocate much. I always have to try to think of something to say and be careful I don’t embarrass myself. Especially around guys, I feel awkward and self-conscious.
I feel OK about myself, but I still get nervous. Other girls find things to talk about to each other but not me, and guys never talk to me first, either. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong or being too careful.
I’m an only child. I get along pretty well with adults, but I have a hard time with kids. — Unpopular in Sacramento
DEAR UNPOPULAR: Part of your problem may be that you’re an only child, which can be isolating. If you spend most of your time with adults, it’s understandable that you are less comfortable with people your own age. But don’t let it stop you from trying to be friendly. If guys don’t speak to you first, they’re probably feeling as awkward as you are. To smile and say hello is NOT being pushy.
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The key to being well-liked by both sexes is: Be kind. Be honest. Be tactful. Don’t be afraid to give someone a compliment if you think it’s deserved. If you think you’re not beautiful (or handsome), be well-groomed, tastefully dressed, conscious of your posture. (People who stand tall and smile project self-confidence.)
If you’re not a “brain,” try harder. If you are smarter than most, don’t be a know-it-all. Ask other people what they think and encourage them to share their opinions. If you’re not a good athlete, be a good sport.
Think for yourself, but respect the rules. Be generous with kind words and affectionate gestures, but respect yourself and your family values always. If you think “putting out” will make boys like you, forget it. (It won’t work, and later you’ll be glad you didn’t.) If you need help, ask God. If you don’t need anything, THANK God!
Biceps aren’t enough?
DEAR ABBY: I’m a 27-year-old male, and I have no clue how to read women’s subtle interest cues, if they ever display any. I’d like to think they have, given that I put in at least two days a week at the gym working with weights.
Since you are a woman, could you please be so kind as to give this man a clue what to look for? It’s driving me nuts! — Available in Illinois
DEAR AVAILABLE: The most obvious clues that a woman finds you attractive are eye contact and a smile. That’s your opening to make conversation. The rest is up to you!
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
© Universal Uclick 9/17