Following the previous feature on ‘When you have a crush … Cling or Unleash’ in the last edition (The Counsel-ling Magazine, July – September, 2021)(refer), many people called me and admitted that they had had a crush on someone. I received numerous e-mails as well and we have kept them in confidence. One male confessed, ‘Now I know that my attention has been taken away.’ Another female commented, ‘it happens to me often but frankly, I don’t know what to do. I can’t share that with anyone!’ I received several calls and texts from both males and females, both married and unmarried who also wanted to know the way out of, in their own words, ‘such an unbecoming, albeit embarrassing situation.’ It is true that many people have a crush on someone or certain people. Admittedly, a crush can be fascinating. You see him or her and for a short while, you are imply lifted off your feet and hanging in the air. Like some readers said, it is fascinating and mesmerizing and such as fulfilling feeling especially when you cannot have him or her. But, the truth is that it amounts to deception and it will certainly break your relationship. Yes, I accept as well those who have said that they ‘quickly recover and get back on their feet.’ Nonetheless, many people have crashed as a result of a crush. While at this, there are those who will have a crush on you. Oh yes, there are also those who hit on you, stalk you, and can’t keep their eyes or feeling from you. I agree with most of you more that the greater part of the crush challenge is what to do with those who cannot keep their eyes, mind, and hands from you. It is true that some people are mature enough and will in turn respect your privacy. Unfortunately, others are not as respectable and maybe ill-mannered and nagging to be all over you!
The Thought Process – secret admirers: more difficult
A crush happens when you see him or her. This could be anywhere – supermarket, on television, Internet, on the road, their voice on the radio. It could be anyone – a teacher, relative, neighbour, media personality, driver, matatu tout, politician, a colleague at work or an employee. The most remarkable thing is that the person gives your ‘butterflies’. It could be this person at the supermarket, butchery, office, church, parking lot; the thing is, you just can’t decipher that deep feeling that overwhelms you. The only thing that you know is that your heart either races for a while or you skip a beat! Admittedly, you can’t think straight with such a bang. The human brain is so instinctive that our thoughts have spontaneous feelings. Of course, we can control a lot about our brains in several ways, automatically or through conditioning. Hence, there is a need to separate emotions and feelings. It is much easier for you to deal with your crush than with other people’s feelings. This is because many of us are conscious of our thoughts, feelings and actions. The problem is adopted when handling the feelings, reactions and action of others. But even then, we soon learn to handle ourselves rather than the person having a ‘problem’ with us. There are probably many more people who have a crush on you than you imagine! It is very possible that you notice a few who cannot keep their eyes from you. These are the staring searching curious onlookers, the quick glances, the outrightly looking men and women who stare directly at you and many others who do not know how to hide their feelings. Then, there are the secret admirers whom we never know, or who are cunning enough to keep their emotions away from the public limelight.
The rule of the thumb is that there are certain relationships that you should consciously and clearly avoid for a variety of reasons. I have included some that I have found really complicated in my talks and discussions with individuals, couples and families.
Admirers have many ways of taking a glimpse at you, or better still keeping their secret in their heart. There are the sly witty males and females who will take a quick sneak of you without attracting your attention. Some will have a preview of your clothing or dress, smile or walk, your hair, eyes and of course face. Many people will wait for that faithful moment when you appear and fill their mind with the excitement of your presence. They will then calmly go back to their inner selves and absorb the shock. Then there are those bold men and women who will speak their mind and tell you on the face, ‘You are so beautiful’, ‘You are so handsome’, ‘Your hair is just beautiful, ‘You are awesome.’ Sometimes you want to melt, and other times you gather all your courage and answer back, ‘Thank you.’
Why crushes, why crush on me …
The most important part of the crush on you is to be aware why crushes happen. It is not necessarily something you do or did, like you’re dressing or talk; it is also about you. This includes your personality, mannerism, dressing, language, etiquette, code of conduct and professionalism. Your face, eyes, hair, clothing, posture, status and many other features attract more attention than you are aware of. People pay a lot of attention to us. Avoiding a crush is very simple; strengthen your own relationship. Because of the importance of this edition in relation to mental health, the reviewers insisted that as much as they recommend a special edition on relationships, I also include a few things to avoid in a relationship and how to go about them. This is because a crush is about you or your spouse seeking (and finding) an opportunity to be with someone else.
A sustaining relationship implies that both of you feel happy and in turn are contented with each other. In that case, the partnership needs clarity and this is majorly achieved through your communication with each other. This implies respect for each other, and thus certain habits as illustrated above make a lot of difference. People take a lot of attention towards persons who carry themselves with decorum. Other values and virtues such as honesty, integrity and accountability attract a lot of consideration. This is why some people keep complaining, ‘Why do they crush on me?’
What then …. The only one
Keep your head up high. It is important that you keep your positive rhythm. Keep up your good work and maintain your values. Always remain virtuous. There are various ways you can deal with a crush and it is significant that you select the most appropriate behaviour depending on the person and circumstances. The occasion is also important since you must maintain your own social standing and prestige. From the onset, introduce yourself clearly and avoid ambiguity. This includes your way of dressing and use of language. You can have a sense of humour but your jokes should not draw you to your body or any suggestions about your mannerism. Do not let anyone be directed to a part of you that you do not feel comfortable with: ‘I am the Director, I am a Consultant, I am your Personal Assistant.’ Start with facts that cannot change, then end with possibilities and clarify them as well.
From the onset, introduce yourself clearly and avoid ambiguity. Do not let anyone be directed to a part of you that you do not feel comfortable with.
Your voice and tone should be firm and convincing especially when you are expressing facts. You do not need to shout or be rude. For example, ‘I am unmarried but I am in a relationship,’ ‘I am unmarried but that is a personal matter,’ ‘I would like personal relationship issues to be clearly separate from office matters. I am not seeking a relationship.’ You can even express your feelings about a possible relationship, ‘I am married (or unmarried) and I certainly do not want to be engaged in a relationship.’ If you notice any worrisome trends or threats to your own wellbeing, you can express it, ‘I would like our friendship to be clear. Let us respect each other as colleagues.’ If a person admires you and does not express their feeling about the crush and has a stealing glance, do not express it either. Some things are best left unsaid. In addition, do not keep attracting attention to yourself because you can be too preoccupied with yourself. If someone expresses their feelings, respond politely if you must and assert your genuine feelings. For example, ‘Thank you but I am married.’ It is important that you express your status in the matter to avoid confusion and double standards. For instance, ‘I am a born again Christian and married.’
Normal life with improvements
Your life is in your own hands and you have a place in this universe. Subsequently, you need to have your own ground. You need not, should not be preoccupied with the numerous number of people who seem busy admiring you. Nor can you change yourself as much. This is because you are not necessarily at fault when people keep admiring you. There are also many desirable aspects that can be admired in us and we should be keen to be our best in order to be admired. After all, there are so many people that have a crush on us. We need not, will not know them all!