Why It’s Hard to Tell Someone You Like Them

Jason Henry
5 min readJan 10
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

I was talking to a friend the other day and she confessed that she had feelings for someone for a long time but didn’t know what to do with those feelings.

I laughed because I was initially confused by what she said. Let’s face it. Typically, if you have feelings of attraction for someone, you want to be around them in a romantic way. Hence, attraction. But ultimately, I understood that she was afraid to be around her crush in a romantic way. She was afraid to tell him how she felt about him.

But no one wants to be rejected and no one wants to run the risk of ruining the friendship. Without the certainty that they like you back, why take the risk of putting yourself out there like that just to be told that they don’t feel the same way?

Essentially, this is what rejection means for some of us: If they don’t feel the same way you feel, it is embarrassing because there’s a differential in how you feel versus how they feel. You value them more than they value you, which makes you feel less valuable. Now it’s as if they have some power over you.

The anxiety in the uncertainty on how things will unravel is like a choke-hold preventing you from going down the road of telling someone how you feel about them. This makes sense because if you think the environment isn’t safe, then why would you want to go into that environment? If you think something bad is going to happen, of course you’d stay away.

But the question is, is the environment actually unsafe?

Ultimately, you have two choices: say nothing and see what happens, or say something and see what happens. We like to invent other options like manipulate people in order to make things work in our favor, or ask people about our crush in order to gather intel on what to do next, or change who we are in order to ensure we get chosen.

Maybe it’s me but that last one is pretty popular these days. Maybe it always was. But ultimately, you’d still have to reveal how you feel about the person you like. That cannot be hidden forever. But what can you do when you’re afraid to say how you feel?

First, it’s important to remember why people tell others how they feel about them. It’s because there is genuine admiration and attraction. That’s a…

Jason Henry

Former Edu. Psychologist | Current Writer | Constant Learner | “By your stumbling the world is perfected.”