Helping a young person to “be cool”
Following on from my previous blog about helping a young person to deal with bullying, this article looks a helping a young person to “be cool”, to be comfortable in their own skin.
If a young person has experienced a home life which lacked stability and where they felt fear or uncertainty, it can lead them being more easily manipulated by unscrupulous others. We can all at times feel ourselves in a ‘one-down’ position by other people when they are able to bring up in us feelings of guilt or fear or uncertainty. When we feel like this, it seems so much easier for us to feel that we have to go along with what other people want us to do, because they seem more powerful.
Our emotional survival kit
Teaching young people about our basic six emotions (anger, fear, sadness, guilt, excitement and love) and the fact that those emotions can be extremely powerful because they helped our ancestors to survive can be very helpful. When a human was faced by a growling lion, the only chance of survival was to run very fast – no time to think. Anger is a feeling designed to make you act quickly to defend yourself by fighting, and fear is a feeling designed to make you act quickly to defend yourself by running away. Sadness is a feeling designed to keep you safe while you get over losing someone or something you loved, because at this time you may not be as alert about the dangers around you as you would be normally and so sad feelings make you want to stay at home and not do very much, increasing the chances of you staying alive until you feel better again. Guilt is a feeling designed to put you off making the same mistake twice (especially if someone else got hurt or upset by what you did). Excitement is a feeling that makes you want to do whatever it is you are doing again, and therefore motivates you to learn things. Love is a feeling that makes us know that we belong to each other and that we will look after each other because we want to.
How to be effortlessly “cool”
Young people today place a lot of importance upon being ‘cool’ – whether it’s dressing cool, having a cool haircut, speaking and behaving in a cool way or simply being in with the in-crowd. This social skills method is designed to help young people develop an approach to others that will attract the right amount of the right kind of positive attention:
- Learn to do with less attention than you would like at the moment
- Don’t compete with other people for attention
- Say less than is necessary
- Learn to behave well from those who don’t know how to
- Never overstay your welcome
- Never whine or complain
- Appear unhurried – even if you don’t feel like this inside
- Be a bit different — but not too different
- Appear not to want things you can’t have
- Be polite and courteous at all times.
Need some advice and support?
If you would like some more information about helping a child or young person deal with bullying and would like to talk it over in complete confidentiality, call Alison Winfield, Mindfully Well Counselling Cork on 087 9934541.
Book a counselling session today!