Friday, July 22, 2016

How to Hide a Crush in 4 Easy Steps!

When I was in high school, I had a crush on a someone, and I didn't want my parents to know about it. I don't want to get into the reasons for that right now (although I may someday), but I do want to share what I did about it. And to be clear, I'm not saying that you shouldn't be yourself and act how you feel and tell everyone about your crush if you're fine with people knowing about your crush. This is only a guide for when you personally want to keep your crush a secret.

Now, the most obvious way to not let someone know that you have a crush on someone is to just not talk about them at all, but if you're like me, and you like to tell certain people everything, then it may be harder not to mention your crush at all. I always told my parents almost everything until I got to college, I still tell them quite a bit, so I had formulated a 4-step plan for myself to make sure that I didn't reveal my crush to my parents. I'd like to share that plan with you now, for anyone else who needs to keep this kind of a secret:

1. Try not to talk too much about your crush exclusively. Mix in stories about lots of people, so that the crush stories just blend in. The person I had this crush on in high school was really funny and was always doing wild things to make people laugh, things that I would normally tell my parents about at the end of the day. I made an extra effort to be sure that I wasn't just talking about this person, but I also told plenty of other fun stories about other people. Every time this person did something funny or interesting that I wanted to tell my parents about, I would think to myself, "Okay, who else has done something funny at school recently? What other funny things have happened that I can talk about, so that it doesn't seem like I'm giving this person a lot of attention?"

Also, don't talk about things that are old news unless you would normally do that. For instance, the person I had a crush on was so talented in singing, dancing, and acting that it wasn't any big shock to anyone when they gave an outstanding performance. At a certain point, saying, "This person sang their solo really well today!" was like saying, "The sky is blue!" When I didn't have a crush on anyone, I was much more likely to tell my parents what an awesome job someone did at rehearsal when I had not yet seen that person's skills. I was careful not to overdo talking about how great my crush was. Additionally, I tried to make sure that I told my parents how awesome other people were so that it wouldn't look like I was giving my crush too much attention.

2. Ask yourself if what you want to share about the person is really that funny or interesting, or if it only excites you because of your crush. Like I said, this person I liked was really funny and did lots of things to get laughs, and they were also very talented. But I made a point to stop and ask myself, "Is this a case where this person has actually done something really cool and exciting, or am I only excited because I like them?" The litmus test I used was, "If someone else in class did the exact same thing, would I be telling my parents about it?" If the answer was no, then I wouldn't tell them that my crush did it either.

3. Take the opportunity to pretend that you're not obsessed with your crush by speaking casually about things that actually excite you. There was one year that my crush joined a club that I was in. This really surprised me because I had no idea that they were interested in the club (I'm pretty sure that they joined to put the club on their resume, based on the way that they talked about it). I made a special point to mention it to my parents causally, like, "Huh, that's strange, I wasn't expecting them to join this club," while writing about how thrilled I was in my journal. In the past, when I had crushes on people and made it obvious that I did, I would have been jumping and screaming over the fact that someone I liked joined a club that I was in. Acting more casual about it gave my parents the message that I wasn't obsessed with this person. I'm normally pretty obvious about it when I'm obsessed. Another time, this person had to take over someone else's part in a play that I was in when the other person had to quit at the last minute. Even though I was psyched about getting to work with my crush, I informed my parents as casually as I could that my crush was taking over, and I even said that I wished the other person could have stayed in the play because they would have done a better job. That wasn't necessarily true, but it was a way of solidifying "I don't have a crush on this person" in my parents' minds, because I would normally be thrilled to work closely with someone I liked.

4. When you are excited about something involving your crush, try, if you can, to attribute that excitement to something other than your crush. When I got to sell tickets with my crush, I talked about being psyched to sell the tickets and focused exclusively on that, not the fact that I was selling them with my crush. When I talked about how I was going to to dress that day and do my nails, it was all about getting to sell the tickets, rather than being with my crush. (Note: It was normal for me to be this excited about selling tickets. Only use this technique if it will sound normal coming from you).

Again, this is not to say that you need to hide your crush - this is only advice on what to do when you don't want to share your crush with people.

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