Sunday, January 9, 2011

"How To Win a Boyfriend"

Recently, I was doing some "winter cleaning" and found a bunch of interesting old artifacts from way back when.  Included in this was vintage-y "self-help" style pamphlet for teenage girls, which seemed to come from the 1970s or 1980s, that I assume used to belong to a relative as a young one in that era.  While a lot of the advice seems to be extremely outdated and hilarious, there are some good nuggets of timeless wisdom intertwined, mainly about being true to one's values and caring for others.  There is no copyright information, but I've decided to type it all out and share it with you for your amusement.  Enjoy!

How To Win a Boyfriend

The only way to have a friend is to be one.  Make friends with people you have something in common with, like hiking or music.  If you want to be friends with Jaime because she's always cheerful, ask yourself what makes her that way and imitate her.

Get involved in activities at school, house of worship, and in your neighborhood.  Don't stay home because no one will hurt your feelings that way.  Go to concerts, plays, and community activities.  Join the school swim team or act in the school play.  Volunteer to work your church spaghetti supper.  And if your next-door neighbor is selling homegrown vegetables from a stand at the end of her driveway, offer to help.

What are you doing?  What any sensible business person does.  You are building a network of contacts that will pay off later when people invite you to parties and football games.

But just going places isn't enough.  You need to act alive, to really enjoyy ourelf, to have fun.  Even though you are shy, people may misinterpret that shyness as conceity.  Smile, laugh, and take part in conversations.

If you feel out of place at school dances, join the committee that sets up the chairs and provides the refreshments.  Work does more than take your mind off your shyness.  It allows you to feel part of the action and gives you coruage.  Act like you belong there and people will assume you belong there.  So will you and the confidence will radiate like a light that everyone will see.

Remember, enthusiasm attacts enthusiastic people.  Keep a positive attitude.  Don't be offended if someone rejects your advances.  Everyone gets turned down.  They don't lock themselves in their rooms.  They get out and try again.  You are worthy of other people's affection and if you treat others well, tey will see that you're the kind of person they want to hang out with.

A positive attitude is related to another important part of the puzzle.  It's called positive imaging.

Always try to act with grace, dignity, and maturity.  Don't think you have al of that?  You do, although it might be buried beneath the surface.  Here's a hint:  Think of someone you admire and respect.  Create a vision of that person in your mind, an image of that person performing well in a difficult situation.  Whar does he or she do to cope?  Adopt that style.

One word of caution.  Smiling and acting friendly doesn't mean bending over backwards for all people all of the time.  Are you sure you want to become friends with the kids who do drugs and get into trouble?  How will the attention they give you make you a better person?  They may seem to like you if you do favors for them, but when they're tired of using you, they'll dump you just like they did to others in your school.

Before you do them any favors ask yourself this:  Will I feel guilty or ashamed of what I'm about to do?  If the answer is yes, don't do it.  There are people who would be glad to have you as a friend, just the way you are.  

Now that you've landed some new friends, you have to take care of them or they and your old friends will slip away.  How do you keep friends?  The same way you attract them:

* Be a friend all of the time.  Listen to your friends' problems.  Smile and nod to show you understand.  Defend them from unjust attacks.  If they need a favor, offer your help.  If they need more than you can give, know your limits; suggest they talk to their parents, their minister, or the school counselor.

* Don't badmouth people behind their backs.  This gives both them and you a bad reputation.  If someone did this to you, it would hurt, so why do it to a potential friend?  If a person has hurt your feelings, talk it over with him or her.  Don't accuse or attack.  Say you value the persons friendship and that you want to work things out.  Talk is not cheap; it is one of the most valuable things you can do.

*  You have worked hard to feel good about yourself and you have a right to brag a little.  But don't carry it too far.  If your new friends misinterpret your pride as a belief that you're better than everyone else, they'll try to take you down a peg.

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