A letter writer told a girl he was gay so that she’d leave him alone. Then she found out he lied.
Can our elder help him find the words to apologize?
Hey, so there’s this girl in my grade who’s had a crush on me for three years now and it’s pretty annoying. It’s like she can’t take a hint that I don’t like her back. So last week I lied to her and told her I was gay so she’d leave me alone for good and it worked even though I could see it made her disappointed a little but then the other day she very sweetly tried to encourage me to come out to the world about my sexuality and that’s when I had to tell her the truth before she told anybody else that I was gay. I’ll admit I was a little harsh on her but I was frustrated with her and my words just seemed to pour out of me. She looked hurt by my words and said, “Am I really that horrible?” and took off crying before I could say anything else. I do feel bad now about what I did but it felt like I ran out of options. I’m only 13, I can’t have the answers to everything. I wish I would’ve come here first but now I need some advice on how to make it up to her and apologize and explain what happened. Can you guys help me?
Hi there. I’m glad you took time to ask for help. I chose your letter for a response, partly because your dilemma is something that everyone will deal with sooner or later and that is how to deal with an uncomfortable situation. Do you come right out and show your hand to the other person, for better or worse, or do you try some hocus pocus and hope the magic spell holds until the end of the school year at least. You chose the latter and though both of us now know that that didn’t work, I think it’s a wonderful lesson to learn at your age. I think, in most cases, it takes some pain or humiliation or guilt to have a lesson really stick.
Here’s another way to describe what I’m talking about. You find dog poop (your dog) on the living room carpet. You decide to not hide it but to show your parents to convince them that it’s time to get Fluffy into a potty-training program. Alternatively, you find some baking soda in the kitchen and sprinkle that on and hope that parental units have stuffy noses.
So that didn’t work and if anything, the problem has become even more of a nuisance. Now she’s not only a pain but you have these guilt feelings, which are kind of her fault, because if she hadn’t crushed on you for all this time this wouldn’t have happened. Am I right? Whew. Sorry I just channeled 13 years old for a minute
So I’m going to ask you a serious question and I hope you give it some thought. You are plenty old enough to understand this. Which one of these best describes your thoughts/feelings? 1) You’d really like to know a better strategy than the ‘gay’ one, that would just make this pest go away and not bother you anymore, without any negative consequences, of course. 2) It’s not been fun, but this situation has made you realize that this girl is a real person, who at least thinks she has feelings for you. You’ve made her feel bad and you honestly don’t want to be that person. You’d like to know how to approach her, listen and come to some agreement between you that allows her to feel understood and not made fun of and gives you the peace you think you want.
No wrong answer. If you choose #1, you get out of reading the rest of this letter, because I have no advice for you, and I’ve lost interest. If you choose #2, then you’re growing up, learning how to approach tough issues and setting a standard for the rest of your life. So, obviously I lied about the no wrong answer thing.
Let’s assume #2. There’s no tricks or strategies now. You reach out to her with a brief apology and a request to talk. And then you talk, and you do a lot of listening. You don’t defend yourself; you merely tell her how you feel and felt. You let her tell her side, all the while remembering that it’s not right or wrong, it’s just her side. If you can do this, she will become real to you and you to her, she may stop being annoying and you may stop being a crush. This could happen. The worst that could happen is you’ve both had some practice in how to be a good adult problem solver (btw, most adults aren’t good at this).
OK, dinner calls. Probably not what you expected, but I hope it helps a little. And if you feel like it, I would love feedback, what happened next, that sort of thing. I’m rooting for you.
Be careful what you wish for. You may like being chased more than you know. Having someone be crazy for may be annoying, but also addictive.
Article #: 476861