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Just What Every Shy Person Loves!

, , , , , , , | Learning | April 9, 2022

When my daughter started high school, she went through a friendless phase. All of her friends from elementary school either attended a different high school or decided not to be friends anymore. Because she was very shy and didn’t make new friends easily at the time, she usually spent her lunch breaks eating quickly in the cafeteria and then reading in the library.

One day, her teacher approached her.

Teacher: “I see you spending every lunch hour alone. It’s not right.”

Daughter: “I don’t mind…”

Teacher: “No, it’s not healthy for a young girl like you to not have any friends, so I’m going to help.”

Daughter: *Alarmed* “Please don’t! I’m fine.”

Teacher: *Not listening* “I’m happy to do it! Starting tomorrow, I’m going to introduce you to some of the other kids. You’ll come out of your shell and will be making friends in no time. All you need is a little push.”

Daughter: “…”

She was very quiet when she got home from school that day. She excused herself to her room after dinner, and I was concerned. When I heard her crying, I knocked on her door and asked what was wrong. After some hesitation, she told me.

Me: “What do you want to happen?”

Daughter: “I want him to leave me alone, but he won’t listen to me.”

Me: “He’ll listen to me. Do you want me to handle it?”

My daughter looked at me with the beginnings of a smile.

Daughter: “Do you promise not to lose your temper?”

I’ve been known to blow my stack in the past, especially when someone I love is upset.

Me: “I swear. I’ll be cool as a cucumber.”

Daughter: “Then yes, please.”

That night, I called the school’s office and left a message asking for [Teacher] to phone me. The next day:

Teacher: “Hello, Mrs. [My Last Name]! I understand that you’re [Daughter]’s mum, and you wanted to talk to me?”

Me: “That’s right. [Daughter] told me about your plans to, as you put it, ‘bring her out of her shell.’”

Teacher: *Happily* “Oh, yes! I’ve done it many times before, and—”

Me: “Let me stop you right there. My kid is fine, and she doesn’t need your help.”

Teacher: “But… she doesn’t have any friends—”

Me: “Not at the moment, no. But she’s more than capable of making them on her own.”

Teacher: “I really think—”

Me: “Mr. [Teacher], I’m sure your heart is in the right place, but your help is neither wanted nor needed. I’m going to ask you politely to back off; otherwise, I’ll escalate this to the principal.”

Teacher: “…”

Me: “Are we good?”

Teacher: “Yes.”

Me: “Awesome. Thank you so much for your understanding. Have a great day!” *Hangs up*

My daughter “came out of her shell” just fine on her own and started making friends when she was ready. That was almost fifteen years ago. Today, she works in theatre, primarily as a director, because, as she puts it, “I love bossing people around.”

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