DEAR ABBY: I am a man married to my husband for two years. My problem is his brother. He tries to sabotage our marriage every chance he gets – whether it’s rude comments, propositions, or sending me naked pictures of himself. The other problem is that my husband always takes his brother’s side. He knows his brother is dysfunctional, but insists that I should continue to give him another chance even though when I do, it never goes well. What should I do? — bugged in arizona
DEAR BUGGED: So your brother-in-law has a crush on you and your husband is in denial. It may take couples counseling to help him see the light. In the meantime, spend as little time as possible with your brother and, when you must be in his company, don’t stay alone in a room with him.
DEAR ABBY: I am 26 years old and I am not currently in a relationship. I do not have many friends. I wish I had more and I’m trying. I wasn’t popular in middle and high school either. I was in and out of college, so I wasn’t able to make friends there. I’ve been working at my job for three years and it’s the same story.
People say I’m “sweet, kind and cheerful”, but these traits don’t help me. I know you’ve written about this problem before. Can you give me some tips for being someone others want to be around? — PRINTED IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR IMPRESSIVE: The keys to being liked by both men and women are: Be nice. Be honest. Be tactful. Don’t be afraid to give someone a compliment if it’s deserved.
You don’t have to be beautiful (or handsome) to do your best. Be well-groomed, tastefully dressed and aware of your posture. (People who stand up are confident.) Stay informed about current events, but avoid imposing your opinions on others. Ask them what they think and encourage them to share their opinions.
If you’re smarter than most, resist the temptation to know everything. Good conversationalists are interested in what others have to say rather than filling the air with the sound of their own voice. Cultivate your own interests so that you have things to talk about with others.
My booklet “How to Be Popular” has lots of other tips on how to approach others and what to say and what not to say when trying to start a conversation. It can be ordered by sending your name and address, along with a check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, PO Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling charges are included in the price.
Above all, remember that social skills are not something that comes naturally to everyone. It is a skill that must be practiced until it becomes second nature. When you receive your booklet, don’t read it just once. Keep it handy for reference, as it contains many helpful suggestions on how to be the kind of individual that others find interesting and attractive.
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 DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
New York Post