HOW DOES A SHY PERSON CHANGE TO FUNCTION IN A GROUP SETTING?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I feel I have pretty decent social skills. I am great talking to people one-on-one or in small groups of maybe up to three or four people. But when the crowd gets any bigger than that, particularly at a party, I clam up and might as well be a big, silent clam in the room. How do I change myself so I can function in a group setting?

–Unbearably Shy (Canada)

DEAR SHY:

Perhaps you can practice being your amazing self in bigger and bigger groups. If you feel comfortable with four people, get together in groups of four for a while. Then spend the next month going to at least once function a week with five people. Then the next week, have a party with six people, for example.

The good thing is that it sounds like you already have good social skills so it’s more of a matter of being who you are/staying who you are, no matter how many people are around. You don’t need to change yourself.

Notice any energies that make you withdraw into your shell, then laugh, and poke your head back out. Keep doing this and watch as it becomes easier and easier over time to shine no matter who or how many people are around.

 

HELP! MY SON IS GETTING BULLIED

DEAR DALI MAMA:

My son gets bullied a lot at school. He’s short for his age. Maybe that’s why he gets picked on. How can I help him?

–Concerned father (United States)

DEAR FATHER:

Start by talking to him and making a plan with him and any other family members, taking into account of your son’s input and feelings. Ultimately, you will have to do what you think best as as parent and adult, but do listen to him and make sure he feels heard and incorporate any of his ideas and suggestions that are feasible. Then talk to his teacher and possibly the principal to make sure they know what is going on and agree on a plan to resolve and monitor this situation.

Another thing you might want to do is find something that helps him develop confidence as well as social skills in group settings.

You might want to consider something like either a children’s tai chi or qi gong class (or even some places offer father-son or family classes). This is something that will help him develop confidence and will help him practice allowing his body to let the energy flow and also help him learn neutrality and ease in a peaceful energy. When he is confident and not resisting the energy of bullying, the other kids will start to leave him alone more.

Also, keep the lines of communication open with him and his teachers and principal to monitor the situation while giving him space to learn how to handle himself (keeping a watchful eye from afar) and validating his inner strength and power. Don’t treat him like he is helpless or weak or a victim, as that gives more energy to those pictures. Do what you need to to ensure his safety and well-being while validating his spirit, which is strong and whole.

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