Dear Garrett (April 3, 2013)

Garrett Painter invites MC students to submit their questions to him for advice.

Dear Garrett,

    Is it possible to like someone you’ve never really spoken to? Is it conceivable to feel intuitively that you’re supposed to know them better, just based on a feeling and one encounter?

There is this person that I know not very well, and we have limited interactions; in fact, we have never spoken and I’ve only seen the person once in a rather embarrassing situation. But I feel strongly, as I’ve never felt before, that when I do seen the person via campus or online, that I have some sort of unexplainable future with them. It’s a feeling deep within my gut and my heart that I’ve never experienced before.

But, Garrett, I don’t really know this person. I’m not sure if they would be interested, or if this is just a fancy of my overactive imagination and impressionable heart. We have similar interests, from what I can tell, but I rarely ever encounter him, and I’m not going to chase someone I do not know well, or attempt to bother someone who doesn’t even know me, or really knows that I exist. There are some instances in which I think the person would like to get to know me, but nothing that makes me feel that I should pursue a companionship, much less anything more than that.

What should I do? Forget about this and reconcile to only feel it within my heart and dream about this strange sensation I have that cannot be explained rationally? What else can I do?


Nom de Plume


    Dearest Nom de Plume,

    You seem to be in quite the predicament. Matters of the heart can be a messy thing to deal with, and, based upon your elaborate question, you seem to feel rather strongly in this situation. Because of this, my simple answer to your question is to go for it.

    We are at that point in our lives where we should take chances. If not, then you are probably going to wonder what could have happened for the rest of your life. If you really feel some form of strong connection with this person, then you should definitely attempt to get to know them better. However, this could be difficult to do since you barely seem to know them.

    The key is to try to avoid coming off as creepy. I would suggest to perhaps try to find a mutual friend between the two of you. See if that friend can introduce you somehow. If you have no friends in common, then seek a situation to strike up a conversation with them. No, I would not suggest doing this online unless you absolutely have to, but I would suggest waiting for a situation to present itself. While I do not believe you can force anything along these lines, just be prepared to take advantage of the situation when it hopefully presents itself.

    I believe the key to your situation is patience. Don’t rush into anything and do not try to force anything. That is when you will come off as obsessive and creepy. Find a way to make that conversation happen, and then see what happens from there. If you happen to hit it off, then good for you! If not, well then you tried and will never regret not trying. Good luck, Nom de Plume.




    Dear Garrett,

    I absolutely can’t stand one of my coworkers. I have to have a job to pay for tuition, so there’s no quitting it. This guy deliberately attempts to one-up me all the time. It’s reached the point to where the sound of his voice makes me want to punch him in the throat. Any advice on how to handle this situation?


Disgruntled Coworker


    Dearest Disgruntled Coworker,

    My first piece of advice would be to not punch this guy in the throat. That is, if you would like to keep your job. However, I, and many other students I am sure, have had this problem. During my 5 years at Starbucks and numerous work-study jobs on campus, I have definitely wanted to punch a few people in the throat, so this is a completely normal feeling to have. My best piece of advice would be to take this guy to the side and just explain to him the problem you have with him. For all you know, he may not even be aware that he is attempting to one-up you all the time. If that doesn’t work, then a conversation with an advisor or a manager can have quite a bit of pull, especially if you are finding that throat punching urge is becoming overwhelming. If neither of those work, just ignore the guy. Just remind yourself that you need the job to pay tuition, and that’s all that matters. This is an extremely common problem, however, so don’t feel alone. I am sure that many of your peers are going through the same situation in some way.




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