Friday, October 19 , 2018, 4:56 am | Fair 52º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: Stuck in the Friend Zone, Feelings for a Supervisor, Learning to Flirt

Question from Angelica

I’m best friends with this guy. I really like him and I think he likes me. How do I tell if he likes me or not? How do I get out of the friend zone without ruining our friendship? He’s kind of a judgmental person and he probably would think I’m crazy if I said I liked him. What should I do?

Weezy

Don’t be distracted by his personality. Everyone has a right to like someone and it never makes anyone crazy. Look around you. Everyone over the age of 12 probably has a crush or is in love. It’s just how we humans tend to roll. You get to tell him about your feelings. He gets to respond. He doesn’t get to accuse you of being crazy. And if he does just say, “Hey, look at you. I’d be crazy NOT to love you.”

You two are growing up together. You may both fall in and out of love with each other over the years. If he didn’t find you wonderful, he wouldn’t already be your best friend. You can drop little hints like, “Sometimes it feels like we’re married,” and see how he responds. When he says something funny, grab his arm and leave your hand there a little too long. Take a photo with him and say, “We look too cute together.” If all of this goes well then say, “I may be starting to like you as more than a friend.”

The reality is that it is actually pointless to worry about losing the friendship because once one person in the friendship starts crushing on the other person, the friendship is already over. It has to either move on to romance or you need to take a step back and heal. So, you may as well ask for what you need. When you like your best friend in secret you are keeping something really important from him. He has a right to know. You have a right to tell him.

These are some really good clues from Josh Tryhane:

(Josh Tryhane video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Corine

OK, well, I caught feelings for my manager at work and now he is being relocated. I feel like our boss did that because there was an attraction between me and him. I tried to play it cool but he would always give it away.

We became really close at work, I would catch him staring at me all the time and he was always nice to me and tried to please me, and I think she noticed it and chose to transfer him. I was heartbroken when I found out. I still am. He’s the shy type just like me, and it took a while for us to get comfortable with each other.

I just friended him on Facebook. I had a small conversation with him but to know that I won’t get to see him again just had me cry for two days straight. I know it was wrong on my part to catch feelings for my supervisor, but I couldn’t resist. Somehow I feel better knowing I’ll get to know what he is up to on Facebook but it’d never be the same. Unless I tell him how I feel. But I’m just so unsure of whether I should.

I’m 21 and he’s 38. I really don’t care about the age difference I really like him but I also don’t wanna lose him as a friend. Some of my girlfriends at work said it looked like he liked me but I’m not sure what his response would be. Again, he’s the shy type.

I’m so lost. Please help me.

Weezy

It’s natural for you to develop feelings for an older supervisor at work. That happens quite a lot. The question is, what do you do with those feelings? In most cases it’s just a crush. Your infatuation is fun and exciting, and it makes work more interesting. It motivates you and propels you toward making this person and ultimately yourself proud.

However, in most cases these feelings should be filed under crush. And tha’'s OK. Crushes are both painful and informative. Your feelings for this guy are advising you as to the type of person you admire and find attractive.

This particular guy is too old for you. He is at a different phase of his life. Dating him would find you forgoing your own friends and interests for his. There is a power dynamic imbalance that will naturally have you deferring to the older person. It is just not a great idea for you at this formative period in your life.

Sometimes, in cases like this, you just need to cry your eyes out and walk a lot. Don’t get caught up in tracking his migrations on Facebook. Focusing on him will prevent you from finding yourself and, ultimately a romantic partner who is a more realistic option for you.

I know this hurts. I’ve been there but you are going to be just fine.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Zoe

I can’t seem to figure out how to flirt. I’ve used all of the websites I can find, but nothing seems to work. Can I get your opinion?

Weezy

I think that when it comes to advice about flirting you should maybe listen, read, watch, soak it in, and then make no effort to specifically apply any of that advice. Sure you can read about hair flipping, neck touching and head tilting, but attempting to naturally execute any of these moves may have you fracturing something.

The real trick to flirting is simply paying attention to somebody. Show an interest. Ask a question. Listen. Smile. Laugh at his jokes. Ask him another question about how something has made him feel. Show him that you care about who he is, what he thinks and what he believes.

These are things that you will naturally do when you like somebody. What makes flirting so difficult is that you have to show this interest while you are nervous. If you can push through your fear and pull that off, the guy will see that you think he is special. If he returns those feelings about you, he will ask you a question and the relationship will grow from there.

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Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She also hosts a weekly video podcast called Things I Found Online, and teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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