Friday, October 20 , 2017, 10:23 am | A Few Clouds 66º

 
 
 
 

Louise Palanker: Going Beyond a Summer Crush, Apologizing for Hurt, Earning Trust

Question from Kevin

Hello. So I’m a 16-year-old guy, and my family is at our lake house and we had a family party with all of our relatives. My cousin (girl) brought one of her friends (also a girl, she’s cute, too!), and I introduced myself and said hi and had little conversations with my cousin here and there, but it didn’t get into and long talks. Just quick, short and kind of awkward ones. I have a crush on this friend of my cousin’s now after only meeting her for the first time last night.

Tomorrow, my family is going to my grandma’s lake house, which is a short drive away, and my cousin and her friend are going to be there. How do I start better conversations and let her know I have a crush on her? And how do I make a move on her or get her alone to talk about stuff, and maybe get my first kiss? Tomorrow might be the last time I see her so I want to make it count!

Thank you!

Weezy

My advice to you is that you do not get ahead of yourself. I know that you would love a summer crush kiss but attempting to get a girl alone or telling her that you are into her before you really know each other will probably end badly.

Focus first on conversation. I say this often ... ASK HER QUESTIONS. Not just superficial questions. Not just yes-or-no answer questions. Sure, you will blurt those out. But also ask deeper questions. Ask her for her opinion. Ask her how something makes her feel. Tell her your opinion. Tell her how something makes you feel.

Be interested. Be vulnerable. Share a piece of yourself. Find a common thread. That is how you build trust and bonding.

Next, share experiences. Toast marshmallows. Tell stories. Laugh when she says something funny. Compliment her. Touch her arm when you agree with her. Take it from there.

Let one thing unfold naturally after another and ... HAVE A GREAT TIME! You are learning how to interact with someone you like. Regardless of the exact outcome with this girl, that will count for a lifetime.

File this under Everyone Is Awkward:

(CloeCouture video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Ben

So I had been with a girl for almost two years when we broke up. I really love this girl and would do anything to get her back, but I messed up because I had said some things to her that had hurt her.

I want to fix things between us but she’s with this other guy now. She still says she loves me and all, but doesn’t want to chance getting hurt by me again. I really love her and didn’t mean to hurt her. I constantly tell her that. It’s been a month or so but I don’t want to give up with her. I see a lifetime with her. I don’t know if I should keep trying, though, or just wait.

Weezy

I think you should give this a rest. Take some time to think about what happened and consider why it happened. Reflect. What causes you to say hurtful things that you can not take back? What will you do to work on yourself and ensure that you will be less likely to strike out verbally and emotionally injure someone you love again?

I know that what you want right now is to get this girl back. That is your instinctive reaction to the consequences of your actions. You love this girl and love is our most powerful emotion. But what is actually more important than this particular girl is your awareness of what went wrong and your willingness to learn from your mistakes.

When you believe that you fully understand what happened and recognize how things will be different when and if this girl comes back to you, then write her a note. Make it brief. Long, rambling, detailed pleadings to exes are never well received. Show her that you are calm and reasonable.

Here is what you should put in your note:

» You love her.

» You are very sorry.

» You have had time to think, learn and grow.

» You know that words can be a weapon.

» You will never use them again to strike out at her when you feel hurt or scared.

» If she returns to you, things will be different.

» Here’s how ...

The end.

The next move will be hers. She will either take that move toward you or not. You will then get on with your excellent life. It may be another girl who benefits from your having had this experience.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Samantha

Basically, I insulted my best friend. We’re 14, but sometimes she can act and dress like she’s a lot younger. A lot of people judge her for it, but I’ve typically been right there next to her being silly. I’m one of the only people she isn’t afraid to be herself around, and the only person she can tell her secrets to.

A couple days ago, we were texting about what we were wearing to graduation. She judged me for saying I would need an hour to put on my makeup. I judged her for saying she was just slipping on a dress. I basically told her that she needs to grow up and change. (This was a day after I gave a speech to the entire school about how important it is to be yourself.)

I felt terrible for saying that. I couldn’t believe that I had just hurt my best friend in pretty much the worst way possible. I apologized and a couple days later, we had a sleepover. We took each other’s phones and looked through pictures. I opened up a folder on her phone and she grabbed it from me, saying she just had to delete one thing. I can’t stand when people, especially my friends hide things from me. I ran into my mom’s room and slammed the door. She texted me that she’d show me. It was a picture of her crying with the caption “when your best friend insults you so you just start crying.” I felt SO terrible.

I stayed silent and hugged her, but I wish I could do more. I’ve already apologized a lot of times, but I don’t know what else to do. I just feel soooo bad. I want her to be able to trust me. What can I do to show that I will always be there for her?

Weezy

You have already started doing it. Keep it up. Showing someone something and earning their trust requires actions performed repeatedly over time.

You can also talk with her and tell her how much you are learning from her, and how grateful you are that she has remained herself because by doing so she is teaching you to be your best self.

Explain to her that the lessons you spoke about at graduation were just words on a page and that they did not truly resonate with you until your best friend showed you how to put them into action. Tell her how honored you are to call her your friend. Ask her to continue telling you when you have overstepped.

And just one more thing. There is a big difference between privacy and exclusion. If she is keeping something private, that is her right and privilege. She is not doing anything TO you. She is doing something FOR herself.

We all get to have our own concentric layers of privacy. We each decide how far anyone penetrates into any layer. The inner most circle may be for us alone. It’s a personal choice.

You were not being shunned. She was simply choosing to keep something to herself. Ultimately, I am glad that she felt safe enough with you to share the photo and the caption. This brought you to a new awareness of her experience.

Gaining access to that photo should have come through love and trust rather than through anger, intimidation and a slammed door. But I do have every belief that this stumble will make the two of you stronger together.

                                                                 •        •        •

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 has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals Network, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also 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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >