How to Help Your Teen Take the Sting Out of Being Excluded and Stay Confident

Learn three strategies to help your teen be more confident.

Whether you are a teen or an adult, being excluded never feels good. As we get older, we understand that it is unrealistic that everyone is going to like us. We still want to be included, but it doesn’t throw us into the Chronic Stress Loop when we don’t make the invite list.

However, teens are still trying to figure out who they are, so being excluded is stressful and activates panic which causes them to think they

are not good enough or nobody likes them. The teen needs to soothes their stress, so they rely on their default habit such as overeating or gossiping to make themselves feel better. While this might make them feel better in the moment, in the long run, they will feel worse.

How can you help your teen stay out of the Chronic Stress Loop when they get excluded?

In the Moment Strategy for Managing the Stress of Being Excluded

In and Out Mantras

If your teen just found out that they have not been included, they need something right away to ease their stress. A great strategy is to breath in slowly while silently repeating a positive mantra and to breathe out slowly while stating the stressful emotions that has been activated.

In: I am perfect just the way I am.
 Out: I release any insecurity that I am not good enough.

In: I am good enough simply because I exist.
 Out: I release all doubts about my worth.

The simple act of deep, slow breathing sends a relaxation signal to the brain while the mantras help bolster your teen’s self confidence.

Daily Habits to Reduce the Stress of Being Excluded

What You Focus On Expands

If your teen discovers that they have been excluded, they might start panicking that they are a looser and look for ways to confirm why this is true. They are not doing this consciously, so they won’t even think to stop it. Encourage your teen to look for three ways that they were included throughout the day and then record these events in the notes section of their phone. If they do this consistently, they can begin to shift their perspective from: “I am always excluded” to “I am included”. Even if who is including them doesn’t excite them, by focusing on the positive, and seeing themselves as someone who gets included, they will attract more inclusion.

The Sandwich Technique

The Sandwich Technique is a form of the Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping that can quickly decrease stress. If you are new to tapping, you can learn more about the technique here. The Sandwich Technique consists of a set up statement and three rounds of tapping. The first round your teen taps on negative emotions. The second round your teen alternates between negative and positive emotions. The third round your teen taps in a positive emotion.

Step 1: Rate the intensity of the stressor on a scale from 1 (low) to 10 (high).

Step 2: Create a Set Up Statement. Repeat 3 times while tapping on the karate chop point.

Even though I am really sad that I was excluded, I fully and completely accept myself anyway.

Step 3: Tap through the 8 points three times.

Round 1 Phrase: I am so sad I was excluded.

Round 2 Phrase: Alternate between these two statements.

I am so sad I was excluded.

People adore me, and I easily attract friendships into my life.

Round 3 Phrase: I am loved by many.

Step 4: Check back in with the intensity of the stress. Rate the intensity of the stressor on a scale from 1 (low) to 10 (high). After one round, hopefully your teen’s stress has decreased and they are feeling more at ease. If the intensity is still high, they can continue to tap until it is decreased to a five or below.

If your teen is consistently excluded, then my guess is this is one of their top stressors that is keeping them stuck in The Chronic Stress Loop. Therefore, they would benefit from some additional support. Grab a copy of my Stress Less Guide here and start helping your teen feel more included and at ease today.

Originally published at on June 12, 2017.

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