How can I help my 17-year-old son be more outgoing?
My 17-year-old son is a great kid but is quiet unless he gets to know people. In the last year or so, the kids who have been his friends have started to shun him, and he hangs out with them much less than usual. Without any other information - he doesn't want to talk about it - I'm assuming it's because they think he's boring since he doesn't talk much. I'm heartbroken for him when he tries to set up plans with them but they don't respond or, worse, tell him yes and then don't show. I'm also afraid it's starting to affect how he thinks about himself - since he has few friends and gets little attention at school, he thinks that's the way it's always going to be. He's a three-sport athlete and a good student, so he doesn't have a lot of time to get involved with other clubs or activities, which I'd think would be the standard answer. Would it be a good idea to have him talk to a psychologist to help him be more outgoing - or would that just reinforce with him that there's something wrong with him? How else can I help him?