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A Smart Girl's Guide to: Crushes! (podcast transcript + video)

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

In this episode, 16-year-old actress, producer, and my amazing Smart Girl’s Podcast co-host Shay Rudolph and I talk about ALL the big feelings associated with flirting and having a crush for the first time, and what crushes actually teach you about yourself!

We are joined by the incredible Chandler Kinney, the actress most recently starring in HBO Max’s Pretty Little Liars, Original Sin, who shares her perspective on all things crushes, flirting, and what to do when you have BIG feelings for someone… but don’t know what to do with them!

This episode is perfect for tweens, teens or adults who are raising them!

You can also watch full episodes of the show on The American Girl Podcast Network channel on YouTube and YouTube kids.

0:00:06.8 Jess Weiner: Welcome to the Smart Girl's Podcast everybody.

0:00:13.3 Shay Rudolph: I'm Shay.

0:00:13.9 JW: And I'm Jess and today we are talking about Crushes.

0:00:17.3 SR: Crushes.

0:00:18.2 JW: So Crushes is a super popular book, The Smart Girl's Guide Books. And I would say it's popular because it really does address a lot of things that we feel growing up, dating, rejection, and other stuff.

0:00:31.2 SR: And all the things we're really curious about.

0:00:33.3 JW: Yes. That we're curious about. And I think our hope in having this conversation is we get to define what crushes are and explore, how to handle them and make sure that people who are like navigating this moment are feeling supported.

0:00:48.2 SR: Jess, I wanna dive right into it and ask you, what is a crush?

0:00:53.1 JW: Very good question Shay. Okay. So I would define a crush as a feeling that you get about somebody that can make you feel a lot of different emotions. It can make you feel excited. You could have a crush on their talent, you could have a crush on their kindness, but you... It's a special feeling. I think a crush is a sign of you liking something at a really like big level. And that can come up at all different times in all different places.

0:01:22.4 SR: Yeah, totally. I think for me, the ways that I can tell I have a crush on someone is I get a little bit nervous.

0:01:28.5 JW: Yes.

0:01:28.5 SR: When I'm around them and I'm still like, I get all the nerves.

0:01:31.6 JW: Little butterflies.

0:01:32.1 SR: A little butterflies for sure. I was gonna say that. And I kinda, I can't get my mind off of them. I just always wanna be talking to them. Always wanna be hanging out with them. And I find a way to bring up their name in nearly every single conversation that is like a massive one where I'm like, Oh my God, I think I may have a crush on them.

0:01:48.4 JW: See, this is why crushes are actually exciting. Because it does stimulate a little bit of like a fantasy, right? We might imagine what it would be like if...

0:01:56.0 SR: Daydream a lot.

0:01:56.8 JW: Yeah. We daydream a lot about that person. We like to be around that person or we imagine we would wanna be around that person. So, actually that's a great point, Shay. Sometimes our crushes could be on people we really know. And sometimes they could be on strangers and people we don't really know. But I always think it's about what it brings up in you.

0:02:14.4 SR: Figuring out what you like and how it goes so much deeper than just what somebody looks like.

0:02:20.4 JW: Yes.

0:02:20.4 SR: I think figuring out what you like in terms of personality is a massive one.

0:02:25.5 JW: I do too. So my first crush was in I would say fifth grade. I remember sort of like liking and chasing boys in the playground when I was in third grade. But I do think in fifth grade I had this crush on a boy named Ryan. And when I think back on why did I like Ryan, it was because he was the class clown and he was silly, but his humor was never mean. He was just like a silly kid.

0:02:44.9 SR: Yeah. Lighthearted humor.

0:02:46.3 JW: Lighthearted humor. Very witty actually. And I can now look back on that and say, Oh my gosh. Like I now know that's a big important attribute for me. You know, my husband is very witty and funny in that way. I now know that that was an attribute that mattered to me and that's something that I care about. He was also very kind. So it was a way now like when I had this crush on Ryan, it was like in fifth grade, I don't think I had the guts to tell him. In fact, I don't think I did. I just wanted him to be my square dance partner in PE. So I pined for him and I daydreamed about him. But now if I look back, I think he kind of like is an example of the type of person I ended up really liking in my life.

0:03:24.4 SR: Yeah. And I wanna say, I think it's also an example of who you are. They reflect what we like, but also who we are.

0:03:31.0 JW: What are your crushes reflecting for you, do you think?

0:03:33.3 SR: I think I've always just really liked kind-hearted people.

0:03:37.1 JW: That would make sense knowing you.

0:03:38.4 SR: Every single crush I've had, if I look back on them, they are very kind, sensitive people. Very like, just emotional. I don't ever like people that I kinda have a wall up 'cause I feel like then I can't connect with them. So kind, emotional. I think funny too, I love to laugh when I'm with people. Those are really, really important ones for me.

0:03:57.9 JW: See, you're right. They are a good reflection. 'Cause I would describe you in that way. You're very open...

0:04:03.4 SR: Thank you.

0:04:03.5 JW: Very emotional, very kind. I wanted to ask you something that you said earlier. It made me think of something which is that I think a lot of girls and myself included when I was younger, if I had a crush on somebody, I, it mattered a lot whether they had a crush on me back or if they returned the feeling and if they didn't, I think I kind of took it as like, is there something wrong with me or am I pretty enough? Or you know, what do we wanna say to folks who are really focused on their value being associated with whether somebody returns the feeling?

0:04:30.8 SR: Yeah. I wanna say you cannot control whether somebody likes you or not. Just in the same way you can't control whether you like someone or not. Like I'm sure people have come up and said, "Hey, I really like you" and you might not feel the same way and you can't control that. You can't just snap your fingers and make yourself have a crush on that person. So...

0:04:47.0 JW: That's true.

0:04:47.5 SR: Know that if somebody doesn't like you back, it doesn't mean you're not pretty enough. It doesn't mean you're not worthy. It's just something they can't control. And it's also a lot of the time, like maybe you're just not compatible. Maybe you don't have the same personalities like we're saying, we're... We like the same things that you can find in ourselves. Maybe you guys just aren't compatible. So there are so many factors that go into it. It does not mean you're not likable at all or you're not pretty enough or any of those things. It just means they don't like you but that's okay.


0:05:12.2 JW: That is okay. And you know what? We're not gonna like everybody either.

0:05:15.1 SR: Exactly. Exactly.

0:05:16.0 JW: So this is really important for us to repeat. I think in this, in our show, what's so important for us is to make sure that y'all don't feel alone. That, you know there's lots of people going through the same things. And Shay, you did something really cool for the Smart Girl's Podcast. You actually surveyed and asked your audience.

0:05:31.2 SR: I did.

0:05:31.5 JW: And your fans.

0:05:32.3 SR: I did. Which was such an amazing experience.

0:05:34.0 JW: To weigh in with questions.

0:05:35.0 SR: Yeah.

0:05:35.2 JW: And there were thousands of them.

0:05:36.4 SR: There were a lot. You guys sent in so many questions and scenarios that we could talk about. So we are gonna be talking about some of them today, which I'm really excited for.

0:05:43.9 JW: We're gonna bring them in with our guests and you'll see us talk about them throughout other episodes as well. So I'm so excited for that. Plus we have great experts and great guests who are gonna join us to help us get some good tips and tools, a little bit more advice and other perspectives on these topics. And to kick us off, we have an amazing guest today.

0:06:01.5 SR: Yes we do. I will tell you guys about her. So today our guest is Chandler Kinney. She is the sweetest human being ever. She's so talented. I met her when I was 12 and we were both on the show Lethal Weapon. Oh my God. Such an amazing experience. But you guys may know her from the Disney Channel movies, Zombies 2 and 3, and from HBO Max's Pretty Little Liars Original Sin. I cannot wait for you to meet her Jess.

0:06:25.5 JW: I'm so excited.

0:06:26.5 SR: And just to talk about this with her.

0:06:27.8 JW: Let's meet her.

0:06:29.7 SR: Let's, yeah! So Chandler, I know I am so excited to have you here to talk about crushes, which is such a hot topic. And I wanna ask you, do you remember your first crush? And do you remember what it felt like?

0:06:45.5 Chandler Kinney: I think I had different levels of crushes. Someone that I wanted as a really good friend, and then someone maybe I was like, "Oh, I could really see this person in my life long term."


0:07:01.0 JW: How old were you? Do you remember?

0:07:03.0 CK: I think my first real crush, I was definitely like in my teens. I was very focused on, on school and dance and acting growing up. And so I was like, "I don't have time for other people." And then I like, "Caught the bug." And I was like, "Wait, this is what everybody's talking about." I remember just having like, what felt like to me being a very rational, pragmatic or intentional person with everything that I did, it felt very irrational. I was like, "Why do I wanna spend so much time with this person?

0:07:42.3 JW: Like your emotions were all over the place?

0:07:42.7 CK: Like starting to feel a little out of control.

0:07:46.5 JW: Yeah.

0:07:46.5 SR: Good crushes could do that too yeah?

0:07:49.1 JW: Yeah.

0:07:49.8 CK: And so that was, I think the first thing that made me realize, "Wait a minute, I think I have a crush." And then I was kind of excited about it 'cause I felt like I was late to the party. [laughter]

0:08:00.1 SR: Yeah, okay so I wanna talk about that actually, maybe being a little bit late to the party, not really having a first real crush until you're later in your teenage years. I feel like there's a lot of pressure especially in elementary school and middle school.

0:08:11.0 JW: Yes.

0:08:11.6 SR: To have a crush and to be crazy about someone, because maybe a lot of your friends are, did you ever feel that pressure?

0:08:17.3 CK: Definitely, I remember all my friends were talking about the girls and guys and people that they were into. And I didn't know how to navigate those spaces, and I didn't know how to contribute to the conversation.

0:08:32.5 JW: Did you ever feel like something was wrong with you because you didn't like someone else?

0:08:35.7 CK: Totally yeah. I thought, well maybe this feeling that everybody else is experiencing is not for me. And so it was difficult for a bit to kind of figure out like what I wanted. And I think a lot of that really was just because I was a really focused child and young teen, but then when it hit it, definitely hit.


0:08:58.9 JW: I think it's good to know too that like, sometimes you don't have crushes.

0:09:03.7 SR: Yeah.

0:09:05.1 CK: Yeah.

0:09:05.1 JW: Especially at the same time that your friends are, and one of the things I'm curious what you think about this, one of the things Shay and I really kind of bonded on when we were reading the crushes book and talking about this episode was the idea that yes, crushes are usually about obsessing of the other person, or finding out that you like something about the other person, but there are great ways to learn about yourself.

0:09:27.0 CK: Yep.

0:09:27.2 SR: Totally.

0:09:28.0 JW: Like, "What do you like? Are you attracted to their sense of humor? Do you like their kindness? What do you think your crush is as you can think back on them? What have they taught you about you?"

0:09:36.1 CK: I love that you brought that up because I always thought that it was really about the other person. All my focus was like, "Well, what are the qualities about them that I like that they're gonna add to my life?" But really what I learned over time was it's also about how they make you feel and the things that they bring out in you. I remember, I think my first relationship, I was in my late teens and I realized not every crush or situation with a person looks the same. I thought everybody wanted the same things in a relationship for me like, I always love like banter, I love a good sense of humor.

0:10:22.6 JW: And banters, like the back and forth you have, right?

0:10:24.6 CK: The back and forth and the fun little comments, it's fun...

0:10:31.5 JW: The flirting.

0:10:31.7 SR: The flirting I was like, can I say the flirting?


0:10:34.6 JW: Yes.

0:10:35.2 CK: I like to laugh, but I also realized something that was really important to me was the emotional support and the stability that someone provides. I want that consistency and it makes me feel like I can have trust with that person. And so it really does come down to like the qualities that they bring out in you. Are you happy? Do you like the way that you are when you're around that person?

0:11:02.0 JW: See, 'cause I think we spend so much time waiting for the other person to like us back as validation, that we're good in some way and of course, we know the most vulnerable thing. You've said this a lot, the vulnerable thing about crushes is potential rejection, not having...

0:11:16.5 SR: That you don't know how they feel.

0:11:17.8 JW: Yes.

0:11:18.3 SR: You only know how you feel and it's so scary to like, go up to somebody and say, "I like you, I have a crush on you." Because you have no idea how they're gonna react.

0:11:26.8 CK: Yeah.

Chandler Kinney on screen, behind the scenes.
Chandler Kinney on screen, behind the scenes.

0:11:27.3 JW: But you said you're good at doing that?

0:11:27.5 JW: Are you shy?

0:11:28.6 SR: Okay, yeah. Yeah. I do that, but it's still scary.

0:11:32.2 JW: I know it's still scary.

0:11:33.4 SR: I still have to tell myself, "Okay, say it out loud, like tell them you like them."

0:11:36.9 CK: Well, I'm not good at that, I'm gonna be honest, I'm really not. I'm kind of a scaredy cat. I get really nervous, which is funny because I think, a lot of the things that I do in my life, they require me to not be nervous to push down those feelings and just do it, have that confidence. But when it comes to my real life situations with other people, I shut down. So I have to ask you, "Do you have any advice to give to me?

0:12:07.3 SR: Oh my god.

0:12:07.8 CK: Because...

0:12:08.8 JW: I love the table's turned right now.

0:12:09.3 CK: I really need this. Like, this is me, personally asking you Shay for advice.

0:12:13.0 SR: I literally just tell myself to do it because I think you can get in your own way a lot of the time when it comes to crushes. And if you really, really like someone, it's extra scary.

0:12:22.1 JW: Okay real talk though, do you practice before you tell somebody?

0:12:25.7 SR: No.

0:12:27.0 CK: No?

0:12:27.4 SR: No.

0:12:27.5 CK: You just wing it?

0:12:27.6 SR: I do...

0:12:30.1 CK: I'm impressed.

0:12:30.7 SR: I might think about the scenario in which I'd tell them like where we are, what's happening. I might daydream about that, but it kind of just comes down to the moment. If it feels right, I'll say it, I'll say, "I like you."

0:12:41.5 JW: So proud of you Shay.

0:12:42.6 SR: Thank you. I think for me it's when I really like someone, I don't wanna wait around for them to say it, I just want something to happen, I want something to come out of it. So if I really like someone, I'll say it. And I think that's the best thing you can get yourself to learn how to do is not wait around for other people. Just go and make things happen when you want them to happen.

0:13:05.5 JW: And sometimes you can keep crushes secret, right?

0:13:05.5 SR: Yeah.

0:13:05.4 CK: Yeah.

0:13:05.5 JW: You can 'cause I think sometimes I've had crushes, especially when I was younger. I don't know that I had the courage that Shay had. And if I did, I would definitely be a practice in the mirror type of girl. I'd be like. I would be doing like a... Play in my room. But I also think sometimes if we go back to like... crushes teach you about what you like, sometimes you can have artistic crushes. You might love somebody's art, you might love somebody's... I can have friend crushes.

0:13:30.0 SR: Celebrity crushes.

0:13:30.9 JW: Celebrity crushes is a big one.

0:13:33.7 CK: Yeah. Crushes in all the different categories.

0:13:34.9 JW: Who was your first celebrity crush, do you remember?

0:13:37.3 CK: I don't even know if I actually had one. And I'll tell you why.

0:13:40.7 SR: You and I are the same.

0:13:42.5 JW: Yeah.

0:13:43.0 CK: Okay. So here's another thing. It kind of goes back to the pressure. I was always asked like, what's your celebrity crush? And I didn't have an answer. And you know why? And I learned this about myself. Like later, later in my, my teens. I have found that for me to really develop like a strong crush, I need to have some kind of emotional connectivity or vulnerability with a person...

0:14:05.6 SR: I fully agree. I'm the same way. Yeah.

0:14:07.5 CK: And so that kind of contributed to me thinking, "Oh, is there something wrong with me?"

0:14:12.0 JW: I hear you.

0:14:12.8 CK: But it really, what it really was for me was I needed to have that level of trust already established with the person and, and to be able to, have that, that foundation of friendship first. And I think that is so important, especially when you're like really considering...

0:14:29.2 SR: I fully agree.

0:14:29.3 CK: A thing with someone.

0:14:29.6 JW: Yeah. I think that's a cool other level to what you're describing Chandler and Shay, which is like, the trust or a friendship as being a leading reason why you crush on somebody. I also think when I was just comparing myself and thinking, I think my celebrity crushes were about fantasies because I also grew up in a time and a space where I didn't have as much access. Well, there was no internet. Let me just age myself there. And I didn't have access to learn things about the other person outside of magazines. But I do feel like, I think that's a cool way to decide between the crush you could develop on somebody you really know versus the crush you develop on someone you might see that you don't know.

0:15:07.4 SR: Yeah. They're completely different levels.

0:15:08.8 JW: They are.

0:15:09.1 SR: Totally and, and all are okay. You know?

0:15:10.5 JW: Yeah.

0:15:11.2 SR: And there's fun in all of it, you know?

0:15:12.9 JW: Yeah.

In-between takes, behind the scenes.
In-between takes, behind the scenes.

0:15:13.8 JW: So can we talk about kind of the elephant in the room though with crushes that we tiptoed around a little bit, which is, you have the courage to say that you have a crush on somebody but...

0:15:20.6 SR: I wanna quickly say, I didn't always have that courage. I, it's definitely come over the years of me being...

[overlapping conversation]

0:15:29.0 JW: But but what about the crushing feeling of not having that crush returned or yeah like liking somebody and then hearing that they don't feel the same way. I think we should talk about rejection for a minute.

[overlapping conversation]

0:15:48.5 CK: Yeah. Rejection is, it can definitely be tough, you know, especially if you, I'm someone that works things up in my mind and have, I have a tendency to romanticize things and get caught up in the fantasy of it all. And then you're there in the reality and you've expressed your feelings and they may be like, oh...


0:16:10.8 SR: Don't feel the same way.

0:16:11.7 CK: Don't feel the same way buddy. And I'm, oh great. Okay. This is awkward. In those moments and in my life, that's when I really take a period of time to focus on myself. I get really wrapped up in things and I'm a very emotional, passionate person and I think that's a beautiful thing. But sometimes that means that when that, when that rejection happens, it hurts. And so I take time to look internally, maybe have a couple self care nights, whatever that may be.

0:16:45.1 JW: Just take care of all your feelings.

0:16:46.3 CK: Take care of all my feelings.

0:16:46.7 SR: And honor what you're feeling too. Don't just like shove it away immediately.

0:16:51.1 SR: And also to applaud yourself for taking the chance and saying that you like them. Like for me, if I've ever been rejected, I still proud of myself that I went out there and I said, "Hey, I like you." 'Cause that is a really vulnerable, scary thing like we were saying. So I think like even no matter what the circumstances are, you can still applaud yourself for putting yourself out there and trying.

0:17:09.7 CK: Totally.

0:17:10.2 JW: And feeling it, sometimes this isn't even right about the other person as we said. It's like you, you're figuring out what you like in the world and look, also let's talk about how you can reject.

0:17:21.9 SR: I was gonna say that...

0:17:22.8 JW: Somebody else in a good boundaried way because I will say this, I think girls oftentimes are afraid to be really clear about that. They always kinda leave the door open. "Oh, thanks. Maybe." I feel like we should...

0:17:34.4 CK: Yep. I've done that.

0:17:35.6 JW: I think we veer on the verge of being polite when that's not really what we mean. So how do we do that?

0:17:41.6 CK: That's a great question. I think, you mentioned boundaries. Boundaries are key. Especially if you wanna have a friendship with that person in the future. I have always just been really honest about how I'm feeling and that honesty can be difficult to express sometimes, especially if you are the one having to do the rejecting. But I, but I think it's important to handle that moment properly when it happens or else you're opening the door to a whole lot of mess in the future that you're inevitably going to have to take care of at one point and make signals as you, as you mentioned.

0:18:18.9 JW: What do you think, what could be like, I, let's maybe try on a good boundaried decline, I should say, of somebody. So if somebody were to say to you, "Hey Shay, do you wanna go out with me?" Let's role play this.

0:18:31.3 CK: I saw you... And action. Shay, I saw you from afar. You know, we have science class together and I think you're really cool and smart and I like you.

0:18:40.6 SR: Okay. The way I would handle this, which I've also had to do before, 'cause how was everybody here think is, I usually would say, "you are an amazing person. I really, really value our friendship. I think you're incredible and I'm so flattered, but I just don't have those same feelings about you in that same way. I really like you as a person and as a friend, but I don't have romantic feelings." I think that's the way you say it.

0:19:01.6 JW: How's that feel Chandler?

0:19:04.3 CK: I'm already getting nervous. I'm sweating. Ooh. Rejection is not always fun. But you know what? But you saying that and being honest. Very kind and clear. And that's important. That's really important. And it honors your feelings but it's also respectful to the other person's and I think that's really important.

0:19:18.8 SR: Yeah. It's not saying, I think you're really weird. I don't wanna go out.

0:19:22.5 CK: You don't do that.

0:19:24.1 SR: No not at all.

0:19:25.8 JW: The worst is like laughing with your friends or ignoring that person. Like, we do wanna think of the other person's feelings.

0:19:32.6 CK: 'cause they're in a very vulnerable position, you know?

0:19:32.7 JW: But also I really like the, I like having sort of the close that you had. Right. Being specific. I don't feel the same way. Thank you so much. It's okay to state what you prefer as a girl. It's okay to say what you want, say what you like...

0:19:47.7 SR: And you should.

0:19:47.8 JW: And you should do it.

0:19:48.8 SR: 'Cause I also wanna say if you do it the opposite way and you say, "Oh, I don't really know how I feel like maybe, maybe later." Or like if you're trying to break up with someone and you're like, "I don't know," if you're not clear, then like Chandler was just saying, you have to deal with it later down the line because they're gonna assume what they want. They're gonna assume that you still wanna be with them.

0:20:09.2 CK: Of course.

0:20:09.9 SR: So it's like if you lead them on, it makes it so much worse.

0:20:12.9 JW: Okay. We have to go to some of the questions from Shay's...

0:20:15.4 CK: Yeah.

0:20:15.8 SR: Yeah.

0:20:16.1 JW: Community, because there was a lot there. So let me just throw a couple our way.

0:20:21.4 CK: Oh I'm excited.

0:20:22.6 JW: So here's some like, complicated parts of...


0:20:25.4 JW: These are some complicated parts of crushes. Okay. So, oh, this is a good one. Let's go back Chandler to talking about mixed signals. So somebody said, I'm getting mixed signals. I'm not sure if he likes me back. Should I just tell him how I feel first?" So if you are not sure, what they're feeling, do you think you should be the first one to say something? And we've kind of talked about that a little bit. But what would you do?

0:20:48.5 CK: I don't think there's anything wrong with being the first one.

0:20:50.9 SR: Yeah.

0:20:51.5 CK: I think sometimes there's a pressure, especially for young girls to feel like you have to wait for the other person to decide how they're feeling. But I love taking agency and taking charge sometimes and just putting all my cards out on the table and seeing what happens. And I think there's value in that for yourself too, because then you're not stuck in limbo. You're not trying to figure out, or feeling like you have you life on pause, waiting for this other person to figure out how they're feeling. Sometimes I think it's best to just take the power and the control into your hands.

0:21:26.3 SR: I agree.

0:21:26.8 JW: Okay. Here's a definitely more complicated one. I like the same guy as my best friend and she doesn't know. What should I do?

0:21:34.5 CK: I would talk to your friend first.

0:21:36.6 SR: That's what I was gonna say.

0:21:37.6 CK: Yeah.

0:21:37.6 SR: I'd say protect the friendship 'cause guys and romantic interests come and go. But I feel like friends last a really, really long time. If it's a good, healthy friendship. So I would say talk it out with your friend first. Make sure that you guys are on the same page about whatever you decide happens, whether you decide that one of you guys can go because you have stronger feelings or whatever you guys decide. If you both drop the guy and you don't deal with him anymore, talk to your friend.

0:22:03.0 JW: Agreed.

0:22:03.5 CK: Yeah.

0:22:03.8 JW: I love that. I would just retweet that.

0:22:07.3 SR: Yeah that's great.


0:22:08.7 JW: Yeah. I think communication's super important. So one other last thing another question kind of in this world is, this kind of goes back to you both saying like what if you're not developing crushes at the same time as your friends, what if you have a crush on somebody and you're afraid to tell your friends who you have a crush on. Maybe they're from, I don't know, they're from a different friend group, or you think you're gonna get judged period by who you have a crush on. Do you take the risk and tell your friends about that or do you keep the crush to yourself?

0:22:43.1 CK: I don't know if there's a right answer here.

0:22:45.2 SR: Yeah.

0:22:45.5 CK: I think it goes back to really checking in with yourself and seeing how you're feeling. If you feel that emotional safety with your friends and knowing that you can open up in that way, then go for it. But also, if it's something, if you're not even clear about how you're feeling...

0:23:04.0 JW: Yeah. You're figuring it out.

0:23:04.9 CK: If you're figuring it out, there's nothing wrong with taking time to just sit with those feelings and they may grow or they may fade away.

0:23:12.4 JW: They may. Yeah.

0:23:13.2 CK: And they may change into something else. You never know. And so I think there's not really a clear answer. Just check in with yourself, show up for yourself the ways that you need to be, and you're not gonna go wrong.

0:23:26.1 JW: Love it.

0:23:26.5 SR: Yeah.

Playing with our custom American Girl dolls!
Playing with our custom American Girl dolls!

0:23:26.7 JW: All right. Last question. I think this will be fun for both of you to answer. Which is like, what is the number one or two if you can't pick one crush worthy attribute in a person for you?

0:23:38.9 CK: Oh, oh my God, wait. Oh, I will say emotional availability and vulnerability. And what I mean by that is someone who is not giving mixed signals. Usually if I'm in that situation, I wait, I know I said earlier, like, just go for it. Maybe that's the person I wish I could be.

0:24:03.7 JW: That's the advice you need.


0:24:04.8 CK: That was me telling myself, just go for it girl. But as you mentioned, there's nothing wrong with waiting, but if someone is giving me clear signals, it's all green flags ahead, then yeah. I mean, I feel really safe. I feel really comfortable. And that just allows the space for my crush to grow. So that is one thing for me.

0:24:30.1 SR: That is a really good answer. I wanna say same, but just genuine kindness. That's always been something when people are like, "Oh, what's your type? Like, who would you wanna date?" I'm like, "they just need to be kind. They need to be a really nice human being through and through, not just like surface level kind. And then they're a little bit mean underneath, like really just a nice person." And I feel like that shows up in so many ways. Like how they treat you, how they treat other people, what their sense of humor is. Just be a nice person.

0:24:53.6 JW: Someone like you.

0:24:55.3 CK: Someone like you could trust.

0:24:55.4 SR: Yeah. Totally.

0:24:55.9 CK: I totally agree.

0:24:56.5 SR: Someone I can feel comfortable around. Yeah.

0:24:58.8 CK: All my friends know that almost at the top of my list is wittiness.

0:25:03.0 SR: Yeah.

0:25:03.3 CK: Which I think is a combination of that, that intellect and humor. I think that together is just love it.

0:25:10.8 JW: Chandler, we're so happy you were here with us today. Thank you for helping us all through this conversation.

0:25:17.2 CK: This was awesome. Thank you so much. I feel like I can go out in the world and handle my crushes a little bit better now.

0:25:23.0 SR: Tell them you like them. Yeah.

0:25:24.6 CK: I'm gonna just be straight forward.


0:25:28.6 JW: I love her.

0:25:30.2 SR: Me too. I'm genuinely so happy that we got to have her for this episode.

0:25:34.7 JW: That was a really fun conversation.

0:25:36.1 SR: Yeah.

Hosting the Smart Girl's Podcast in doll form!
Hosting the Smart Girl's Podcast in doll form!

0:25:36.3 JW: So many takeaways. What's top of your mind?

0:25:39.1 SR: Okay. I think one of the really big ones that I wanna emphasize again, is just that it's okay to not have a crush in every single moment of your life. And even though sometimes your friends might all have crushes on people and it might be like the main topic of conversation when you're hanging out with other people, you don't have to have a crush too. And you don't have to feel like anything's wrong with you if you don't have a crush on someone.

0:26:01.7 JW: I love that. You guys gave such great advice. You know, we talked a lot about having courage or telling somebody how you feel. I think something that came up for me as I was listening to you both was that moment of like, and it's okay to keep your crushes to yourself.

0:26:15.1 SR: Yeah.

0:26:15.5 JW: That if a crush is there to teach you about you also not just about the other person, then you don't have to tell the world when you have a crush on somebody. There was so much good advice there. There's so much good advice in this book, Shay. And I wanna talk about this part of the book because we talked about mixed signals.

0:26:31.1 SR: Yeah.

0:26:31.3 JW: And what happens if you're not sure. And there is actually a part of this book called Reading The Signs, which is amazing. This book says, I really like this one guy. And just about every time he sees me, he gives me this long, not mean stare.


0:26:48.1 JW: Is this a good or bad thing?


0:26:50.6 SR: Oh.

0:26:51.0 JW: What do you think? How would you read that if you like somebody and then when they look at you, they're kind of staring at you, but you don't know if they like you or not?

0:27:00.0 SR: That is a really tough one 'cause I think sometimes stares can come off as really judgmental, but other times when you're staring at someone is 'cause you just can't stop looking at them 'cause you do like them. So I feel like you kind of have to maybe pause and look at the moment. And if you stare back and they kind of glance away and get nervous or if they smile at you, then that's a good sign. But if they stare and kind of give a little look up and down and it feels a little mean, then maybe that's not a great thing. That's it.

0:27:28.4 JW: So trust your gut.

0:27:29.3 SR: Yeah trust your gut and look at the other things that are around the stare, how they react so...

0:27:34.1 JW: Well the advice, you're right on the money and the advice that they give in the book is really interesting 'cause it just says, if you're curious, find a reason to talk to them.

0:27:42.0 SR: Yeah.

0:27:42.3 JW: See then if...

0:27:43.0 SR: Totally.

0:27:43.4 JW: The stare translates into a conversation.

0:27:46.1 SR: Yeah.

0:27:46.6 JW: And if it feels creepy, trust that too. You wanna know what that's about. But this is the part we've talked about. It is vulnerable to like somebody.

0:27:55.9 SR: It's so scary. [laughter]

0:27:56.0 JW: It is. And when we say vulnerable we mean you're opening yourself up and that's what vulnerability feels like. And we know that can be really tender and we don't wanna get our hearts broken, but here's the reality. We will get our hearts broken in this life...

0:28:08.8 SR: Eventually.

0:28:09.4 JW: And we will break other people's hearts.

0:28:11.1 SR: Yeah.

0:28:11.4 JW: It happens.

0:28:12.0 SR: It does.

0:28:12.5 JW: The best part about learning about this and stuff we wanna talk about on the show is how to be as graceful and kind and compassionate as possible with your feelings and other people.

0:28:24.2 SR: Or somebody else's. Yeah.

0:28:24.6 JW: Other people's feelings, yeah. I love that so much. So everyone's experience is going to be different and it's all okay. So between like the who likes who and mixed signals and there's so many good things in this book. I'm telling you.

0:28:38.6 SR: There's so much.

0:28:39.0 JW: Even revisiting this now and I'm like, I'm an old married lady and I'm loving this book. So today was such an awesome opportunity to introduce this topic that we know lots of people are dealing with.

0:28:50.1 SR: Yeah. And explore all the different ways that crushes come up. 'Cause there really are so many different ways.

0:28:55.8 JW: I know there really are. We're so grateful that y'all are listening to The Smart Girl's podcast with Shay and Jess. If you're an adult or a parent listening with The Smart Girl in your life, you can find the Smart Girl's podcast anywhere you get podcasts or on YouTube and YouTube Kids.

0:29:10.0 SR: Follow the Smart Girl's podcast so you don't miss an episode.

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