Rejection Sensitivity

Natalie Bergman, LPC

Worksheets discussed in the video:

Cbt Worksheets For Adhd Kc (1)
202KB ∙ PDF file

Transcript of the video:



I am super excited to welcome back Natalie Bergman.

She is a counselor who actually has spoken before and it was fabulous at the time so I'm excited to hear what she has to say tonight about a very commonly discussed topic called rejection sensitivity so I'm very excited to hear about that she's going to introduce herself here in a moment, but I need to give the disclaimer from the CHADD site and I lost the slides, so I might not do that I might just say that CHADD basically wants everyone to hear all the information but they don't endorse any particular therapy or person or anything else and that is very much a shortened version of their disclaimer. I can send that out when I send out the PDFs of worksheets that Natalie has so kindly donated to us so that everybody can work on these skills at home after she talks about them all right well.

Natalie I'll let you take it away.



Okay. Thank you Kristen. I’m glad to be here tonight. Let me share my screen so we’re looking at my PowerPoint together. I'm going to presentation mode.

Okay so I'm really glad to be here talking about rejection sensitive dysphoria tonight it's a topic that comes up a lot in my work and I'll talk about what I do in just a moment, but it's a really common feature of ADHD and it can be really challenging for individuals with ADHD to cope with it. I'm hoping to give everyone some pointers today on just different ways that you can help your child manage this aspect of their ADHD if if it comes up for them. It's just different strategies that you can use that might be helpful.

So just a little bit about me, I am an LPC and I work at Johnson County Community College part time in their counseling department working with students. My area specialty at the college is working with students with autism and ADHD, so that's really my passion. I love that student population. I primarily see students who receive access services at JCCC for those diagnoses. I also run an expressive therapy group at Signature Psychiatric Hospital. I really love acute inpatient mental health, so I enjoy that aspect of my career. I love working with hospitalized patients and in that setting I do see a lot of a lot of patients with ADHD as one of the comorbidities. Usually it's not what brought them to the hospital, but a lot of times it does exacerbate the other mental health challenges that they have. We work on some of their ADHD symptoms as part of the therapy in the hospital. Both populations that I work with I do see rejection sensitivity being a really challenging thing to deal with and especially inhibiting some areas of their life. We'll talk about that kind of the areas that it tends to pop up and how it affects individuals all the way from elementary school through adulthood. There's different ways that it can come up and make things challenging. Those are kind of my two roles in my background. I also have three kiddos. I have a 6-year-old a three-year-old and an almost 1 year old, so they keep me busy. Actually one of the reasons I've been interested in rejection sensitivity is my 6 year old. She's not currently diagnosed with ADHD, but she definitely struggles with rejection sensitivity and that's been a big thing we've been working on with her and helping her cope with being willing to put herself out there a little bit and take some risks because that's definitely an aspect of rejection sensitivity that's challenging. I'll talk a little bit about my personal experiences with that as well.

What is Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria?

So, just to get started: What is rejection sensitive dysphoria? It sounds like a diagnosis but it's really not it's not any type of disorder. It's not something that your child can be diagnosed with. It's just a term to describe an emotional experience that they may have, either before a potential opportunity for rejection so trying out for a sports team, trying out for the school play asking a question in class anything that could potentially result in it a perceived rejection or if they experience something that feels like rejection to them, so they find out their friends had a play date and they weren't invited to it or you know they applied for a job and they didn't get it so either that experience anticipating or processing a potential rejection and that really leads to the internal experience is really it's kind of rooted and shame and sadness it can also feel like anxiety, fear there's just you know those kind of intense negative emotions for some people that really provokes like a fight or flight type sense in them the external behaviors that you're going to see with the reduction sensitive dysphoria is going to vary based on your child's temperament so some kids really you know go Inward and they get really sad or they get withdrawn. Other kids it's going to come out as anger so I do think a lot of times when we see ADHD kids get angry especially in the school setting, it can be tied to rejection sensitive dysphoria and a perceived rejection by a peer or a teacher. They're feeling sad and shame inside but what it comes out as is you know rage or maybe a mean comment or something that that the way they're externalizing it comes across as angry.

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria and ADHD

It's becoming a more commonly recognized feature of ADHD. Just in the last few years there's been a lot of identification of it more research around it more discussion of it as a common symptom and something that people with ADHD deal with.

It's not 100% clear at this point why individuals with ADHD process rejection more deeply than other people. There are a couple of theories, one of which is that people with ADHD receive a lot more negative feedback starting at an early age. They're corrected by preschool teachers and their parents. There's just a lot more of that feedback of "you're doing something wrong you need to do something different" in that can lower self-esteem and increase sensitivity to negative feedback so that's one school of thought. Another school of thought is that ADHD is a different wiring of the brain. The way that the brain is going to process stimuli will be different in ADHD brains than in a typical brain. When they image the brain, our brains process rejection in the same area that they process pain, so rejection really is a painful experience for anyone - ADHD or not - it's just it feels horrible to be rejected that gets into how you know humans are primates and we're group creatures and we're you know, it's just being part of the "in group" is really important for survival and so there's just a lot of like evolutionary things tied to it's really important for us to be part of a group and being excluded from the group is going to feel bad to our brains and because the ADHD brain processes stimuli a little bit differently, is a little bit more sensitive and reactive to stimuli, but maybe that reaction to rejection is amplified in the ADHD brain. So regulation of brain signals can potentially help with that.

So when we talk about how to treat rejection sensitive dysphoria, a lot of the treatments that work on ADHD symptoms in general: helping the brain to focus, helping the brain to process a little bit more slowly and slow down, will also help with rejection sensitive dysphoria, but we'll talk about that in just a moment.

Common Experiences with RSD

So common experiences for people with rejection sensitive dysphoria: one thing that you might see a lot and kids is interpreting neutral interactions as negative. You might say, you know, hey, you know "my daughter," I need you to go change your shoes. The shoes you're wearing are not appropriate for school today you're going to be doing PE so you need your tennis shoes. To you this might feel like a really neutral statement, right? You're just telling the the fact that today's PE and you need to wear PE shoes. They might really interpret that as a criticism - You picked the wrong shoes. And that was not correct, so there you could see a lot of sensitivity even to things that you are saying to your child as a parent because they're feeling criticized a lot even when it's not intended as a criticism. That's something I deal with with my kindergartener quite a bit. It's just those everyday, you know, here's what you need to do. She thinks that because she didn't anticipate that and I'm having to tell her that, that is negative feedback, right? That she should have known, and so there's just a lot that gets tied up with that. I think that one can be the hardest as a parent because you're having to give your kiddo a lot of reminders and prompters throughout the day, especially if they have ADHD. it's probably going to need your feedback and reminders and prompting a lot and so if they're interpreting all of that criticism and it's activating that rejection sensitivity they might start reacting to you really negatively you might see some of that anger that I talked about about on the previous slide come out because they're feeling that as criticism and again that's just getting at you know some of their low self-esteem and also just the way that their brain is processing your verbal input.

And so some of the things that we'll talk about are how to how to help coach your child through that so they're not viewing it is so negatively.

It can also appear as fear of asking questions at school, and this is the biggest thing I see with my college students at JCCC. A lot of my students will come to me and say, “you know I know I need to charge my professor, but I just don't even know how. Like, I'm really afraid to approach this person. You know I see them in class every week and I really like them, but I just I just don't feel like I can talk to them” and that can be really debilitating, but it's rooted in that "what if I ask them a question and they tell me, "well, I covered that in class, you should know. How do you not remember that? I already answered that." A lot of times adults aren't as empathic when they're reacting to students and so they especially ADHD kids that have been through school and maybe have had that feedback before where you know they miss something because they were distracted and then they asked the question and they get that well you should have known this because I already talked about that it can really ingrain a fear of asking questions in school that can follow them all the way to college. So I do a lot of coaching with my students at JCCC around how to have a conversation with their Professor, how to couch things that they're worried like you know maybe he did cover this in class and you know ways to phrase it so that you're kind of acknowledging you know maybe I miss this but I just wanted to check with you you know here's my question and so just we do a lot of role-playing and I'll talk about that a little bit more just so that they can kind of go through this scenarios and feel more comfortable with how the conversation might go.

Difficulty coping if they feel left out - this one's hard especially that goes all the way through Elementary School through High School kiddos in the reduction sensitivity are going to be more tuned in, so if they hear kids talking about a group activity that they weren't part of a party that they didn't get invited to - anything like that, it's going to hurt deeper than for the average kid. So that's another one talking to your kid about: their feelings if they're coming to you and saying that they're having that experience can be really helpful but that they're definitely going to you know have that sense of loss or isolation is going to feel a little bit more deep and a little bit more lasting for kids with RSD than for the average kid.

Struggling with any negative feedback, like report cards, can be really hard you know parent teacher conferences, IEP meetings. If your child is on an IEP or if I before they go to their IEP meetings be prepared at that can be a really triggering experience for RSD because even if their teachers say 80% great things about them they're really going to focus on that 20% of areas for improvement or things that the kiddo could do better. It's just their brain is going to go there and focus on that feedback. Preparing them ahead of time and debriefing afterwards can really help with that so that they can process those emotions.

The last one I also see this a lot with my students at JCCC is fear of applying for jobs, applying for internships, trying out for sports teams - anything where there's a good chance you know they're going to put themselves out there, take a risk, and then experience that rejection. That's another hard one with RSD and you might have seen some of us with your own kids you know as your parenting it it comes up in a number of different situations but we'll talk about different strategies that can help prepare ahead of time for those situations and then follow up if they do end up with hurt feelings, how to process that with them.

What helps with RSD?

So like I mentioned a few minutes ago, ADHD treatment is really going to help with RSD. So anything that you're generally doing to help your child with their focus, sustained attention, helping them, you know, calm themselves. ADHD medication is also going to help with RSD because the more that their brain is kind of focused and calm the better they're going to be able to process that information of how a scenario is going how it interaction is going and they can emotionally respond to it a little bit less impulsively because really that rejection sensitivity is kind of an impulse thing. Immediately they're jumping to this negative place, as their interpreting the event in their mind, so you know anything that you can do that you're already doing for ADHD will help.

In addition to that, we'll talk about cognitive behavioral therapy that's just kind of reframing the way that they're thinking about things so kind of challenging the natural thought processes that they're having about the interaction where they felt rejected helping them to rethink it in a different light and maybe see some other options for how they can interpret what happened.

Mindfulness, and self soothing, staying in the moment, not catastrophizing. We'll talk about some of the strategies for that.

And also your input. Parenting can really help with RSD - your willingness to talk with what they're feeling, process the emotions with them, having a trusted sounding board to discuss difficult emotions with, is really powerful for this and so you're going to be a great resource for your child and just being there to talk with them have an open conversation about that they are feeling a sense of rejection and normalizing that experience for them and then helping them move forward.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

So the first one I'll talk about is the cognitive behavioral therapy. This is kind of a three-part technique so if there's a situation that's coming up where you think the child might experience RSD you can help them prepare for that situation. Let's say it's a 504 meeting and you are saying, "Johnny, I think you've done a great job at school this year. Part of your teacher's job is to talk about areas for you to continue improving on. So you're probably going to hear some great things and some areas you can improve. That doesn't mean that your teachers don't like you or think that you're doing a bad job, it's just that they're giving you ideas of how you can keep improving." So just helping them understand and contextualize the situation. And also just thinking through, the situation might not go like I want it to, and I might have hurt feelings afterwards

And that's okay he knows just kind of preparing himself ahead of time and that just kind of clues them in, you know I don't necessarily need to react like this is a big deal because this is an expected outcome of the situation and so just gives them a chance to kind of prime themselves to react a little bit more modulated way. Reviewing the situation with objectivity is about "your brain going to go to the negative, but what do you think someone else would say? If they were hearing your teachers feedback in your 504 meeting, do you think they would say that your teacher thought you were a terrible student or to you think they would view it differently?

So just being able to put themselves in an outside observer's shoes can help them see, Okay well what she said wasn't that bad. You know, I guess it does mean that she likes me and she thinks I'm doing a good job.

Just having them take themselves out of it for a second and say, if we're looking at this without any sort of preconceived notions you know what do you think you would think of it and then challenging the flawed belief. A lot of our thought patterns for anyone can can excuse the negative it's just kind of a habitual thing that we do and so when we challenge our flawed beliefs we're giving ourselves a chance to kind of rethink some of those automatic thoughts that we have. If they're automatically thinking, "okay well that person didn't smile at me, so that must mean they hate me they don't want to be my friend," well, there's lots of reasons why someone might not be friendly to you today. It's not always a rejection of you, it's not always personal. Let's think through other reasons why that could have happened and so just helping again broaden their thinking about the situation so it doesn't necessarily go straight to that rejection concept can be really helpful.

I'll show you a preview of the cognitive behavioral therapy worksheets that Kristen will be sending out after the talk because they have some really good guided ways of talking to your child about different scenarios and just helping with some these three skills so that you can really practice that and actually review a concrete situation so if there's a child you know situation that your child is struggling with a particular you can use the worksheets to kind of process it with them and help both with the objectivity and challenging flawed beliefs. Also, just get in the habit of mentally preparing for situations. If you know you're getting into that might provoke RSD, you can use the worksheets as kind of a primer to help prepare them for that as well.


Really the thing about mindfulness that I find most helpful when working with kids and especially difficult emotions is just the concept that your feelings are transient, they're going to pass. You're not going to feel this way forever.

Your feelings are uncomfortable but they're not actually going to hurt you, so no matter how bad you feel, a feeling is just there for a period of time and it will move on.

Talking to your Child About Their Feelings

Then also that there's things that you can do yourself if your feelings are hurt. Having some coping skills ready to go and asking your child, "what makes you feel good about yourself so if you had a bad day at school and you felt like somebody said something new that made you feel rejected, what's something that makes you feel good about yourself?" Lean into that. If you feel really good about how you play soccer, instead of dwelling in the negative emotion focusing on what's the next thing that we're going to do that's going to be something that you're really good at and that validates that you're a great kid?"

So just bringing them back to the positive and also who can I talk to you about how I feel so the best thing that we can do to support someone who's feeling that rejection of rejection sensitive dysphoria is to process those feelings with them and help them work through it. So just letting them know that you're someone that they can talk about how they feel or if they are feeling hurt at school, you can talk to your counselor or teacher and process those feelings, letting them know they're not alone in that.

So just some essential coping skills but again just sort of helping them put their mind around everyone has bad feelings sometimes everyone's feelings get hurt sometimes there's ways that we can cope with that and move forward that's really helpful.

So when you talk to your child about feelings of rejection the first thing I encourage is to validate how they feel. It can be tempting to immediately go to, "Well you shouldn't feel rejected because obviously your friend really likes you and she just probably didn't want to play with you today because she wanted to be alone. And that's fine to go there, for sure, you can definitely have that conversation, but the first thing that's going to help is to just say, "I understand why you feel rejected. I understand why that hurt your feelings. I would feel hurt too I think if I had been through that situation." And just letting them know that there's nothing wrong with feeling upset about the situation but then asking them to talk about it a little more and then helping them reframe it. I also think a lot of times kids with ADHD feel like they're the only one. They are the only one who the teacher doesn't like. They're the only one who feels so bad about themselves.

The more that you can normalize feeling rejected as a universal experience, we all have experiences of rejection, we're all going to feel that way sometimes so sharing your own experiences of maybe something similar, so if your friend if your child feels left out of their friend group, talk about when you were a kid and you didn't get invited to the sleepover and sharing that experience with them so they understand that that's a commonality that all kids feel that way sometimes. Talk about how you coped, how you moved forward, what you did instead of going to a sleep over and how that ended up being a great thing.

Reframe the situation that you were in and and the coping skills that you used. You can also talk about famous people's experiences of rejection. When I was a school counselor I would tell kids all the time about how Michael Jordan didn't make his high school basketball team. There's some great story that he told about, so not not being the best at basketball when he was a kid. It really helps kids to hear that their heroes had experiences of rejection too and no one is perfect. Everyone has letdowns and times people doubt them or don't want to be their friends. The more we can normalize that experience the more it's going to help.

Role-playing is really powerful too. I think I mentioned that before, if there's going to be a situation like talking to a teacher, and your child's afraid of that, or interviewing for a job or anything that that you can kind of walk through the possible ways that it might go and play those out with them it can be really helpful because, I think a lot of times kids with ADHD imagine a situation so horribly, they can't even really describe what's so horribly would be, it just feels really intimidating, but when you break it down "What's the worst that could happen?" So, he say's that's a dumb question, is that a reflection on you or does it mean he's not a nice guy? So, if you talk through it, it takes that scary factor away and helps them to realize that if the other person truly is going to react in a really awful way that that's not your child's problem, that's the problem of the other person and so it's just kind of again like breaks down that wall of fear that a lot of kids will put into a certain situation they might be dreading.

And then, praising your child when they take a risk. Trying out for a sports team, trying out for the school play, reading in front of the class - anything that your child does that is taking a risk of potential rejection but they're willing to put themselves out there, really make an effort to praise that because the more that they feel validated for trying that encouragement is really going to help override some of that those negative feelings that they might have around risking potential rejection and your feedback is so important to your child and once they reach Middle School and high school, that may not feel like they're really listening to what you have to say or taking your feedback seriously but no matter how old your child is you are still probably the most influential person in terms of how they feel about themselves and so don't underestimate how much your praise, your encouragement, your willingness to talk to your child - it's really really powerful even for college kids - their parent's input really means a lot to them. Sending that encouraging text message before a job interview or after a job interview it means a lot to them to hear that you believe in that it can really help them boost their negative, switch their negative self-talk into something more positive as well. There's a number of resources that I really like about rejection for kids of different ages.


The first site I wanted to show you this is the Cleveland Clinic's website on rejection sensitive dysphoria and I feel like it's one of the most helpful resources I found that kind of goes into what it is, what it means, and how it might be affecting individuals with ADHD and kind of why it exists. If you want more information on  the science behind rejection sensitive dysphoria this website is definitely a good place to start and there's a number of books as well that you can get on the topic and and how it affects people to go a lot deeper into it. Like I said, it's kind of a growing area that is becoming more well known among people who work with individuals with ADHD and so there's more and more coming out about different strategies for dealing with it but I think this Cleveland Clinic page is a really good place to start.

With younger kiddos, I really like to use books to help them learn about different feelings.

There is a great book that I found by a psychologist named Beth Curtin and it's called "When I feel Rejected." It's just like normalizing that experience that everyone feels rejected sometimes and there's ways that you can cope with it and it's a really normal experience. You're not the only one who's ever been through that. So that's a great book.

"What's in your mind today" is a really good mindfulness book for kids and it talks about that fleeting nature of feelings so you might have a really negative feeling but it's going to pass and you're going to feel differently in an hour or tomorrow morning. So just helping them to understand that your feelings might be uncomfortable in the moment but you don't have to necessarily dwell in it or or feel bad about how you feel- it's a feeling. It's just something that your brain is having passed through and you don't have to necessarily get really bogged down and in a negative feeling or negative experience.

Then this last one "I can handle it" is another mindfulness book. It's by Lori Wright and it's just helping kids have some positive messages about even if something bad happens or I have a negative experience or I feel upset I can handle it. So just that empowerment that no matter what hard situation you find yourself in, having that self-confidence that you're going to get through it and it's going to be okay.

I think sometimes when we attend to ADHD kiddos feelings and in a Behavioral Management light it can make them feel less empowered to handle their own negative emotions and so building up that confidence that even if something bad happens you know they're building the skills, they have the toolkit to really manage their own feelings and process what they're feeling. Again, it's just about empowerment and helping them feel confident and improve their soft talk a little bit with that one.

I'll pull up some of the cognitive behavioral therapy worksheets that I mentioned and talk through some of these skills a little bit so that you can use these when you're working with your child. I tried to put them in an order where it would make sense and kind of to start and then continue on working so the first one is just kind of an introduction to cognitive behavioral therapy and it's going to look at a situation so if you're working with your child you can think of the most recent situation where rejection sensitive dysphoria came up for them. Maybe it was a friend didn't want to play with them at recess or they tried out for the volleyball team they didn't make it and so you're going to process it with them as, what did you think? what was your automatic thought? Their automatic thought is going to be, "well, everyone hates me" or "I'm horrible at volleyball. I shouldn't have even tried out. I'm embarrassed that I tried out." The alternative thought, which is going to take some coaching from you, is let's dig a little bit deeper. How many people tried out for volleyball? Okay, if there were 35 kids who tried out and there's only 15 spots, more than half of the kids who tried out aren't going to make the team. So just helping them to understand there's different ways of looking at this situation and and just kind of open their mind to the other  scenarios. Maybe your friend was having a bad day and they just wanted to be alone, and that's okay. It's not necessarily about you. Sometimes people are just in a bad mood. Just going through that with them it might be uncomfortable for them at first and you might get some resistance but with practice this is a process that gets easier for kiddos to start thinking about alternate thoughts or alternate scenarios. Then you're going to talk about what was your feeling, so again it might be hard for them to put labels on it and so you might have to really coach them through that a lot of times kids don't like to admit that they felt hurt or that they felt embarrassed. Those are hard things for them to talk about but if you can relate and we talked about on the previous slide when you tell them about experiences that you had of rejection or experiences that when you got your feelings hurt and you can label those feelings that you had and that's going to help them to be more willing to label their own feelings and feel okay you know expressing that and then you can say well okay if we but if we look at it in this alternate light, how would it make you feel? When you realize more than half of the kids were going to make the volleyball team, how do you feel about the fact that you didn't make it? Well you know, I've only been playing volleyball for a year and it makes sense I wasn't in the top 15. I'll keep playing on a recreational team and keep getting better and maybe try out next year.

You're just helping them put things in a different perspective. Then what was the behavior? This is really helpful if you are having issues with your kiddo reacting to their rejection sensitivity with angry outburst or meltdowns or anything any problematic behaviors.

This part can be really helpful because you can talk about "well, so your feeling was really hurt and really embarrassed and that made you yell and slam the door and refuse to come down for dinner but when we think about in this other way, like what if we thought about that it makes sense that you weren't going to make the team because only 15 kids were going to make the team but you're really proud of yourself for trying out - how would you have reacted differently? So that really helps them do some behavioral reflection too. Sometimes the rejection sensitivity gets a little bit ingrained by the negative outburst that follows and so then they're getting negative feedback again because they had a negative outburst after the fact and so it's just kind of creating a negative cycle.

So by thinking about okay well if we process the situation differently how do you think you would have reacted it can kind of help them guide them into a different behavior pattern and let them know your feelings have led you to this behavior. It's not "you're not a bad kid," it's just "you were feeling embarrassed and ashamed and that made you want to slam the door, but you looked at in a different light, probably could have been you know talked about it with Mom calmly and that gives him that validation that they're not a bad person, they're not deserving of a bad things happening to them it's just giving again like a reframe so that they're not feeling that negative self-talk continue that cycle.

I really like this first worksheet and I definitely encourage you to give it a try with your kiddo if you think it might be helpful for them.

The next one gets out what is the fact and what's and opinion. Depending on their age, they might have this mastered, but some kids really struggle with you it. If I have a thought and I'm really sure about it, it must be true.

I really think that my friend Kate hates me because she didn't talk to me today and I know it's true because I really feel like she hates me and so helping them to understand well there's a lot of evidence that Kate doesn't hate you so let's look at that so it's not a fact it's an opinion you know and just breaking that down so that they're understanding just because you really really believe it to be true doesn't necessarily mean it's true sometimes your brain is kind of processing things in a flawed way because you're only letting that negative side of the evidence in. Well let's look at the positive evidence. Kate invited you for a play date last month and you know Kate wanted to sit by you at lunch yesterday so the evidence really shows us that she was just in a bad mood today. The more that we can challenge that black and white thinking that you know "they must hate me" or "I must be a bad kid" or "my teacher doesn't want me to ask a question" can really help reframe some of this and so it might seem kind of silly but I definitely encourage you to go through this with your child and see what they say, what kind of conversation you can have about fact versus opinion and how it may be changing their thought processes to the negative.

The next one, these are questions and you don't necessarily have to use this as a worksheet with your kiddo if you just want to have these questions in mind when you're talking through situations with your kids that can be helpful too because it's just encouraging of process of kind of deconstructing the narrative that they've built right so they're going to come home and say I know Kate hates me because she didn't want to play with me on the playground today and she played with Maggie instead and I was all alone and so there they have this whole thing and they probably built it up in their mind and they've thought about it all afternoon because they're upset about it and they really kind of put together this this whole thought in their head of how things are and and why they're never going to be friends with Maggie again or Kate and Maggie because they hate her. The more that you can ask questions and you don't have to necessarily say well I think you're wrong but you just asking questions and getting into maybe think about it a little bit differently can help break that negative thought cycle and allow in some more information that might kind of lead them to like a more neutral place about what happened. What kind of evidence is there for what you're thinking? Is there any evidence against it? Is it based on facts or feelings? Do you think that you're thinking about it in a black and white way versus allowing room for more nuance?

Older kids will really be able to speak to that a little bit better younger kids it can be hard for them to kind of understand either is this or that but again you know bearing it to the age of your child and kids can kind of understand you know if you can relate it to other things like well what do we know for sure what are we not sure about right like thinking about a bigger questions where we don't always know exactly what's going on for sure like does the weatherman know exactly what the weather is going to be tomorrow? No he is making a guess based on the evidence and so we we won't don't know for sure that Kate doesn't hate you, but we definitely don't know for sure that she does, so let's talk about the different reasons why we think maybe she doesn't. I'm just allowing their brain to have a little bit more space for other options other than the worst case scenario.

Do you think I miss interpreting evidence or making any assumption? Do you think other people would interpret it differently? Are you looking at all the evidence? Are you looking at all the evidence? Do you think maybe you're exaggerating what you saw or what's true? Asking about thought habits so if you've been working on this rejection sensitivity with your child for a little while they might understand that verbiage of your habit is that your brain goes right to the negative right to the sense of rejection.

Do you think that as we're trying to break that habit, let's look at the other facts. I also think this question is really powerful: did someone make me think this and are they reliable source? A lot of times when you get into like Middle School you might have kiddos come home and say, " Maggie told me that Kate hates me because Kate told her that." Well, are they a reliable source? Do you really need to listen to what all everybody is saying about each other, because kids say mean things all the time. You don't necessarily have to believe that. So again asking those probing questions, validating how they feel but leaving room for okay well there's that's one point of view but let's look at the evidence against that and think about whether we really want to fully believe that or if we think maybe we should be a little bit skeptical about it.

Is my thought a likely scenario or worst case scenario? If I think if I ask a question of my teacher he's going to say I already covered that and you are the stupidest student I've ever had, well most teachers are not going to react to you like that so a lot of times kids are thinking when they are fearing a potential reduction scenario they're thinking about a worst case scenario and so thinking about what some more likely you know even if they react negatively to you they're not going to say anything that hurtful. It's probably worth taking the risk because likelihood is they're going to be okay with answering your question.

There's questions in the chat. Let me see. Oh, the worksheets didn't show. Sorry about that.

She then went on to repeat over the worksheets quickly, not included here.

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