A Productive Conversation

bullying Dec 24, 2021

This week when I was in school, a 4th grader came out of class to my office asking me if she can call her mother to pick her up — she was desperate to leave school. (The girls know I’m the most lenient about calling their mothers!  Sorry mothers!!) 

Anyway, I asked her what was up and why she seemed soo desperate to leave the building. She told me that she thinks she noticed two of her friends talking about her. She even added that she wasn’t sure if they were saying good or bad, if anything at all, but either way - she felt that she needed to get the heck out of class. Oh, and she thought she saw one mouth the word “weird.” But she wasn’t sure of that either. 

 As she was standing in my office, she was getting noticeably calmer. When we spoke it over, she realized herself that she may have been too impulsive and reactive to situation that may not have been as threatening at is seemed originally. 

What was going on for her?

The simplistic scientific answer - is that while sitting in class, trying to focus on some class work, she suddenly felt attacked and really hurt. By two people she considered friends. And she responded to the attack by going into what we call  “fight or flight.” She was choosing flight — To literally leave the area, without much thinking. Which is what our bodies are naturally designed and wired to do in order for us to survive, when we feel a threat to our existence. (So her body worked! She was excited to hear :))

Once she was calm (using some of the calming skills we have learned together), she was able to access her logic- and  was then able to recognize that perhaps her impulsive reaction was not the wisest considering she didn’t even know the details of what they were talking about. 

At that point we discussed the different possibilities she can do in the future if that happens again. We reviewed how calming ourselves down in the moment is so important, problem solving and a little about trauma and understanding herself and why that even happened in the first place. She felt reassured. And also more protected knowing she has the skills she needs to get through this if it ever were to happen again. 

We ended the conversation with a quick lesson about Bullying. That even in the event these girls were talking about her, and did call her “weird,” — she would still need the skills to be able to effectively work through that painful situation. We discussed that it would take Confidence and Courage to get through a situation where one feels victimized. And these are skills that we develop with practice.  

Bottom line, We had a really productive conversation.


More about Bullying in a future letter. Stay Tuned!


I pray for a socially and emotionally healthy year for all of us!


Yours Truly, 



Want to expand your knowledge about Social Skills and Emotion Management? Take a look at my virtual course!

PS This blog post is a part of my Socially Awkward-ish newsletter. If you think you know of someone who would benefit from these emails, please send them this link to sign up: Socially Awkward-ish Newsletter


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Welcome to our very first newsletter! For those who know me, I’m sure you are not surprised that I created a course about Social Skills. I mean, my social skills are just so appropriate. Right?! 


For those of you who do not know me (yet), you will learn that few things excite me more than an open and honest conversation about real life.  Life is about connecting to the people around us, and there’s no better way to connect than being open and honest about real life issues. Any time. Any place.


Inappropriate. According to some!


So I’m inviting you to my new and exciting newsletter called Socially Appropriate-ish  because, I really think I am Socially Appropriate- ish. Honestly, my initial name for this newsletter was “Socially Inappropriate.” I thought that was best. I was excited about it until my kids were like — “ummm, you‘re joking, right?” So I quickly came up with another name and pretended that I was joking all along… which, I was not😳.


Being in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy for the last 18+  years and working in various environments (which you will read about) has enhanced my  Socially Appropriate-ish skills even more. Therapists are simply forced into awkward and complex situations daily. To be clear, I love what I do! And— I don’t mind awkward. So, this newsletter will include a dose of some of that awkwardness. 


This newsletter will include the following topics:


Relationship Issues, Social Skills, Emotion Management,   Anxiety (that’s a biggie today), Bullying, Shame, Trauma, Attachment Theory, Crazy Kids, Crazy Parents (that should be a diagnosis IMHO!), Abuse (never funny), First Year of Marriage (sometimes funny), Different Models of Therapy,  Empathy, Triggers, Developing Confidence, The Emotional vs Logical Brain, Differences between Men and Women (always funny), OCD, Emotional Acceptance … And much more!


So, if you want to stay on my email list, no need to do anything at this point except to wait for my next newsletter. Which I would like to say will be weekly - though I have a fear of committing. So let’s say weekly-ish! And if you’d like to unsubscribe, by all means, hit the unsubscribe button below 👇🏻.   I’m mature, so I won’t take it personally. Even I find “unsubscribing” to unwanted emails therapeutic.  It’s an amazing way to relieve some pent up frustrations. No?


Oh! About that. There’s a lot more coming about other healthy ways to take out frustration in later emails. Not for the unsubscribers. 


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Have any quick questions or concerns? Is your child a perfectionist? Not sure if you should take your child’s anxiety seriously and go for professional help? Is your son/daughter/spouse afraid of the robbers/fires/clowns? Is your dating child having a hard time coming up with conversation on dates? Curious how to help a child build confidence? Do family members (read: you) have low frustration tolerance? Worried about your marriage because you feel disconnected from your spouse? Are you thinking about your childhood lately and wondering if it’s time to process something? Having a hard time with your parents? 


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