How to be a hit among your chosen demographic


If, like me, your natural disposition is ill-suited to the modern-day rat race, I would recommend infiltrating a group of seniors. After extensive exposure, I discovered age to be the single greatest factor affecting my personal popularity.

In fact, among the over-65s, I enjoy close-to-celebrity status.

Here’s how you could too.

1. Develop a permanently pleasant and attentive expression

For years I thought that when people said I was a good listener, they were being kind about me being a poor speaker. But it turns out that years of pretending to listen to people who bored me allowed me to develop a highly attentive expression and an uncanny ability to match my face to the appropriate tone of the conversation, despite not being consciously aware of the topic under discussion.

This makes you appear wholesome and respectful, two of the most coveted characteristics among the over-65s.

2. Use your nationality to your best advantage

After tricking seniors into liking me with my pleasant and attentive expression, I tell them that I’m Irish. They use this information to justify their positive first impression. “Oh, Ireland,” they say. “So lovely and green!” Once when I gave up my seat for an old lady on the train, she said “I bet you are not German! They have no manners any more.” When I confirmed that I was, in fact, Irish she said “I knew it!”

3. Start a blog and employ an unusual marketing strategy

As well as visiting Frau Bienkowski, I’ve started volunteering at a seniors’ club. It is an incredible place and I have started counting down the days until I am old enough to sign up to all the activities offered there, from herb-tasting and cooking classes to tango dancing and Chinese conversation. Along with four other lovely volunteers, I’ve set up a blog called Berlin ab 50 where there’ll be articles, podcasts, videos and more catering to the over-50’s living in Berlin. If you’re over 50 or German or reading this right now, you should check it out!

If you follow and adapt these handy tips, you too could become instantly popular among your chosen demographic.

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9 thoughts on “How to be a hit among your chosen demographic

  1. Oh how true this is! I have the exact same experience. If you give people the time of day in a world where people are rushing around, it will be appreciated even if it’s just to say thank-you with a smile like you mean it. I’m always amazed by how astonished and grateful people are when I do this. The older I become the more I realise how important good manners are. It’s more than ‘being nice’ for the sake of it. It means that you realise that the world doesn’t just revolve around you and that your fellow human is important.
    I am also quite envious of the infinite range of activities my elderly Mum has access too! I better put my name down now. Chinese tango and herbal conversation please!
    Congratulations on Berlin ab 50. Alas my German isn’t up to deciphering but what a great idea.

    • Hi there,

      I am so sorry I am only getting back to your comment now. Thanks so much for leaving such a thoughtful response.

      I completely agree. I find it hard to understand people who seem unable to be polite! It’s much less stressful than being rude or abrasive! And I’m always much more likely to go out of my way for someone nice and respectful.

      If you ever want to settle somewhere else in your retirement, I can only recommend Charlottenburg – my name is firmly on the waiting list there. The range of activities is truly astonishing!

      Hope you are doing well 🙂

  2. Excellent piece of work! A huge smile crossed my face when I read this. I could identify with it very well, I need to pick up your ‘uncanny ability’! It will come in extremely handy;)
    It is great that you have embarked on a life outside work and I can imagine it’s extremely fulfilling? How did you get to know about the seniors club?

    • Thanks, Clariice! 🙂 You might well find you already have an uncanny ability 🙂

      It really is fulfilling. At the moment I have a bit too much on but am looking forward to getting stuck back into it when I have a free moment.

      I approached my local county council and said I’d be interested in volunteering and the whole thing grew from there.

      Hope you are doing well, Clariice. I have been out of touch for too long. I’m sorry.

      • It’s great to hear from you again and thanks for your encouragement 🙂

        I can see that you are slowly integrating into your environment and setting up a proper life there. I was wondering if you had a chance to volunteer when you were in Ireland?

        Recently, I was thinking a little more about my life in London and if I was full utilising my opportunity to lead a different life than what I would have done if I was in Singapore. It’s my fourth year now and I only settled in properly in my second year after my job was confirmed. And I am past the stage of exploratory and seem to be going through the second phase of readjustment=more established thoughts and learnings than exploratory stage of asking. Wonder if you have any thoughts on that?

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