DEAR ABBY: My 12-year-old niece "Tammy" is very shy. When I recently visited my brother's home, she hid in her parents' bedroom behind a closed door. She wouldn't come out to say hi or even speak to me through the door.
Today I was on the phone with my sister-in-law and I asked if I could say hello to Tammy. I was told Tammy had left the room because she didn't want to talk. My sister-in-law then remarked that she has the shiest kids on Earth.
I think Tammy's parents should MAKE her speak to me (or anyone else) in person or on the phone. Am I wrong? -- OUTGOING AUNT IN TEXAS
DEAR OUTGOING AUNT: Tammy's behavior is rude, and her mother is covering for her. If Tammy has such overwhelming social anxiety that she cannot exchange even the briefest social amenities, she needs the help of a therapist to help her overcome it.