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Dear Abby: Moving to new community brings out social insecurities

September 18, 2019 at 11:05 a.m.

— 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.


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.

DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for nine years. I take responsibility for the end of my marriage. I fell in love with another man. Although I never intended to divorce, my husband discovered my affair and divorced me.

I am now in a new relationship with a man I adore. Should I tell him the reason my marriage ended? My ex died in 2017, so the only other person who knows why we divorced is no longer alive.



DEAR TRUTH: Excuse me. Someone else does know -- the person with whom you had the affair. If you are asked why you and your ex divorced, answer the question honestly.

If you aren’t asked, keep your past where it belongs -- in the past.


(Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.)


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