There is a booklet written by Abigail Van Buren, called How To Be Popular You’re Never Too Young or Too Old (Dear Abby). It was written after Abby received a troubling letter from a young teen. The girl was so confused about how to make friends. It seemed no matter what she did, she repelled them. Abby’s advice:
No matter what you wear, the expression on your face is your greatest asset — or liability. Would you want to strike up a conversation with someone who looks like he (or she) is mad at the world? Well, neither would anyone else. So, if you’re wearing a perpetual frown, get rid of it. Trade it for a smile.
“You can walk down the street in any foreign country in the world, and even though you may not be able to understand a word they’re saying, when you see a smile, you get a message. It’s the universal way of saying, ‘I’m friendly.’
Abby’s booklet is pure gold, and there’s so many nuggets of wisdom in this tiny bit of writing. My favorite, that I took away from it was this:
“There are two kinds of people — those who come into a room and their attitude says, ‘Here I am!’ and those who come into a room and their attitude is, ‘There you are!
“The ‘there-you-are’ type is the winner. If you want to receive a warm welcome, remember the happier you are to see others, the happier they’ll be to see you.”
Some kids just figure this out. They have a social intelligence, that guides them. Others struggle and struggle. And they turn into adults that experience the same struggle, just with other adults.
The older I get, the more I realize how much there is to notice, and learn just by watching others make their way through this world. Abby is right. You are never too young or too old.