When my son was little, we used to call him the “little politician” primarily because he had a knack for approaching every single person in his path and saying “Hello” or “Good Morning,” shaking their hands before moving on to the next. As he grew older and his social anxieties grew, he seemed to lose that ability with kids in middle school. When he arrived for high school, we all crossed our fingers and hoped this new start would kickstart his natural charming abilities back into gear.
“Mom, it’s just not fair…” The doll complained as she entered the car. “What’s not fair? I asked. “The boy is friends with everyone in the school and I’m struggling to have one friend. I want what he has…” She lamented. The boy laughed and said, “Well yeah, because I talk with everyone…” “Why can’t I do that?” She wondered. “You’re more reserved…” I offered. “I don’t want to be reserved, I want to be loud and outgoing…” She exclaimed. “Doll, you can’t change your nature…” Her brother replied and then laughed when she slugged him, “Wait, hear me out…” He tried, “I literally walk up to everyone and say hello to them… I offer myself up and I’m also a good listener”. “How?” She asked and with that, the conversation turned toward one another, effectively leaving me out of the conversation.
But I have to say, hearing her lament about her brother’s outgoing nature and likability with the student body made my heart sing, not to mention help relieve some of my fears about his transition into college next fall.
Where there is a will, there is a way. Where there is hope, there is promise. Where there is the boy…there is likability among peers.