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Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

Day 15: Kindness and Respect Challenge (Taking the other guy’s point of view)

October 15, 2013

Many of the messes we make could be avoided if we first hit PAUSE and thought about things from the other guy’s point of view. Same goes for the messes other people create that we get slimed by. But taking the time to stop a think rarely happens in social interactions. Instead we (re)act thoughtlessly (ie. without thinking) and do stupid, hurtful things to each other. Things that often offend, embarrass and alienate the same people we’d really like to get closer too.

Woah! Back off!

Great example of un-intentional disrespect comes from this 13 year old girl:

Hey Terra,

There’s this guy I’ve had a crush on for about a week. I’m not sure, but I think he likes me. My friend and I made up a great plan that on Friday before the bell, I will quickly hug and kiss him on the lips like in a movie. I get so happy when I think of it. I am just scared that if I do he will not like me or pull away when I am kissing him. What do you think? Good idea or not?

—QTPie in Love


Dear QTPie,

It’s super exciting to daydream about hugging and kissing your crush. It probably makes your heart all squishy just to picture it in your mind. You’re free to imagine whatever you like. But in real life when a plan involves someone else, it’s important to think about their feelings.

The “surprise kiss” you are planning is not a good idea. You and your friend probably thought of it because you like this boy so much you want to make something romantic happen right away. But this isn’t just about what you want. The boy has his own thoughts and feelings. You’re assuming he wants to be kissed by you. An assumption like that can get you into big trouble!

Try to think about it this way: How would you feel if some guy who you didn’t know very well just grabbed you and hugged and kissed you on the lips in front of a bunch of people? That would be so disrespectful! You’d probably get angry or embarrassed… or both. And that’s probably how this boy will feel if you surprise him with a kiss.

I strongly suggest you rethink your plan. It’s not respectful. It’s also not likely to get you what you really want… a closer connection with your crush. Relationships take time so that trust and respect has a chance to grow.

I hope this helps.

In friendship,


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