Han­dle crush with friend­ship

Penticton Herald - - LIVING - EL­LIE TESHER

DEAR EL­LIE: I’m won­der­ing if my friend (a girl) and one of my close friends, has a crush on me. We go to the same school and the same church.

I only knew her for two years, but one day she com­plained, ask­ing why I never say Hi to her at school.

I said that I never no­ticed her (the real rea­son is that I don’t know how to talk to girls that well).

Af­ter that, when I did say Hi to her, she was very happy.

A cou­ple of weeks later in the cafe­te­ria, she came up to me say­ing, “What do you think I should eat for break­fast — the muf­fin or the waf­fle?”

I told her to get the waf­fle but didn’t know why she used that weird ex­cuse to talk.

On the last week of school, it seemed she wanted to talk to me when I was talk­ing to one of my friends (her locker neigh­bour), and she was teas­ing me how I thought the fi­nals were easy be­cause I’m so smart and that.

Does she have a crush on me or is she just be­ing a good friend? — Crush Con­fu­sion

AN­SWER: She likely does have a crush on you. But it’s in­ter­est­ing that you al­ready con­sider her a “close” friend.

As a crush, you have trou­ble han­dling her sig­nals. Her ques­tions seem “weird,” you get con­fused and shy.

Yet you both have your im­me­di­ate world in com­mon — school and church. Also, she thinks you’re smart, which is a high com­pli­ment.

How to han­dle all this? Be her good friend.

Text her ask­ing how her sum­mer’s go­ing, who she’s hang­ing out with, what she does dur­ing the day, etc.

By the time you both get back to school, or meet at church, you’ll find it a lot eas­ier to talk to her. Reader’s Commentary “I find coun­selling is hit and miss. “I’ve been to coun­sel­lors over the

years, some good. Some are sub­si­dized through a fam­ily ser­vices pro­gram so you pay at a slid­ing scale.

“Th­ese some­times pro­vide in­terns as coun­sel­lors. You con­fide in them, feel con­nected, then they must leave when their pro­gram is fin­ished. It’s very stress­ful.

“One coun­sel­lor just lis­tened to me with­out pro­vid­ing use­ful feed­back. Another just talked about her/his own per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences and didn’t lis­ten to me at all.

“With another, we had per­son­al­ity dif­fer­ences.

“It seems you some­times need to go through sev­eral dif­fer­ent coun­sel­lors to find a good fit. Most peo­ple aren’t aware of this. They give up. “Some­times you don’t have the lux­ury to shop around — you can’t af­ford those that charge at least $100 dol­lars an hour. But it lim­its your choices to the sub­si­dized ones with in­terns.

“Coun­selling seems a great so­lu­tion but it’s not†al­ways the ideal.”

El­lie ñ Coun­selling does re­quire a “fit,” but not nec­es­sar­ily some­one who agrees with your for­mer ef­forts which haven’t re­solved your prob­lem.

Peo­ple switch doc­tors, den­tists, train­ers, and hair­dressers who don’t suit them.

When shop­ping for a coun­sel­lor, ask ahead whether he/she uses a short or long-term ap­proach.

Also ask their main point of view (e.g. be­hav­iour, cog­ni­tive, hu­man­is­tic or holis­tic ther­apy) and get in­formed about it.

Those who let you hear your­self talk, are count­ing on you to rec­og­nize some­thing you haven’t ac­knowl­edged be­fore.

A good coun­sel­lor is a guide, and can teach new re­sponses to trig­gers while ex­plain­ing why past ef­forts failed. The rest is up to you. See my home page at www.el­liead­vice.com for how to “Find A Ther­a­pist.”

FEED­BACK Re­gard­ing the older brother whose younger brother asked to date his ex-girl­friend (July 1):

Reader — “The younger brother is show­ing lit­tle aware­ness of his older brother’s feel­ings by ask­ing to date his ex af­ter he and she have al­ready agreed to date.

“Sure, he may do so, but is it worth the un­de­ni­able pain to his brother? The younger man’s at­ti­tude is self­ish and in­con­sid­er­ate.

“The older brother needs some­one who takes his side and rec­og­nizes that he has a bruised heart (or is it his ego?).

“The younger brother and his now-girl­friend could use some ed­u­ca­tion. What do you think?”

El­lie—I agree that sen­si­tiv­ity aware­ness would be in or­der here.

They are still fam­ily. Even though the cou­ple is more than en­ti­tled to be to­gether (since the older brother and his for­mer girl­friend had been apart for four years), they need to ac­knowl­edge how dif­fi­cult this tran­si­tion is for the brother.

FEED­BACK Re­gard­ing the dis­cour­aged “New­bieî (June 24):

Reader — “I went through what you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing. It’s no small thing.

“I even­tu­ally took a civil-ser­vant job part-time. Five years later, it’s a full-time ca­reer with a pen­sion, ben­e­fits, and se­cu­rity.

“I’m late-30s, mar­ried with two young daugh­ters. It’s amaz­ing how freely peo­ple will judge you, and can make you sec­ond-guess your­self. Don’t!

“My hus­band and I were both late-bloomers, and met when we both felt like you — ask­ing, how are we go­ing to make it?

“We chose long-term hap­pi­ness over stress­ful am­bi­tion.

“We work blue-col­lar jobs, rent our home in­stead of own. Our “lux­u­ries” are good mu­sic, a few drinks, and hon­est con­ver­sa­tion.

“Don’t be too hard on your­self. If you’re do­ing your best, and work­ing to­wards some goal, that’s enough.

TIP OF THE DAY

A close friend­ship can be more re­ward­ing and last much longer than a crush.

Email el­lie@thes­tar.ca. Follow @el­liead­vice.

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