Interested in Friends with Professors
I haven’t had many friends since I was a young child, and when I started being bullied, that number dropped to zero. When I moved to a new class and made friends, I kept that routine just in case my friends decided to leave me. I had to make friends with my professors, and over time, that’s what I got used to doing— sitting with them at breakfast and talking to them during playtime. Now, whenever a professor doesn’t like me, it keeps me up at night worrying about potential mistakes. I always want to be there for my beloved teacher to support them and ease any anxiety they may be experiencing. However, whenever I make a mistake or feel like I’m bothering them, it’s disastrous, and I feel as though I am bringing down the god. Therefore, my query is:
Is it bad to hold my teacher in such high regard and to aspire to friendship with them beyond simple friendliness? If I keep my distance?
Response from a psychologist
Admiring teachers, wanting to win their favor, and yet wishing for friendships with them are all very natural emotions. It is simple to fall in love with teachers because they frequently possess traits we wish we possessed in ourselves, such as compassion, warmth, wisdom, compassion, and warmth. Instructors also pay attention to us, particularly when we effectively respond to a question or put forth effort in our job. However, there are times when we overestimate the significance of the notice, falsely believing that our relationship with a teacher is unique and that no one else has it. All of these feelings and thoughts are normal; what matters is how we handle them and what we do with them.
When peers have not been as accepting( and have instead bullied ), I may know how teachers have been particularly kind to you and how you feel their support and friendship. Often, when we find it difficult to relate to people our own era( or when they struggle with us ), we discover that we have a lot in common with our teachers. However, just as it’s crucial to have our faculty and other reliable people serve as our safety traps( much like you did when moving to a new school ), we also need to keep learning new strategies for interacting with and developing friendships with people our own time. While some teachers may be able to assist with these skills, it is more common to find specific tools for facilitating friendships and peer relationships from a reputable consultant at the school or perhaps an authorized therapist or psychologist outside of the institution.
People can get frightened or flustered around expert figures( like teachers) when they are worried about what they think of them. They may also put them on a pedestal, as you described. This may occasionally be a sign of Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder. If this is the case for you, a skilled mental health professional can help you identify it and provide organized strategies to make your interactions with teachers and other authority figures more reasonable. Students’ jobs are to listen to their professors and make the most of the lessons they are given, while teachers’ responsibilities include assisting students in learning. We start to mix restrictions that are crucial to ensuring that students learn when we begin to misinterpret the marriage as being closer.
You even mentioned wanting to support your professors at all times to ease their stress. It would be beneficial for you to work on this crucial edge. No child should assist in reducing stress in individuals; that responsibility belongs to other people with whom they have relationships and friendships that are appropriate for their age. If a tutor gets irritated, it might be because they see this line being crossed. The best way to get along with a teacher is to pay attention to them, ask for assistance with school-related issues( both the learning materials and equal conflicts ), and follow their instructions.
Yes, it can be detrimental for you to need an adult connection with your professors, to answer your question. Instead of viewing it as distant, consider the good restrictions mentioned above. Consider how you can channel your need for encouragement and friendliness into your own match relationships rather than those with your instructors. My guess is that once you start experimenting with giving your same-age friends more effort( with consultant assistance if necessary ), you’ll get along better with your professors, care less about them, and feel better about yourself as well.
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