TEENS: September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.
Recovery Month is an annual United States health observance, which has taken place during the month of September for 30 years now.
It was designed to teach Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives. Now in its 31st year, Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those living in recovery.
Promotes the message that recovery from substance abuse in all its forms is possible.
Highlights the benefits of substance abuse treatment.
Encourages citizens to act to help expand and improve the availability of effective substance abuse treatment for those in need.
Honors the contributions of treatment providers.
For more information about this excellent organization and to access their webinar series, go to www.recoverymonth.gov.
CONVERSATION STARTER SUGGESTIONS
DR. WALLACE: I’m a shy guy, and I have trouble starting conversations with new people I’ve just met, especially girls. I feel that I have a lot to offer and that most people would like me, but I don’t seem to engage anyone new in conversations.
Do you have any suggestions on a few opening lines that don’t sound too cheesy or dorky? — Shy Guy Who Wants To Be Fly, via email
SHY GUY WHO WANTS TO BE FLY: The secret to being a good conversationalist is learning how to ask thought-provoking questions. This can be something the person would likely have an opinion on, such as music, movies, sports or school activities. Avoid topics like religion and politics as they can be controversial and take a mild conversation down a more intense road.
Avoid questions that can be answered by a simple yes or no. Instead ask something like, “What’s your favorite band?” that cannot be answered by a yes or no. Another example would be to ask, “What is your favorite song?”
Always smile when starting a conversation and do your best to relax. Take a few deep breaths first and exhale them slowly. Think for a moment how good it will feel to you once the conversation is over and you’ve successfully engaged in some small talk.
When speaking to someone new, make eye contact and listen carefully to what they say. Never, ever interrupt them, even if you know they are incorrect about a small or large point. Remember that you’re trying to be friendly and enjoy a nice, brief conversation, not win a debate!
Once you try this a few times, you’ll get the hang of it. You’ll feel better and more confident in no time. I’m sure you can make a few new friends, but I would not be the best judge of how “fly” you’ll end up being.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.