DR. WALLACE: I’m a freshman in high school and kind of shy by nature. I’m the girl who says very little and gets her homework done without any fuss, but does not ever ask any questions of the teacher in class.
I have three good friends at school, and other than them, I always stick to myself.
Recently a cute guy at school who’s a senior has been saying “hello” and trying to start a conversation with me at some point every single day it seems. I can’t tell if he likes me or if he’s playing a game with me; he’s got to be about three years older than I am. How can I tell if his intentions are good or if he’s just horsing around trying to tease or confuse me? — Super Shy Girl, via email
SUPER SHY GIRL: Enjoy the attention in the short run but do ask your friends if they know anything about him. If no one knows whether he’s playing games with you or not, you might say hello to him and ask him if he has a younger brother closer to your age who he might be willing to introduce you to.
This will give him the message that you like him but feel he’s too old for you to take an interest in him.
Hopefully he is just a nice guy who is friendly. In any case, this will break the ice and let him know that he’s not suitable for you as a potential boyfriend.
PUT TRUE HAPPINESS FIRST
DR. WALLACE: Do you feel it’s better to be happy or monetarily wealthy? I’m asking you since I’ve heard a lot of varying opinions on this topic from friends, classmates and family members.
Some advise me to seek happiness right away, while others suggest that I seek monetary gain, which over time will allow me to have the leeway to select a future path toward happiness.
I have the grades and opportunity to go after lucrative fields of employment; on the other hand, I don’t want to be caught up in the corporate “rat race” my whole life either. Because I’m at this critical stage of my life, I thought it might be wise to consult someone like you who can give an outside viewpoint as you don’t know me personally. — Career Path Options, via email
CAREER PATH OPTIONS: Like many others before me, I have realized that true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.
Whether you fly first class or coach, if the airplane goes down, it goes down regardless of where you are seated, and when it hopefully arrives safely at your destination, everyone who disembarks enjoys the same weather and local scenery.
I have realized that when you have family, companions and friends with whom you laugh, talk, sing songs and even talk about little things, you should be sure to appreciate them because they are the most precious things in your life. Then from this standpoint select a career path that will afford you the time to continuously enjoy your life as you enter your prime working years. Never make a big career decision solely on monetary compensation. Oftentimes, monetary rewards spring forward as a byproduct from doing work (or even hobbies!) you truly enjoy focusing on.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.