I was wondering if I could get some advice? One of my friends has a crush on me and we've talked about it to an extent (not much bc they were really uncomfortable but enough for them to know that nothing's changed) and I've been treating them the same as I usually do. The potential problem is that I'm very affectionate- I send friends compliments and tell them that I love them and hug them and cuddle them. I don't want to accidentally lead them on, but also don't want to treat them (1/2)
differently. I respect and love them a lot platonically, but at the same time I want to avoid hurting their feelings whether it be through making them think that they have a chance or through becoming more distant. They get really panicky over people leaving them, to the point of having a panic attack when I accidentally didn’t reply to a text for a day (and that’s happened with many other friends too). I wanted to know if you think that I’m leading them on, and what you think I should do? (2/2)
When it comes to leading people on, I believe it has 100% to do with intent.
Someone could feel another person is leading them on. They feel like the person owes them some reward for their actions. Most people classify this as “the friendzone” and blame the person for making them feel like there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. However, this is in no way your fault.
Now, if you were manipulating your friends feelings because you didn’t want them to leave you, I’d say stop. But from what I can read, you care deeply about your friend’s health, which makes me believe you are the protagonist to this story.
If you force yourself to behave a certain way around someone, you’re going to end up in a hellish place. Take it from someone with social anxiety. I’m always afraid I’m going to offend someone, to the point where I’m afraid to sneeze because the world will think I’m disgusting and avoid me. Don’t do that to yourself.
Plus, it might make your friend feel as if they did something wrong. If they are as touchy with relationships as this ask makes me believe, it wouldn’t do them any favors to stop acting the way you do. It’s hard enough to admit your feelings. It’s harder when the bond you share drifts apart because of those feelings.
So I wouldn’t worry much about changing yourself for your friend. Your friend is your friend because they like your you-ness. :)