We've all had crushes on people we shouldn't be crushing on before. For me, it started in 2nd grade when my friends and I all thought the 4th-grade teacher (and one of the only male teachers in the school) was cute. From him to my married, father of 2 boss, to my bad-boy manager, to my best friend's boyfriend, I've had my fair share of inappropriate crushes.
So, speaking from experience, here's my advice on how to handle these sorts of awkward experiences, and, hey, if all else fails, you can always run away and start a new life somewhere else.
1. If it would ruin lives, you'll have to learn to deal.
If someone would get arrested or lose their job or destroy their family by you acting on this crush, you'll have to learn to manage it on your own. No childish crush is worth acting on if it would literally destroy someone's life and wellbeing.
2. Find a friend to confide in.
Whether it's a coworker or classmate that feels the same way or someone completely removed from the situation or a stranger on the internet, being able to unleash some of your emotional turmoil towards the situation without directly impacting the person themself can be incredibly therapeutic. Just make sure that the person you choose is someone you'll trust
3. Act normally.
For the most part, try to act the same around the person, maybe just being a little nicer and friendlier, if appropriate. If you can't handle yourself and maintain a professional relationship with that person, it may be time to remove yourself from the situation. Switch to a different job, move out of the country, or otherwise get far away from the person.
4. Reciprocate only if they initiate something first.
Are they flirting or are they just being nice? There's no way to know unless you outright ask them or wait for a truly obvious indication, like making a move or asking you out. Don't make the first move when it comes to someone you definitely shouldn't try to be with.
5. Wish for the best.
Girl, we've all been there. If you can handle yourself, you'll be fine. If not, hope for the best. You got this.