The next time it comes up, avoid getting in the proverbial dirt. When your trigger topics come up, you can either extract yourself from the conversation or redirect it.
One of my favorite tactics is to come to a party with some ideas for conversation. If you bring up something to talk about, you can avoid tricky situations.
An apology goes a long way. You can say sorry for your hurtful statements, even if you still disagree with your neighbors on the economy. -- Doug
Q: I've been married twice in my life. When my husband passed away after almost 30 wonderful years, I grieved but was determined to move on with my life.
My second relationship wasn't as successful and ended in divorce. We were a good couple for several years but couldn't make it through some health scares.
Now, my friends are urging me to start dating again, but I don't see the point. I feel like I've passed my expiration date, and the whole thing is hopeless.
Do you think I'm right?
A: No. Don't let your apprehensions get in the way of your living. Life passes you by only when you let it.
The key is to keep a positive attitude and be confident. If you don't believe in yourself, then no dating partner will see your best traits.
Telling ourselves negative messages is often a coping mechanism to allow us to avoid stepping outside of our comfort zones. If you don't allow yourself to try, then you don't have to fear failure: It's a self-fulfilling prophecy, and there are no surprises.
Finally, avoid comparing your new dates to past relationships. You are in a different stage of your life than when you were last dating, and change is unavoidable.
Look to the future and put yourself out there. Live in the moment instead of in the past. -- Emma, Doug's granddaughter
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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