Teenage shyness is normal. At this stage of life, young people are going through many changes and discoveries, and these transformations can lead to a separation from friends and family. Therefore, when people stop interacting and become a social problem, it’s time to start worrying.
A socially isolated teen may experience intense feelings of loneliness. Obviously, at the stage where the natural motivation is to be among peers, something is not normal in this behavior. Self-esteem is usually very shaken and verification of facts is necessary. If this situation becomes chronic, it can have the following consequences:
- Difficulty sleeping, often switching from day to night;
- Increased incidence of alcohol and drug use as self-medication for the pain of loneliness;
- Higher levels of depression and anxiety;
- Decreased personal care, such as bathing, hygiene and food;
- Negative view and feeling of hopelessness;
- Increased risk of suicide.
It is extremely important that this situation of isolation does not drag on. Therefore, parents and guardians must take the lead to resolve the problem. Make sure the teen is not suffering bullying in school or other environments.
We need to help them integrate more effectively into communities. If this procedure is possible, you will easily be able to solve the problem. If he resists your invitations and keeps to himself, you will need to seek expert help.
But what can you do?
Get closer to your child. The first tip is critical not just when talking about the process of making friends, but for all aspects of a teenager’s life. How can you know that your child has a relationship problem if he doesn’t provide any information to you? Or when he indicates, he is unable to develop the subject with you, in order to be able to help you?
By achieving closeness, with open and conducive dialogue, you will have taken a big step forward. Understanding this moment and being able to evolve in this relationship between you is already a great achievement.
Try to encourage your child to schedule leisure opportunities, sports, music, spiritual activities, or even technical or social professional activities, which are of interest to him and pleasant to occupy his time and expand his network of relationships.
You need to help him discover which of these activities can be good for him and consequently bring opportunities for interpersonal relationships. As we saw earlier, don’t wait for the situation to get worse. Parents need to keep their eyes open at this stage and fulfill their role, to offer a full socio-emotional life at this stage of life.
A true emotional connection, free of criticism and blame that push your child away from you, must be present for the situation to be resolved. This has to be very clear. Use all your capacity for empathy and patience to generate closeness and achieve an effective bond with your teenager, this is the best way. Then proceed with the next steps to achieve the goal.