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Welcome! Welcome! We need your help in tonight’s discussion! Visit the tables up front to see how…
Helping Your Child Overcome Shyness October 26, 2011 O’Rourke Middle School
Program Purpose Share research about shyness from leading experts Offer suggestions/tips/advice to help your child deal with feelings of shyness Provide an opportunity for people with similar concerns to collaborate and discuss
"Shyness is probably a universal emotional state--we all have it in some situations and it's not a big deal. Shyness, when it's a problem, is a concern about being judged and not living up to people's expectations that is so strong that it stops you from participating." -Lynne Henderson, PhD The Shyness Clinic, Palo Alto, CA
What is shyness? Personal discomfort, inhibition, and self-preoccupation in social situations. Socially obvious symptoms: –Stuttering, blushing, trembling Socially non-obvious symptoms: –Increased heart rate, dry mouth, nausea, dizziness
Shyness & Bullying Students who are bullied are typically those who are shy. Bullies tend to target peers who are shy because they may not do anything to stop it. Some students who bully struggle socially or have been bullied themselves. This can lead to feelings of frustration which results in aggressive behavior.
Time to Develop “Social Fitness” An analogy of physical fitness to help understand and deal with shyness
Reflections of High School Students I used to be shy, but then I got over it and became more confident. I used to be very shy going in to 9th grade, but I met lots of new people and got more self- esteem so I’m much more open now. I’m a very shy person, but I am not shy all the time. I am shy when I am around people that I don’t know and that I am not friends with. On the other hand, I am never shy when I’m out of school. I don’t know why but as soon as I get to school I get quiet and shy.
Reflections of High School Students I used to be really shy when I was little, but I guess I grew out of it. I’m not shy at all anymore, but I used to be always shy. I don’t know what happened, I think I just grew out of it. Before I started my job a year ago I was shy, but not anymore. I used to be really really shy. I think by opening up to people I have gotten over some of my shyness.
Reflections of High School Students I am becoming more of an outgoing person. I am still a little shy sometimes. I think what helped me was Sunday School and my pen pals plus my youth group. I am extremely shy all of the time. I hate talking around people that I don’t know. If I don’t feel comfortable around someone I am especially shy. I always turn red and feel embarrassed. I cannot get up in front of a class without feeling shy and uncomfortable. I always turn red when I feel uncomfortable.
Reflections of High School Students I used to be shy but I overcame that by picking up the guitar and singing. I used to sing really quiet but gradually became louder when I stopped caring what people thought and just accepted what I did was a good thing. I don’t like being put on the spot or my shyness really comes out.
Reflections of High School Students I used to be extremely shy when I was little, but I grew out of it. In school I tend to shut down a bit and I hate it. It’s not who I am. I used to be really shy but I decided I don’t care as much if people think I’m crazy or weird because I have people who love me for me.
Help your child, by remembering… Shyness is a feeling, not a personality –Express empathy for his/her feelings Shyness is common Shyness often depends on the situation Having several good friends is healthier than having lots of acquaintances Not everyone needs to be a social butterfly, but everyone needs to achieve interactions that are satisfying and productive for them.
Strategies in the Family Encourage your child to tell you about his day…including feelings Acknowledge your child’s strengths Socialize together (volunteer!) Have your child read out loud to you or a sibling Be a role model of confident social behavior
Strategies in the Family Encourage your child to speak for himself (i.e. ordering at a restaurant) –Practicing first is OK! Role play social situations –Especially introductions to new people Acknowledge effort made in social situations Ask before offering constructive criticism Set measureable, specific social behavior goals, within a timeframe
Strategies for the Individual Work on creating receptive, non-verbal behaviors –Smile, good posture, leaning in, eye contact Before stressful social situations, repeat to yourself “I can do this…I can do this…” and remind yourself of exactly what you want to get out of this interaction. Make a list of things to talk about before hanging out with someone
Strategies for the Individual Hang out with other people like you. Don’t compare yourself to the most outgoing person in a room – instead notice that most people are not social standouts Capitalize on what you’re good at Say “Please” and “Thank You” to strangers, as appropriate Say yes when invited somewhere
Strategies for the Individual Invite a friend or two to do something If eye contact is hard, look at the person’s eyebrows or right ear Let your teachers know that you’re working on overcoming shyness Start a part time job Find a couple of close friends and join activities with them
Peer-Reviewed Sources Colino, Stacey. "Social Security: New Help for the Painfully Shy." Biography. Dec. 2002: 60-63. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Oct 2011. Maslach, Christina. "Emperor of the Edge." Psychology Today. Sept./Oct. 2000: 34-41. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Oct 2011. Carducci, Bernardo. "Shyness: The New Solution." Psychology Today. Jan./Feb. 2000: 38+. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Oct 2011.