Feeling Accepted is the last installment of the NIE Teacher’s guide titled Positive Thinking. It was written by Ginny Swinson with educational consultation by Nancy Gilligan and produced by KRP, Inc.
Previous posts from the Positive Thinking guide on this blog include:
8/31/09 – Focusing on the Positives
12/19/09 – Getting Rid of the Negatives
12/21/09 – Energizing your Mind
12/22/09 – Expecting the Best
12/25/09 – Finding Happiness
1/5/10 – Fighting Anger
These past entries may be found in the archives of this blog. I have listed the date they were originally posted in case you would like to refer back to them.
Feeling accepted is an important aspect of adolescence. A large part of a student’s self esteem hinges on his perception that others like him. The final lesson of this unit focuses on developing those positive qualities that make a person like himself and, in turn, make others like him. Every student has the power to enhance his positive qualities as well as eliminate his negative ones. To be successful in school, in a career, and,ultimately, in life, students need to feel good about themselves.
Everyone wants people to like them and wants to be accepted for who they are. Trouble is, that’s not always easy to accomplish. In fact, you’ll never get EVERYONE to like you. Some people just don’t hit it off. But even the most difficult people and people who are shy and unsociable can win friends and feel accepted — especially if they like themselves. A feeling of self-confidence and a healthy self-esteem go a long way in the quest for acceptance in today’s world.
ACTIVITY I Work in groups of four to conduct a poll to find out the qualities and attributes people most often look for in other people. On a separate sheet of paper, write down one person from your group for each of the tasks listed below. Then decide on the people or groups of people you will poll and the questions you will ask. Once your poll is completed, draw a bar graph on a separate sheet of paper illustrating your findings. Write a news article for your school or class newspaper explaining the results.
JOB RESPONSIBILITY PEOPLE/GROUP to POLL
Pollster (takes the poll):
Statistician (calculates the results):
Graphic Artist (draws and labels graph):
News Reporter (writes news article):
QUESTIONS TO ASK
ACTIVITY II While there are no universal traits that guarantee you’ll win friends, there are some basic characteristics that will make it easier to feel accepted. Three of those characteristics are:
#1. Be confident in your own abilities (In other words: Like yourself!)
#2. Be a comfortable, easygoing, pleasant person
#3. Have a sincere interest in people
By the same token, there are no universal traits that force people to dislike you. But you can bet that if you are rigid, self-centered, egotistical, and irritable, you will not have an easy time when it comes to making friends. These attitudes work to create natural barriers against building friendships.
Divide the class into two groups: movie critics and TV critics. Use newspaper listings to identify movie roles and TV roles in which the characters have trouble making or keeping friends. What are some of the common attitudes these characters display that get in the way of their popularity? List your responses on a separate sheet of paper.
ACTIVITY III People will begin to revise their views of you if you take time to talk with them and show an interest in their lives. Here’s one way to do that. At night, before going to bed, picture in your mind each person you have met during the day. As each face comes to mind, think one kind thought about him or her. The more positive things you look for in the people you know, the more positive things you’ll find!
It can be a challenge to find admirable or likable qualities in some people. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying. In your newspaper, look for someone you just don’t like (He or she can be fictional — a comic strip character, for example.) You may not know him or her, but you’ve read about or seen this person before. Now, try to find some admirable and likable qualities about this person. Make note of those qualities on a separate sheet of paper. Next, pretend this person is running for “Friend of the Year” and you’ve been hired to design a campaign poster for him or her. On poster board or construction paper, roughly sketch the poster using slogans and other persuasive techniques that feature this person’s positive side.
ACTIVITY IV The qualities that make people likable are often the same qualities that employers are looking for when they hire someone for a job. Strong character traits, such as a good self-image, and, of course, being a positive thinker, all make a difference when it comes time to get a job.
Read today’s classified ads and circle five job descriptions that list positive qualities required for jobs. From these five jobs, choose the one you would like the most. How do you measure up to the qualities listed? In the space below, write a business letter to the employer introducing yourself, and convince him or her that you have these and other positive qualities needed for the job.