HOW TO BE POPULAR
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HOW TO BE POPULAR
Most teen-agers would like to be popular if they could. But many are baffled as to just what it takes to achieve popularity, or even to get a date. Knowing that is generally considered attractive to the opposite sex helps. Also understanding what boys expect of girls and what girls expect of boys in a given community is especially important.
In general young people like members of the other sex who are (1) careful of their personal appearance; (2) courteous and thoughtful; and (3) fun to be with.
A girl doesn’t have to be a beauty to get a date. She just has to dress appropriately, be neat and well groomed, and then try to forget her appearance. The same goes for a boy. If he’s clean and neat (hair combed, fresh shirt, nails clean) he’s acceptable, and probably attractive to someone.
Courtesy is mentioned frequently by both boys and girls as a desirable quality in a date. Actually, being courteous is just being thoughtful of others; it’s easy to get the habit. Sometimes a young person grows up in a family that is careless or casual about little courtesies, and he has to learn not to speak when someone else is talking, not to talk with a mouth full of food. If you keep your voice low and pleasant, say “Thank you” and “Excuse me” at appropriate times, it makes a pleasant impression on new and old friends. Some schools have special courses in social arts where students get opportunities for practicing those graces that make getting along with others easy. Books, articles, and lectures also help to give boys and girls an idea of what kind of behavior is expected of them when they begin to have dates.
When you say “Ted is such fun to be with!” do you know why? Do you realize it takes practice to become a “fun person”? It involves some rather complicated skills—knowing how to carry on a conversation, knowing how to enter a group pleasantly, being able to accept and refuse invitations graciously, assuming responsibility for one’s part in the group activity, and generally making others glad that you’re there. Most boys and girls are awkward in group situations at first. But as they gain experience, first in simple
situations with .^others who know and like them, they get over being self-conscious. Soon they become so poised that they feel at home in most social situations. But this takes time and experience —lots of it.
It is no accident that boys and girls who have belonged to clubs and organizations get along more easily with people than do those who have grown up somewhat isolated. Being a member of a group not only gives you experience in planning and making decisions with others, in carrying responsibility for your part in a project, but it also introduces you to a variety of human situations and human beings. You begin to learn how the next guy “ticks.”
If you want to be more acceptable to the other sex, then you ought to get into group activities with other young people of both sexes. Mingling with a mixed group will ready you for dating and develop those skills which will help you carry off a date successfully.