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Crushes: When You Don't Crush Back

Oh, no! He likes you, but you don't like him back. You don't want to be mean to her, but you also don't want to lead her on. How should you deal? Here are some guidelines:

DON'T be cold or cruel. You know the Golden Rule, right? Treat others the way you would like to be treated. If you out-and-out reject someone who likes you, especially in a nasty way, it might make you feel good for a little while. But consider his or her feelings. This person just took a huge risk. Chances are, you'll be in the same boat at some point. You'd want to be let down easy, too.

DON'T make it all into a joke. Making a big joke out of learning that someone likes you is a particularly cruel way to handle things, and not one you'd like to be on the receiving end of. You may make your friends laugh by telling them all about how a certain person has a crush on you, but that laughter will be over pretty quickly. The person's hurt feelings will last a lot longer.

DO be kind. It can be difficult, but it is possible to let someone down nicely without giving the wrong impression. Think about saying something like:

  • "I'm really flattered that you feel that way about me, but I just think of you as a friend"
  • "I don't think of you that way, but I'm glad you told me, and I think you're a cool person."

DO be firm. While you're being kind, don't forget to be firm. Make sure the person knows that you don't plan to change your mind about how you feel. It might help to say something like:

  • "Okay, we've talked about this. Let's close the subject for good."
  • "I'm sure you'll find someone else who likes you the way you like them."

If you're having trouble letting someone down, or a situation with an unwanted crush is causing problems for you, don't hesitate to talk to a school counselor about it.

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