"I'm Going to Break Ben Out of His Shell"

A friend told me a minute ago, “[Redacted] told me that she’s going to break you out of your fucking shell this summer.” I get this a lot. I don’t have time to build social relationships with a lot of people at school. Instead, I’ve surrounded myself with a small group of guys who I trust and enjoy and for everyone else my relationship is very surface. One particular jarring incident this year is when I told someone flatly, “I am not going to commit to building a friendship with you.” Insensitive? Probably. But what my high school peers don’t realize is that building a relationship takes significant time and effort and I’d rather be upfront. I find a lot of value in my social relationships at school – but not enough to divert more time from my other endeavors just to climb the social ladder.

The downside to this is that I have a reputation to a lot of people for being…mysterious, unaccessible, or unemotional. This doesn’t bother me; in fact, it makes me laugh, because I don’t care what they think.

5 comments on “"I'm Going to Break Ben Out of His Shell"
  • The irony here is that the folks who are regular blog readers think that you’re the farthest thing from being “mysterious, unaccessible, unemotional.”

    I think the issue is just that you have a different set of priorities than most folks your age. That being said, if an attractive girl tells you that she’s going to break you out of your shell, it might not be a bad policy to go along….

  • I completely agree that pursuing relationships with people who don’t matter to you is a waste of time. (But I don’t take your direct approach, because that would push my already threatening-to-girls honesty over the edge.)

    I am wondering if you differentiate between building relationships and climbing the social ladder, because in this post, you seem to equate the two. I know that often these processes are one and the same (especially at our school), which is why, like you, I stick to a small, trustworthy group of friends. Do you think the social situation at UHS is such that by now, any further branching out cannot avoid being superficial?

  • I obviously find this post to be humorous, but I’m worried about how you keep maintaining that you have a reputation for being mysterious and unemotional. This simply isn’t the case. Sometimes I think that you wish that it was the case: that you do things to make it the case. Either way, don’t flatter yourself too much Ben. People generally think of you as just a normal kid that plays basketball and used to do newsflash announcements.

    Ben Casnocha Responds: Andy, as a close personal friend, I’m glad you think this is not the case. Unfortunately, I think because of our relationship your perspective may be skewed. Nonetheless, your feedback is valuable. To be clear – I see little to no benefit in being “mysterious” and don’t think it’s flattering to have such a label. I wish I would have the same relationship with some people as others do. But, I’ve made certain choices and accept the consequences.

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