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I need advice for my 13 year old cousin, 8th grade. He is having a hard time - attends this private K-12 school where he is feeling isolated from the social network. Everyone attends the same church and is family friends together, but he and his family (my aunt/uncle) are not religious and he also doesnt want to do things he doesnt believe in (like go to that church), just for the sake of fitting in, which i agree with. Some of his peers tease him and he drifts around and often confides in me things that happen throughout the day. Most of his peers have a "group" or smaller network they belong to, but he doesn't have anyone to eat lunch with or is picked on by his peers. First of all, he is a REALLY great kid. Smart. Genuinely cares for his friends. and is just a nice kid. most of his peers are very mean to him because he does better in school than they do. and it just makes my heart break even more when I see that he doesn't harbor bad feelings for these kids. Honestly, i've been in the same situation as him before, and when I was treated that way, I just blocked those people out of my life. They were not worth my time nor effort. But with him, I see that even though he doesn't act like it, he just genuinely wants to be accepted by the people he goes to school with. He gets excited if they invite him to anything, but I see that the more he is in this environment, it is hurting him physically and emotionally literally. He is internalizing the stress and becoming sick in random ways. It just makes my heart hurt because I can FEEL him wanting to connect with others. I've been in his shoes before, and being INFJ (not saying this is true for all INFJs btw), I reacted in a different way. I went off and did my own thing and made friends outside of that group, but it seems that he is SO much wanting to be accepted and be friends with. Any advice for him or me or how I can be a better cousin? I tried sending him random email updates, to keep in touch , but he's not much of an internet /chatting/email/facebooking person. I wish i could just BE THERE for him, but we're so apart in age AND physical. We are pretty close by the way, which is why he confides all these things in me. I know this was a LONG post but THANK YOU for your help... it means so much to me. :blushed:
 

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I need advice for my 13 year old cousin, 8th grade. He is having a hard time - attends this private K-12 school where he is feeling isolated from the social network. Everyone attends the same church and is family friends together, but he and his family (my aunt/uncle) are not religious and he also doesnt want to do things he doesnt believe in (like go to that church), just for the sake of fitting in, which i agree with. Some of his peers tease him and he drifts around and often confides in me things that happen throughout the day. Most of his peers have a "group" or smaller network they belong to, but he doesn't have anyone to eat lunch with or is picked on by his peers. First of all, he is a REALLY great kid. Smart. Genuinely cares for his friends. and is just a nice kid. most of his peers are very mean to him because he does better in school than they do. and it just makes my heart break even more when I see that he doesn't harbor bad feelings for these kids. Honestly, i've been in the same situation as him before, and when I was treated that way, I just blocked those people out of my life. They were not worth my time nor effort. But with him, I see that even though he doesn't act like it, he just genuinely wants to be accepted by the people he goes to school with. He gets excited if they invite him to anything, but I see that the more he is in this environment, it is hurting him physically and emotionally literally. He is internalizing the stress and becoming sick in random ways. It just makes my heart hurt because I can FEEL him wanting to connect with others. I've been in his shoes before, and being INFJ (not saying this is true for all INFJs btw), I reacted in a different way. I went off and did my own thing and made friends outside of that group, but it seems that he is SO much wanting to be accepted and be friends with. Any advice for him or me or how I can be a better cousin? I tried sending him random email updates, to keep in touch , but he's not much of an internet /chatting/email/facebooking person. I wish i could just BE THERE for him, but we're so apart in age AND physical. We are pretty close by the way, which is why he confides all these things in me. I know this was a LONG post but THANK YOU for your help... it means so much to me. :blushed:
If your cousin is being bullied at school (eg. "his peers tease him and are mean to him"), he might want to talk to a counselor at school. Counselors are trained to be able to handle these issues.
 

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I went off and did my own thing and made friends outside of that group, but it seems that he is SO much wanting to be accepted and be friends with
Encourage him to do the same, even if he makes friends with these kids, they won't respect him and he'll be the butt of all their jokes because he'll be trying to earn their friendship. It sets up an unhealthy dynamic

Get him to connect with other kids (who aren't jackasses) based on some common interest, it's the easiest way
 

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I need advice for my 13 year old cousin, 8th grade. He is having a hard time - attends this private K-12 school where he is feeling isolated from the social network. Everyone attends the same church and is family friends together, but he and his family (my aunt/uncle) are not religious and he also doesnt want to do things he doesnt believe in (like go to that church), just for the sake of fitting in, which i agree with. Some of his peers tease him and he drifts around and often confides in me things that happen throughout the day. Most of his peers have a "group" or smaller network they belong to, but he doesn't have anyone to eat lunch with or is picked on by his peers. First of all, he is a REALLY great kid. Smart. Genuinely cares for his friends. and is just a nice kid. most of his peers are very mean to him because he does better in school than they do. and it just makes my heart break even more when I see that he doesn't harbor bad feelings for these kids. Honestly, i've been in the same situation as him before, and when I was treated that way, I just blocked those people out of my life. They were not worth my time nor effort. But with him, I see that even though he doesn't act like it, he just genuinely wants to be accepted by the people he goes to school with. He gets excited if they invite him to anything, but I see that the more he is in this environment, it is hurting him physically and emotionally literally. He is internalizing the stress and becoming sick in random ways. It just makes my heart hurt because I can FEEL him wanting to connect with others. I've been in his shoes before, and being INFJ (not saying this is true for all INFJs btw), I reacted in a different way. I went off and did my own thing and made friends outside of that group, but it seems that he is SO much wanting to be accepted and be friends with. Any advice for him or me or how I can be a better cousin? I tried sending him random email updates, to keep in touch , but he's not much of an internet /chatting/email/facebooking person. I wish i could just BE THERE for him, but we're so apart in age AND physical. We are pretty close by the way, which is why he confides all these things in me. I know this was a LONG post but THANK YOU for your help... it means so much to me. :blushed:
Same thing happened to me... and I never stopped trying to fit in and get those people to accept me. They just didn't. I'm not sure I have any good advice for him, because I never found a solution that didn't clash with my values, but I can tell you it gets better eventually. It's really weird for me to read that cause I've always wondered what I could have done to start feeling better.. but those kids, once they pick someone to bully, especially someone as sensitive and people focused as ENFJs, they won't stop until that person stops caring. But it's basically impossible to stop caring. Does he have any true close friends he can hold onto?

There's nothing else you can do but be there for him and make sure he knows he's not a freak and he's not the one with the problem. I've always blamed myself for it (as I always blame myself whenever things go wrong), so I could never let go... I ended up thinking I was just destined to be rejected by everyone, so it's definitely useful to have someone show me I'm not messing things up, and show me when I go wrong and when I don't.

Gah, shouldn't have read this thread. I'd half erased that part of my life from my memory. I'm happy I made it out alive though, and now those mean people, when they see me they say things like "You never did anything wrong, it was just a matter of following the popular kids and their decisions so we wouldn't be rejected ourselves". It didn't help that I was two years younger than everyone.. Actually that was probably the reason why the bullying started in the first place.

So, thank you for him. It's so sweet that you care so much about him and I'm sure it means a lot to him to have someone around. : )
 

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Ok...Since I don't know how far away you live from each other.. I Recommend visiting in person or at very least a phone call maybe once a week.

As for fitting in.. I sometimes fit in.. this weekend for example.. I am nothing like the group I was with. My values are different than theirs. They always are awkward towards me and the others that are accepted are dishonest and downright rude. But they are well liked which just leaves me scratching my head. But the truth is everybody should just feel comfortable being themselves. It's not always easy but life will always throw a twist!
 

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Get him to connect with other kids (who aren't jackasses) based on some common interest, it's the easiest way[/QUOTE]

I totally agree. Encourage him to try and make friends elsewhere. Even if he's having a bad time at school, he might feel ok if he knows he has other friends to hang out.

The best advice I ever got about making friends was 'Friendships are made up of shared experiences', so encourage him to take up some social hobby, and maybe to focus on one person to invite to something fun. doing fun stuff alongside others may make these schoolmates realise he's a cool kid. Just having one friend might make all the difference to him.

In all honesty, if it gets worse, he should try another school. This kind of bullying could really do some long-term damage.
 
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