October 11, 2014 SHAME IN MY GAME What’s Up Brandon, I kind of like a girl that sits in front of me in my class. The problem is that her brother plays on my soccer team. And, whenever she comes to watch our games, I get so nervous that I totally screw up on the field. It’s SO embarrassing! At my last game, I accidentally made a goal for the other team! HEEEEEELP! Shame In My Game Hey Shame in My Game, It sounds like this girl is pretty awesome since she makes you so nervous that it messes up your game. High-five! I know how tough it can be to focus when the girl you like is watching your every move – especially when every move counts. Luckily, I’m into photography, and it’s a pretty stationary hobby. Also, it’s never really obvious what ends up on film. If I aim my camera at the ground, my crush won’t have any idea if I take a picture of a pretty flower or lose focus and capture something a dog owner forgot to pick up with a little plastic baggie. Still, I have two pieces of advice that might help you relax and stop freaking out. First, ask her brother about her. I don’t mean ask creepy stuff, like “What kind of soap does your sister use? She smells so good!” I mean ask him stuff that will help you see her less like an intimidating game goddess and more like an approachable, down-to-earth girl. For example, you could ask, “What’s it like being so close in age to your sister?” I guarantee he’ll list off a ton of ways she gets on his nerves, like how she slurps her soup or leaves big globs of toothpaste in the sink at night, and all of a sudden you’ll feel less nervous around her! My other suggestion is to start looking at her face as much as you look at the back of her head – and by that I mean talk to her! You said she sits right in front of you. That means you have an opportunity every day to start a conversation with her. (And it should be a lot easier to do this now that you know she’s a soup slurper who’s kind of a slob in the bathroom.) Not sure what to say? One of these options could work nicely: You know, it’s really impressive how you (insert something cool she did in class). This shows you’re paying attention, and girls love compliments! Do anything fun this weekend? This gives you a chance to learn about what she’s into, aside from unnerving boys who like her with her scary soccer stare. Your brother is on my team. He seems like a cool kid. If she gets along great with her brother, she’ll love this. And if she doesn’t, it gives her a chance to tell you all about how he gets on her nerves with his habit of clipping his toenails at the dinner table and eating messy foods, like Jell-o, with his hands. My point is, get to know her beyond your “cool and friendly crush,” and then you won’t worry so much that she’s watching you and or wonder what she’s thinking. Instead, you’ll be psyched that she’s watching you, and excited to find out what she’s thinking after the game. I hope this helps!