I reproduce his letter here and my response to him. I hope that you'll find both to be interesting.
Hi Marty:I am a 40 year old guy. I have a high school education. I did not do well in high school. I work at a low paying job. I do not have good people skills. I don't have many friends and people don't seem to reach out to get to know me. I have not had a girlfriend in years. I have always had trouble dating. I am probably of average intelligence. I suffer from depression. I was diagnosed with a learning disability. I am probably above average in looks. I have never been promoted in a job. I have been fired a few times. I have to take anti-depressant medications..Wellbutrin. People tell me that I talk to much at times..at work.. Sometimes I steal small items at work. Candy Bars. I am suspicious that my boss may know, but chooses not to say anything. I don't steal anything over 4-5 dollars at most. There is a good community college near where I live. What should I do to pull my live together? What books can I read to improve myself? I tend to act out at times and try to influence people..maybe overstepping my boundaries. I grew up with a mentally ill mother. I have always had trouble dating. I tend to have a high voice and even though I am not gay some women tell me I sound ike a woman. People tell me that I talk to fast.That is all.Thanks.Scott
How fantastically introspective you are!!!!!! Great. That's the most important step to improvement. I'd recommend that you:
1. You make friends mainly by putting yourself in places where you're likely to meet good friends (perhaps at a college, church, or where you volunteer) by asking people about themselves, listening carefully, sharing some things about yourself, and, in general, being kind.
3. Never talk for more than 30 to 60 seconds without shutting up or asking a question. In any conversation, be sure to talk only 30 to 50% of the time--the other person will fill in. Let there be silence in the conversation rather than you jabbering on.