January 31, 2021 HOW DO I TALK TO MY CRUSH?!! Hey guys! Since Valentine’s Day is in a few weeks, I thought I’d make my advice column all about crushes for the occasion. So, feel free to write me with any crush-related questions you have and I’ll do my best to answer them. Our first one comes from someone who’s having trouble talking to his crush. Here’s his question… Hi Brandon,I have this SUPER big crush on this SUPER cute girl in my class! She’s funny, pretty, and very smart! But I’m very bad at expressing myself, and I can never talk to her without freezing up and looking like a deer in headlights. Can you give me advice on how to gain courage to talk to her? Thanks! (P.S. I already tried the Talking-To-Your-Reflection-In-The-Mirror thing. Total FAIL, dude!)Totally Tongue Tied What’s Up Totally Tongue Tied, Ha! Yeah, the thing about talking to your reflection is it never talks back. (If it DID, you might have bigger problems than talking to your crush!) This is an age-old question, my friend. I get it from guys and girls. Nikki gets it from guys and girls too. No one knows how to talk to their crush. Even people who seem like they have it all together get all fluttery and weird when faced with a super cute someone. The bright side of all this is that you’re not alone. The downside is…there’s not really a clear answer. There’s no talking-to-your-crush manual or secret remedy. A lot of advice you’ll find online (or get from parents and other well-meaning adults) is to be yourself. I get that. They’re saying don’t try to be someone else, someone cooler than you are, or who you think the other person wants you to be. That’ll just be awkward, and you won’t seem sincere, and most importantly, if they somehow like the “fake-you,” they’re not really liking you for you. Which is sort of the point. But the trouble with “be yourself” advice is…what does that really mean? You’re always going to be…yourself. Because who else would you be? Even if you’re acting fake, you’re still being yourself. Just a weird version of yourself. 😀 After many experiences of doing the WRONG thing, I’ve come up with a few things that help me. Maybe they’ll help you too! LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS. Don’t go into a conversation with your crush trying to get her to totally obsess over you. If that’s your goal, you’re pretty likely to fail. (No offense.) Don’t try to be the funniest or most charming guy she’s ever talked to. Just shoot for pleasant conversation. Hey, you might surprise yourself!ASK QUESTIONS. This is a big one. Most people enjoy talking about themselves. And questions are an opportunity to show that you’re a great listener and truly interested in her. Does she have a certain book series sticker on her laptop? Or is she always wearing a certain music group t-shirt? Do you know if she plays soccer or violin? Ask her about her interests.INVOLVE A FRIEND. You might feel more self-conscious talking to your crush if she’s surrounded by her friends. But if you have a mutual friend, or even just a buddy who you know you’ll feel more comfortable with, approach her together. It’ll seem less like a crush crisis and more like friendly fun. Which is how it should be for starters anyway.DON’T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY. If you stutter, say something dumb or tell a joke that falls flat, it’s not the end of the world. Dude, that’ just part of normal conversation. It only feels more scary because you want this other person to like you. But she’s only human like the rest of us. She’ll make mistakes too. Laugh them off and move on. The mistakes won’t be what she remembers, unless you make a huge deal of them. Okay, that’s what I’ve got. I think I’m going to write those tips on a little notecard and tape it inside my locker so that I can practice them on MY crush. I hope they help you too! Okay readers, do you have any tips for talking to crushes? Please share them in the comments below.