Handy advice and tips help girls sharpen social skills

DEAR ABBY: I enjoy reading your column, especially letters regarding young girls and their social skills. I have two granddaughters who have the normal drama, mostly with other girls. I worry their social skills are getting sidetracked.

I am interested in ordering your booklet about popularity. You have such a good way with words, and I'm sure the girls would find it helpful and enjoyable reading.

They are the only grandchildren I have, and I'm trying to give them insight and help them along to become fully functional, successful adults.

- Linda in Terre Haute, Ind.

DEAR LINDA: The booklet was written in response to thousands of questions from readers over the years who were not naturally socially assertive, and it contains many useful tips for polishing social skills. It can be ordered by sending your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

You will find that the booklet covers a variety of situations and is meant for people of all ages. Everyone wants to be the kind of person others find interesting, attractive, and worth knowing. (If parents, teachers, and clergy know someone needing help, it might make an inexpensive gift that could help change the course of that person's life.)

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 project self-confidence.) If you are not a "brain," try harder. If you are smarter than most, don't be a know-it-all. Ask others what they think, and encourage them to share their opinions.

If you're not a good athlete, be a good sport. Be generous with kind words and affectionate gestures, but respect yourself and your family values always. If you think "putting out" will make someone like you, forget it. (It won't work, and later you'll be glad you didn't.) If you need help, ask God. And if you don't need anything, thank God!

Hubby's too loud - and hates being alone

DEAR ABBY: My husband refuses to wear headphones. This means that when we sit in the living room together, I must put up with the blaring noise of whatever he is watching.

I do a lot of writing, and in order to think, I need silence. I have tried earplugs, but they don't muffle enough of the noise. Now, when I have had enough, I leave the room. This results in our being in two separate places, which he hates. Is there another solution?

- Loud in Maine

DEAR LOUD: You might try noise-canceling headphones. However, if that doesn't work, because you need to "hear" in your head the sentences you are trying to write, you may have to do your writing when your husband is not at home.