Christian Youth In Hiding – Counseling Helps Me Get Out Of My Shell (Allow Yourself To Be You)

I am born into a Christian family, and my parents are strict Christians.   I do attend Bible study sessions and some Christian group gatherings, and I enjoy them.   But I am keeping this a secret in school and even to some of my friends because I’m worried that they will look at me differently if they find out.

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Teenagers’ Corner: How To Make New Friends

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The life of a teenager is a complicated one. Many things must be taken into consideration, especially when it comes to making friends in school. If you are having difficulty in establishing friendships in high school, do not worry because there are many things that you could do about it. Do not spend most of your time worrying about this problem. Instead, try to try these ideas to start building ties in school.

 

Be Sensitive

 

The first step to making people like you is to make them feel that you are sensitive to their feelings. As much as possible, try to be careful in giving out comments or in doing some acts on the campus. Think first before you talk or act. Take note that your deeds or words may easily affect some people. Therefore, the right thing to do is to consider the emotions of your classmates or schoolmates.

 

Always Smile

 

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Whenever you are inside your classroom or walking through the corridors, be sure to show your best smile. Let others know that you are an approachable individual. You do not need to make grand gestures just to get their attention. Instead, you can just flash your smile at everyone who comes your way. It is necessary that others can take notice of how pleasant your attitude is.

“Relationships, especially new ones, need a lot of encouragement and nourishment. Once you establish a connection, you will want to keep it alive and well by spending some time with your new-found friend,” said Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, PhD, LPCS.

 

Make Yourself Available

 

If you want to meet new friends, it is essential that you make an effort in making yourself available. You cannot expect to join a group if you do not learn how to socialize. Avoid being a loner. Learn how to start a conversation with your seatmates. Just ask simple questions or discuss common interests. It may be difficult at the beginning, but with constant practice, everything will be fine.

 

Share Stories

 

High school is the best time for you to establish long-term friendships with others. The key to being an essential part of the team is to open up a little. Avoid being stiff as it may drive people away. As an alternative, why don’t you try to tell your stories to them? It can be good for you to share your experiences with others. When you do this, there is a high possibility that your classmates or schoolmates may relate to what you have been through.

“Find safe topics that everyone likes to talk about such as food, animals, weather, television shows, and holidays. Ask questions, don’t give one-word answers, and be polite. Learn the art of interviewing – it’s essential to get to know someone,” said Angela Avery, MA, LLPC, NCC.

 

Participate In Activities

 

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There are tons of school activities that students are required to participate. What you need to do is to determine these events. Once you have completed the list of the upcoming activities in the campus, the next thing to do is to find those that you are interested in. Volunteer to be one of the participants in that activity. It is an excellent avenue to meet new friends who share the same likes and interests as much as you do. On the other hand, if you want to add some spice to your high school life, then do not hesitate to join a club or activity that is new to you.

“Friendships during the teen years can be so important and fulfilling. Having someone to lean on, share secrets with, and let loose with makes life better at any age,” said Cheryl Somers, MA, NCC.

Making friends in high school is not as difficult as you thought it would be. As long as you put your heart and soul into it, anything is possible.

 

How To Overcome Shyness As A Teenager

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 Are you the type of person who does not want to be surrounded by people? Do you want to be on your own than to hang out with others? Is it difficult for you to interact with other people in your life? If you answered yes to these questions, then there is a high chance that you are a shy person. At this point, it is essential to highlight the fact that being shy is only typical for a teenager. However, you must find a way to solve this problem because having this kind of personality can take a toll in your life.

 

How Does It Start?

 

Many causes can be associated with shyness. One of which is the lack of attention from the parents. According to a recent study, children who grew up receiving negative comments from their parents or being underappreciated are more likely to keep conversations short or to hide themselves from others. These individuals are afraid that they will get the same adverse treatment from other people, which is why they would rather keep their selves away.

 

“Kids are hitting a stage where they are discovering themselves, and there’s a lot of comparing,” said child psychologist Randy Hyde, PhD. “Kids want to be strong and powerful and tough.”

 

Another common reason for this problem is when the teenagers involved have experienced an unpleasant situation in the past. This situation may have included embarrassment, which made the teens feel utterly shy when speaking or dealing with others.

 

Therefore, if you have experienced all these things, then do not fret because it is only normal. Keep calm and find a way on how you can deal with the problem.

 

 Is It Okay To Be Shy?

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There is a great necessity to emphasize that being shy is not a bad thing. What is dangerous is when you are too shy to the point that it is affecting your personal life as well as your interactions with your classmates or schoolmates.

 

Below are some of the advantages of having the right amount of shyness:

  • You can have more time to focus on your academics. As a result, your grades will increase, which can make your parents proud of you.
  • You have a lesser chance of being involved in issues in school. At the same time, you are less likely to get in trouble.
  • You will become lovable since many people prefer someone who is always quiet and one who thinks first before doing anything in social events or activities.

 

“When you are fully present in the moment, you will realize that social interactions are not something you need to avoid.,” said Dr. David Shanley, PsyD. “With practice, you can continually incorporate and improve upon your social skills that you learn from the world around you, ultimately making you feel more confident.”

 

Can You Overcome Shyness?

 

The answer to this question is in the affirmative. There are tons of available methods that you can use to overcome shyness. Just make sure that you understand this kind of personality trait before consulting the experts. The first step is to be sure about getting rid of this characteristic. Take note that this feeling of shyness can be associated with fears. You may be afraid that others will not like you. Well, you are wrong because many individuals out there would love to have you as a friend, to share special moments with you and to build long-lasting friendships with you.

 

“One strategy for helping shy adolescents overcome their fears of speaking up and of engaging in conversation is to tell them that talking together is just one way to establish social relationships. Doing together is another. Each way creates companionship,” said PhD psychologist Carl E. Pickhardt.

 

Getting over shyness is a complicated process. However, once you become the master of your thoughts, everything else will follow.

 

What Not To Do To A Teenager With Depression

 

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Finding out that someone you know or close to your heart is suffering from depression can get confusing. The initial reaction is that you would feel sad about the other person, which is why you have the urge to offer help in any possible way that you can think of. Do not worry because this is only normal, especially if the depressed individual is a family member. However, it is essential that you think twice before speaking or doing something as it can hurt the other person or make the situation worse.

 

These are the things that you must never do to a person with clinical depression:

 

  1. Tell Him That He Is Only Sad

 

Telling a depressed person that what he is feeling is only a form of sadness is a big no-no.  This can become very offensive to the said individual. It is as if you are discounting the fact that he has a more severe case of extreme sadness or grief. What he is feeling is more than that. Avoid making him feel that he is only exaggerating the emotions. When you do this, you are going to making him feel more neglected. The best thing to do is to be there for him. If you are unsure of what to do, just keep your mouth shut.

 

  1. Force Him To Cheer Up

 

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For sure, you want the other person to start being happy about the things that he has in his life. Well, sad to say, forcing him to act in such a manner will only look like you are pressuring him to become someone that he is not. As a result, he would become more depressed than ever. The best thing to do at this point is to let him act based on what he is feeling. What is important is that you make yourself available to him.

 

“Depression is not a weakness of character, laziness, or a phase,” said Deborah Serani, PsyD. “Tough love, like telling someone to ‘buck up’ or ‘try harder,’ doesn’t work, and worsens the illness.”

 

  1. Accuse Him Of Being Melodramatic

 

The truth is that dealing with someone with depression can be exhausting on your part. It sucks to be there for a person who is apparently at lost of his emotions. Be more patient and understanding in handling the situation, especially if the depressed person is your son. Make him feel that what he is feeling right now is valid. Do not make the scenario more difficult by dismissing his thoughts and concerns. As an alternative, try to start meaningful conversations with him until he starts to open up.

 

“Kids might ignore, hide, or deny how they feel. Or they might not realize that they’re depressed. Older kids and teens might act like they don’t want help, but talk with them anyway. Listen, offer your support, and show love,” said D’Arcy Lyness, PhD.

 

  1. Place Him In An Awkward Place

 

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There are many reasons for the depression that a teenager is feeling. It is logical that you want to find out about the causes so that you can devise means on solving the problem. This is a good thing to do, but you must be careful by ensuring that your acts will not place him in an awkward situation. For example, if one of the reasons for the depression of your son is a broken relationship, then do not invite his ex to come over to your place to talk to him. It will only break your son’s heart again. There could be an exception to this, which is when he allows such an arrangement to take place. Otherwise, refrain from doing it.

 

“Be compassionately curious with him. Ask him questions about his mood gently, without being emotional,” said Stephanie Dowd, PsyD. “Even parents with the best intentions often don’t realize that their concern can come across as critical rather than loving.”

 

Avoid doing all the things mentioned above to help your loved one get over from the drowning feeling of depression.

 

Financial Management 101 For Teens

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Do you want to have a life where you can get everything you want? Do you believe that all it needs to effect a change in your life is to manifest your desires to the universe? Are you interested in becoming a financially independent teenager? Is it your goal to become an adult who knows how to handle finances? If you answered yes to all these inquiries, then this article is definitely for you. 

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A Teen’s Guide To Stress Management 

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Having the ability to manage stress is something that every teenager must possess. Teenage life can be complicated and challenging, which is why you need to be aware of the different methods on how you can manage stress. First of all, always remember that feeling stress is inevitable. No matter how much you make an effort to avoid it, it will still come your way. Luckily, there are many ways on how to deal with all the things that can be stressful on your part.   

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Dear Parent, How Can You Prevent Teenage Pregnancy? 

Being a mother or a father, you surely have a lot of worries as your teenager grows old. There isn’t a perfect handbook that can teach you how to deal with their drama and rebellious streaks without losing your temper. Every child is unique as well, so you can’t even compare your kid to others and hope they’ll act similarly. 

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But one thing that scares all parents the most is the prospect of their daughter falling in love and getting pregnant at a young age. A baby will always be a blessing, for sure, yet it’s reasonable to wish for your teen to enter college, obtain a well-paying job, and enjoy life freely before having their own family. 

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Things Teenagers Should Realize

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In today’s generation, we can all agree that teens are more independent. They know what they want in life, and they try hard to achieve their goals. There are times they get mistreated and judged because of their way of seeing things, but it does not bother them. They know how to handle pressure because they get to live with it. Sometimes, some of them are vulnerable, but most are not quitters. In that sense, these individuals know their worth. However, it is not okay that they know what they only want to know. These kids should look into the essential things in life that will become useful in their future endeavor.

Sorry Is Not Enough

One thing that teens should always remember is that sorry is never enough. Yes, an apology can be accepted, but it does not end there. There is a full obligation to remove doubts, emotional, and mental damage that associate to a particular mistake. Note that not because people expect teens to commit mistakes, they are allowed to do it multiple times. There are considerations, and there are also punishments that get required every time they commit an error.

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“People are much better off to apologize and take responsibility for their actions than try and make excuses or deny they’ve made a mistake,” said psychological researcher Jeremy Dean. “Psychological research backs up the everyday intuition that excuses and denials just irritate others.”

Commitment Matters

The problem with teenagers’ these days is not the hindrances in achieving their goals. It is not also about the types of ambition they aim for a successful future. Instead, it is their attitude towards doing and working on it. You see, teenagers want a lot of things. But sometimes, they no longer can handle everything. With that, they lose motivation and concentration. So before they should attempt bringing more ideas into the table, they must first focus on committing and succeeding to one.

“Studies in humans have made clear that people with stronger social networks have greater longevity. In order to build a strong social network you need to be capable of making commitments,” said psychotherapist and author Philippa Perry.

Responsibility Is A Priority

99% of failure often comes from those individuals who have the habit of making tons of excuses. Yes, not all teens are like that. However, more than half of them love procrastination. It seems like there is an overflowing of confidence out of nowhere that these children thought they could control time. Teenagers must understand the value of not delaying essential things. They must learn to increase their self-awareness and be responsible at all cost. They must organize and prioritize to can use their potential wisely.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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A lot of teens already know this, and perhaps all of them agree to this. However, not all young adults are brave enough to consider their actions. Mostly those individuals who are self-proclaimed depend on their words. They are good at manipulating people into believing and trusting them. On the better side, a few know how to stick with their principles. These are the ones that should become a role model to those other teenagers who can’t seem to put their words into action

It is not that teenagers are bad people. They happen to have a different perspective on the things around them. Society sees it complicated because everything for these kids appears way too uncomplicated.

“The best way to teach moral behavior is not by preaching morality and punishing immorality, but by living morally,” said Izzy Kalman, national certified school psychologist. “If we want children to grow up acting morally, we can’t be hypocrites.”

I Am Stuck In A Bad Circle, And I Can’t Seem To Get Out

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One of the most significant issues that I am facing is the fact that I am surrounded by friends who I thought are the good ones. I indeed enjoy hanging out with them. I often find myself giggling and laughing so hard every time all of us spend moments together. I am confident to say that they are friendly, helpful, caring, and attentive to my needs. Honestly, I cannot ask for more from them because they are genuinely a big part of my life. However, I can’t help but notice the changes in my friends’ behavior towards me. I am confused right now.

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When It All Started

Compared to all my friends, I can say that I am the most financially confident. Not that I have a lot, but I earn so much because of my skills. I know how hard it is not to have something in the table; that is why I always make sure that I get a room for us to have everything. I spoil my friends with lavishing trips and luxurious dinners. That’s all in me. Honestly, I love doing it for them. Therefore, I don’t complain. They can set their demands all they want because I know I can provide it. Besides, I am convinced that their happiness is mine too. However, I did not prepare myself for the upcoming turn of events.

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My friends always ask me for help, and I am more than willing to assist them with anything. Emotionally, physically, morally, and financially, you name it. But lately, I tried considering myself and begin to like stuff that only I can benefit. I went on expensive trips alone, bought the latest smartphone, went out to dinner with my classmates, etc. After doing all those things, I began to feel something off about them. They started ignoring me. They don’t return my calls and texts messages. With that, I dared myself to ask them what’s wrong. I was upset when they informed me that I am now a different person and that I don’t think about their needs anymore. I am now selfish and self-centered, and that I only want things for myself.

“Honesty is important in any relationship. But what happened to kindness?,” said Susan Heitler, PhD. “Be sure you realize that her mean words probably are projections—that is, more accurate as descriptions of how she is than as descriptions of you,”

The moment I heard all of those complaints, I began to realize I was stuck in a wrong circle who only takes advantage of me. They don’t want me to do things on my own because it doesn’t benefit them. It breaks my heart because I genuinely thought that what I do for them is something they appreciate. But I’m wrong.

After hearing all that stuff, I decided to make amends. I disregarded the things I like and went giving them everything again. I am a coward that is afraid to lose the people I know are using me. I am scared to be alone. I chose not to deal with my social issue properly. I am stuck in the wrong circle, and I can’t seem to get out.

According to Andrea Bonior, PhD, when one wants to get out of a toxic friendship, they can choose to “slow-fade” from the relationship. “That’s the easiest, most comfortable way to extract yourself,” she said.

”It is wise to pay attention to your friendships and have them in order while you’re healthy and your life and work are going well,” said psychologist Dr. Harriet Lerner. ”Because when a crisis hits, when someone you love dies, or you lose your job and your health insurance, when the universe gives you a crash course in vulnerability, you will discover how crucial and life-preserving good friendship is.”

Why Do Teens Often Hate Their Parents?

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They all say that teenagers are the most complicated people in the world. They have their style of living, and they live their lives based on what they desire. These teens are usually stubborn, and sometimes rules do not apply to them. Teenagers are often impulsive, careless, and unpredictable. They believe they can do anything even with little less supervision. With that kind of mentality, parents make decisions that sometimes contradict these teens approval. In that case, these individuals tend to hate their parents. But what exactly are those things they do not like about their peeps?

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They Do Not Listen – Parents are parents. They are the authority. They are the ones who set ground rules and often make the most significant decisions in teenagers’ lives. The problem with that particular approach sometimes makes parents not want to listen. Since they believe they are on top of everything, they rarely listen to their kids’ suggestions. Everything about them that pretty much disagrees to their point of views gets considered as complaints. Teens hate that so much. That is the reason why these kids often do not want to talk, share, or confess anything because their parents always have something negative to say.

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“As for those firmly authoritative parents who believe that a good child is best seen and not heard, that arguing with a parent is disrespectful, and that undisputed obedience should be obligatory; I believe sometimes such rigid training can ill prepare a young person to make their way in the world,” said Carl E. Pickhardt, PhD.

They Excuse Themselves For Their Mistakes – Since they are “the parents,” most of them think that they are entitled to get off from their mistakes. Most of the times, parents assume the things they do always benefit their kids. That is, regardless of whether the decision can emotionally and mentally hurt these young individuals. These types of parents are insensitive to their teenagers’ feelings. And that no matter what others will say or how much it hurts their kids, it doesn’t matter. They will imply that they know everything because they already have a lot of experience compared to young adults.

“If we behave morally and discipline our children morally, we will make them feel good,” said Izzy Kalman, national certified school psychologist. “They will like us, admire us and aspire to be like us.”

They Throw The First Judgment – Well, not all parents are judgmental. However, a lot of them are. Sometimes, instead of trying to explain to their kids the problem, they blame the young adults for not listening to them. They often disregard the cause of the issue and target the children’s chosen personality instead. In some unfortunate cases, the parents become the number one haters. Every time their teenagers do not follow them, they become the subject of hate. Teenagers are against that type of mentality because it is emotionally devastating and mentally damaging.

“We can’t always keep ourselves from feeling judgmental about teenagers. And, to be sure, there are adolescents (and adults) who get stuck in worrisome ruts,” said Lisa Damour, PhD. “But as a psychologist, there are two rules I live by: good kids do dumb things, and I never have the whole story.

They Sometimes Don’t Care – It is probably “sometimes” because there are moments that parents know when teens are in need. However, what bothers these young adults is the idea that even though their parents see or know something is wrong, they do not always ask. Most parents assume that teens are unpredictable so that they will get over their emotional and mental dilemma in no time. But that is not how these kids see it. The reason they often picture their parents as uncaring individuals is because these kids prefer them to make the first move to from time to time.

It’s essential to note that not all kids are the same, and vice versa. But that it does not mean there is nothing to do in that situation.