(I got it! It came to me this morning. And it’s so very unCanadian.)
I am not going to help you through your discomfort and make it all better. I can’t. And I don’t want to. ‘This’ is not just happening to me – you are here too, seeing, reacting, feeling. Something is happening to you as well. Do you feel moved? Do you want to cry? Are you feeling drawn towards us? Or away? Engage with me about that instead of burdening me with your awkwardness and good intentions.
I will never be rude or impolite and I may even play along a bit (a teaching moment!)- but when this oft-repeated fully-scripted conversation is finished neither of us will be better for it.
(thank you SKJ)