Welcome to Our Clique!

bullying children listening parenting self-esteem social skills Jan 11, 2022

Whoa! Wow. Welcome to all our new subscribers! We are so glad you’ve joined Our Newsletter Clique - otherwise known as our Socially Appropriate-ish Family! 

For those who just arrived, I’m worried you won’t get all our private jokes! But wait. Don’t leave. You are invited to read all the previous newsletters on our website so that you feel right at home in Our Clique.

The term “clique” has such a bad reputation. Often, parents are worried about their child’s role in a clique. Or they’re worried that their child is excluded from a clique. It’s almost unfair to the word, because really, there are benefits to being in a clique! But there are costs too. So, let’s do a cost/benefit analysis:

What does the word mean? A clique is a small group of people, with shared interests. 

(BTW, that’s exactly us! 🎉 We are here because of a common interest – i.e., to learn about topics related to therapy, and to become more self-aware people, educators, spouses, friends, and parents.)

So, why do cliques have a bad rap? 

Well, that’s because often (but not always!) cliques have the quality of exclusiveness, not allowing others to join and sometimes not allowing members to leave. 

But - to be clear – that is not true about Our Socially Appropriate-ish clique. Because we totally want others to join!  

We are a healthy clique.

Let’s talk about the qualities of a healthy clique:

• Community. Cliques can provide a sense community for people with shared hobbies, interests, views, or purposes.

• Togetherness. Cliques can provide people with a shared history, a sense of closeness and togetherness as they journey through life. (If you want a visual of these cliques, check out Miami in the winter!)

• Validation and Support. Cliques can provide a sense of validation and support for people going through a particular experience, either positive or negative. 

You. Are. Not. Alone. 

Ex: In our (amazing) school, Yeshiva Ktana of Passaic, Mrs. Karen Rosenfeld, LCSW runs a group children of divorced parents called “Banana Splits.”  You cannot imagine how much strengthening and healing is done in that clique. They’re definitely a clique. 

• Values. Cliques can have their own unique value system. In a complicated world, it’s helpful to stick with people who have the same value system as you. 

Unhealthy cliques, on the other hand, can be hurtful to those outside and even to those in the clique. But what is so attractive about unhealthy cliques? 

• Status. Instead of focusing on values, unhealthy cliques are about maintaining status and popularity.

In fact, members often give up their own identities and values in exchange for status. This is often subtle, and it is remarkably damaging.

• FOMO. Need I say more? 

• Power. Belonging to and especially leading a clique makes people feel powerful. In fact, a leader may keep people out (or force existing members out) because they perceive a threat to their power. Because of this power dynamic, other members often use flattery and manipulation to maintain their status in the eyes of the Queen Bees (leader).

Obviously, cliques are complicated. So, to cut to the chase, here are some quick tips to help you and your children survive cliques, whether on the outside or the inside:

• Know yourself! Ask yourself or your child these types of questions:

  1. Do you want to be part of their group because you want to feel accepted by the clique members? 
  2. Do you share the same values? 
  3. Has your clique morphed into something that makes you uncomfortable? 
  4. How does your clique influence how you think about yourself?
  5. How does your clique influence how others who are not part of the clique think about you? 
  6. Does your clique prevent you from doing what you want to do or wearing what you want to wear?
  7. Do you feel like a better person in the clique? Or do you feel like they’re pulling you down? 

• Stick with activities that make you feel good about yourself. Whether you are in the group or not - don’t let the group pressure you to give up things you love to do. For example, if you or your child enjoys working hard in school - be careful that the group doesn’t pressure you to stop. This pressure – to stop being you – can be overt but more often it is hidden and subtle.

• Keep social circles open as much as is reasonable. Be sure that you are not narrowly limited to one clique.

• Speak up if something makes you uncomfortable. Everyone should have a safe person who they can freely speak to. Ask your child to identify who that person would be if they needed to. If you’re on the outside of the clique, try asking for help from someone else Sometimes a teacher, for example, can help maneuver things, sometimes they can’t, but either way speaking about it can help.

• Confidence. (You should review our Newsletter on Confidence!) Your child (or you) should have a mind of their own. You can remind them that confidence is attractive and that it’s more important to be true to oneself than to be part of something that makes you uncomfortable. Be confident about what feels right to you.  

Ok, that's enough for today! Review this with your families for great dinner conversations!

Until next week,



And a reminder! (Am I the Queen Bee here? Ha- I think I am!) Let me say clearly that we would love others to join Our Clique! Everyone should please forward this email to (at least) one friend and invite them to sign up here as proof that we’re not exclusive.

(Marketing well done? 😉)

Speaking of marketing, special shout out to Between Carpools! Thank you BCP!


Share the Socially Appropriate-ISH newsletter with a friend or family member!



Comments? Questions? We would love to hear from you! Send us a message!

Contact Us

Do you want to get Shifi’s latest newsletter?

Simply sign up here to join our new and exciting newsletter called 


We won't send spam. Unsubscribe at any time.


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. 


Also, I’ve been directed by marketing experts to give a freebie out with this first newsletter to keep the audience engaged. (Easy for them to say!)  So, here goes the freebie: for the next 24 hours, please reach out with any appropriate question you think I can help with. And I will get back to you (but remember my fear of commitment, so I’m not saying when).


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? 


Reach out! Hopefully, I can help or at least point you in the right direction. But please note that, I’m only committing (eek) to writing you a short text or voice note :) 


Simply choose one of 2 ways to reach out: (and don’t forget to add your name) 

1.) Whatsapp me @ 646.688.4021 (confidential business number) or 

2.) Go onto my website www.ShifiLieberman.com/contact and send me an email. 


I really want to hear from you.  Feel free to reply to this email with any questions, comments or criticisms. (I know what you want to tell me Mom— you think writing about Socially Appropriate-ish content is inappropriate. I know! You can book a session with me to talk this through! 🤣😘) 


Speaking of subscribing, please feel free to forward this email to your friends and family so they can also become more Socially Appropriate-ish! www.ShifiLieberman.com/newsletter


With lots of excitement!