Author Topic: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)  (Read 3336 times)

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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #45 on: March 28, 2013, 02:05:34 PM »
For me the best thing was going to college, as I attended a university 2.5 hours from my hometown.   Totally new people who didn't have an opinion formed about me since the 2nd grade.  I was able to be myself and get along just fine with others. :)
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Ms_Cellany

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #46 on: March 28, 2013, 04:00:09 PM »
I think the advice I would give is if you are the one doing all the work in the friendship and are doing all of the inviting, you need to take a step back.  If people keep making excuses on why they cannot attend activities you suggest, pay attention. 

People who want to spend time with you will make an effort to do so.

I was extremely blind to social clues and eventually made two rules for myself that have worked out well:

-- If you're telling a story and get interrupted, don't resume the story unless someone asks you to.
-- If someone is looking away a lot, or leaning away, they want to leave. Let them.
Using a chainsaw is as close as we come to having a lightsaber in this life.

Lynn2000

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #47 on: March 28, 2013, 05:29:05 PM »
I know this wouldn't make a moving feel-good movie, but . . .

there's "being yourself" and there's being yourself.  One involves keeping your own style but generally finding socially acceptable ways to display it; the other is aggressively saying "If you don't like me exactly as I want to be, F you."  The former will (eventually) help you find friends; the latter not so much.  Examine what it is that makes you unpopular and try to make an unbiased judgement about how important that element is to you - is your right to insert broadway show tunes into conversation whenever possible a part of "who you are" you need to cherish, or is it a habit you could tone down if it's keeping you from making friends?

I think this is really good advice. It kind of goes along with what I said earlier, in that it can be said/interpreted in a bad way or a useful way. In my post the advice was about asking yourself why you want to be friends with certain people who are in very different circles, and if you really have a solid basis for a friendship with them or if you just like them because they're popular--which can also be phrased as, "Keep your head down and don't try to reach out beyond your circle."

One of my co-workers for five long years was a guy, Mike, who wasn't inherently bad, but he'd been a social outcast since elementary school and even now reeked of desperation and insecurity, which he tried to camouflage by being an obnoxious know-it-all who couldn't handle the slightest bit of constructive criticism or advice. That meant people were trying to "CHANGE HIM" and he just wouldn't put up with it! Never mind the fact that healthy people grow, mature, evolve, adapt to changing circumstances, try new strategies if their current ones aren't working for them, and realize that friendship is a two-way street involving the occasional compromise.

Unlike a lot of these stories, I'm please to report that Mike did actually have a couple of friends here (though he wanted more, and a girlfriend); and that at the next place he worked, he met his current wife. :) But I think his adult life (not to mention my office life) would have been a lot less stressful if he'd been more self-aware and open to change--secure enough in himself to admit that he might need to change in small ways now and then.
~Lynn2000

Minmom3

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #48 on: March 28, 2013, 08:57:38 PM »
I also think rather than trying to insert yourself into a group, get involved in something like volunteer work, clubs, etc. Something with activities, and you might be surprised at how many friends you find there.

I had my girls in Girl Scouts.  It wasn't a perfect fit, but they liked it.  Then, we heard about 4-H, and joined up.  #1 was in 6th grade, #2 was in 5th, #3 would have been in 3rd.  It was excellent.  Animals and a lot of other people who loved them too.  It kept my kids busy for YEARS, and, they're still friends and talk to a lot of them, and now everybody is in their 20's, #1 is 28.  They have made friends that will probably last them for life.  Not necessarily as best buddies, but as people they know they have things in common with, people they still speak to.  My girls joined a sewing project, a dairy goat project, and a couple of other things I now forget, so they met a variety of children at the monthly club meetings and at the monthly project meetings. 

I know quite a few children who really learned how to interact with others because of 4-H.  Sometimes they got suggestions on behavior from age peers.  Sometimes from the project teen leader "Dude, you gotta STOP doing xxxx, it drives people nuts".  Sometimes it got worse and an adult had to sit with the parents and the child and discuss what behavior was not acceptable and what was not advisable.  Sometimes people got kicked out of projects or the entire club for behavior that caused enough trouble and got enough people angry.  (When you have livestock that belong to children, and all the children in the project are responsible for xxx, and certain families don't make sure their children do what they're supposed to - the welfare of the livestock can be at risk.  4-H doesn't mess around with those situations.)  But, it always ended with people being kicked out, it didn't start that way.  It always started as minimalist as possible, and only ramped up if it had to.  It didn't usually have to.

Not that I'm saying that 4-H is the be all and end all - but it's one of many ways children can do things with their peers and make friends.  Friends who will correct their behavior when needed.  Not all peer pressure is a bad thing...
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #49 on: March 28, 2013, 10:11:34 PM »
I've found for my oldest son, being an acolyte (altar server) in our church has helped him to mature, and my middle son had his first chance to be an acolyte tonight.  He has ADHD and as such he does have a few difficulties controlling some of his impulses to just say whatever is on his mind or fidget.    However he did a great job tonight and was able to stand still and not goof off or fidget at all and followed instructions so I think it'll be good for him in learning to control himself for knowing that he can do it.

That and they've both found good friends in both the choir and the acolyte guild. 

I was in girl scouts from Brownies-early Seniors and got along with all the girls but made a few friends, some I'm still in touch with on fbook.  I also ran cross country in high school and played softball in middle school.  I wasn't terribly good at either sport but at least I could run and did enjoy the social aspect of it. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

jmarvellous

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #50 on: March 28, 2013, 10:43:56 PM »
I was so afraid of everything, and unfortunately I don't think there's a way to tell anyone (but especially not a teenager), "Don't be scared!" and expect it to fix everything.

But a few things:
Worry about cultivating the friendships you have AND enjoy, not the ones you struggle through every minute of. Get in touch with people over vacations and breaks -- they're probably just as bored as you are.

It's OK to read all the time. Doing things alone and being lonely are separate things, and the former is really enjoyable if you want it to be.

If your family life stinks, get out of the house more. Or find after-school activities. It's good for building friendships and avoiding drama. It's OK to get involved in things you don't LOVE, too. Try more new things.

Friends you make outside school can be just as valuable as school friends.

It's not just OK not to have a boyfriend -- it's good! Don't date boys just because they ask  you out and you don't find them repulsive.

It's OK not to have a "BFF." Having several "OK" or "good" friends will do just fine. Spread yourself a little thinner.

Your mom is wrong, no one cares about your acne. They want people who look confident, not perfect.

It's good to avoid those who bullied you in middle school, but you don't have to go into frantic/fearful mode anymore. You know you're the better person, so be confident in that.

Avoid gossip. It's OK to walk away rather than get sucked in.

Be "weird" if you're weird, but don't use it as a defense mechanism.

TurtleDove

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #51 on: March 28, 2013, 10:45:55 PM »
jmarvellous, that was very well put.