Dear Amy: I am a 15-year-old guy. I lost my mother to cancer six months ago.

I tend to overthink things, and that’s why I’m writing to you. I am not sure whether I have a crush on this person at school, or if I am just longing for someone to fill the empty space. I think about her often, and look forward to seeing her during the day. What do you think?

 

Amy says: I’m so sorry for your loss. You are too young to have to navigate through loss and grief, and yet — here it is. I hope you have people in your world to talk to, but I’m honored that you brought your question to me. Expressing your feelings is a really good thing, even when you aren’t sure what your feelings are, or why you are having them.

I think that at your age and stage, and given what you are going through, it is natural to “overthink.” But overthinking can sometimes lead to a sort of paralysis, because you are thinking so much, you forget to actually act on your thoughts.

What you describe sounds like a real crush. Really, the purpose or function of this crush doesn’t matter. This is a gift to you, because a few times a day, when you think about this girl or see her in the school hallway, your crush is pulling you toward life, and the healing powers of joy.

Enjoy these feelings to the fullest. I hope that this crush is mutual, but even if it isn’t, the crush itself is like a bud in the springtime, reminding you that — through good and bad — life goes on, and there are moments of joy right around the corner.

Workplace drama doesn’t end

Dear Amy: I have two old friends, “A” and “B.” A and B are very close; they don’t like “C.” We all work together.

I invited A to a social gathering. She couldn’t make it, so I invited C. Now A and B are mad at me. B sent texts attacking me, saying I’m unaware of things C has done, and threatening to not be friends. She cursed me out. My husband saw the texts and sent B a text saying B should never speak to me that way again.

I am sad and angry. We are all in our 50s, and they are acting like children bullying each other at recess. Now our work environment is tense. Can you give me your take on the situation?

 

Amy says: First of all, your husband has not helped. Threatening your friend and co-worker over a text exchange is not only unhelpful, but unwise.

You should draft a short e-mail — from your personal account, telling A, B and C that you are very sorry to have become embroiled in drama, but that your goal is to maintain friendships with everyone. Say, “I truly hope that we can at least maintain a professional attitude toward one another at work.” Read your e-mail several times. If, after a few days, you feel it reflects your point of view, send it to their personal accounts.

This may cause a flare or skirmish, which you should ignore.

 

Send Ask Amy questions to askamy@amydickinson.com.