Punchy AdviceArchives

July 5, 1995

Nihongo Dango asks Bradley:
Glad you're back, Bradley, even if you didn't find Sarah. What kind of dog are you going to get? And what are you going to name it?
Bradley Bradley answers:
I think the Calgary dog was a samoyed or something, but I'm not good at dog identification. Right now I'm still catching up on all the accounting clients I missed last week.

What's a good kind of dog? Recommendations, anyone?

Allen asks Kelsey:
I have known this girl for two years. She's nice, and thoughtful too. We weren't that close at first, but after a year I learned that she's OK to be with. I am aware that she does not want to have any relationships as of now. It may sound silly but I am content to have her as a friend. Because of this I have made some moves to spend more time with her and talk to her. It went well for a week. We were talking as if we had been friends for a long time. But after that week something changed. I don't know if it was my imagination but I felt that she was giving me the cold shoulder. I want to talk to her about it but she seems busy with her studies as I am. I don't want to add to her problems by being a pest, so now I am wondering what to do.
Kelsey Kelsey answers:
Allen, you and thousands of others suffer from Mr. Nice Guy syndrome. You say you don't want to be a pest, but the truth is that you're afraid to open up with her for fear she'll reject you. Being honest is risky, because it makes you vulnerable.

And let's get real. It's great that you want to be friends, but I'll bet there's at least a whiff of sexual attraction going on here. You're trying to be nice by pretending it's not there. But you can't really be close friends if you deny your feelings. It's okay to tell her you're attracted to her and still be friends.

So something changed, but you're too busy being nice to ask what it was. It could be that she interpreted your aloof "niceness" as disinterest on your part, and she may be hurt that you didn't express your affection more. Or the opposite: she may have sensed your hidden let's-get-it-on vibes cloaked under the guise of let's-be-friends, and she felt betrayed by your duplicity.

Fortunately, Allen, there is a cure for Mr. Nice Guy-itis, and that is Honesty. Be honest till it hurts. (It doesn't really hurt that much.)

Kelsey asks Bradley:
Hey, Bradley. I was thinking. I could help you look for a dog, okay?
Bradley Bradley answers:
Really? Oh yeah, that might be fun.

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