The combination of intense infatuation and idol-like adoration makes having a crush nerve-wracking for many teens and young adults, according to psychologist Carl Pickhardt in an article for the Psychology Today website. Unlike an old friend who is easily approachable, a crush is typically someone you are interested in who you don't know well enough to feel comfortable speaking to yet. Instead of keeping quiet, calm down and consider how you can approach your crush in a smart and savvy way.

Pull Out the Pedestal

Crushing on someone often means idealizing that person and making her into something much more than she is, according to Pickhardt. Before you approach your crush, remind yourself that she's a person -- just like you are. She isn't super human, she's not a movie star and she isn't any better than you. Instead of putting your crush up on a pedestal, tell yourself that she's just a girl with some admirable qualities. As you do this, think about the admirable qualities that you have -- such as your stellar sense of humor or super smarts -- to even out the field. In the end, doing so will make it easier to talk to her and reduce your nerves because you will feel more equal to her.

Leave Love Out

While it's tempting to spill your intense feelings to your crush, telling him that you love him isn't appropriate at this point even though it's completely normal to have deeply strong feelings for your crush, especially if you're new to dating and romance. That said, you don't have to pretend that you aren't interested when your crush is around. You can communicate the idea that you "like" your crush by saying something to him such as, "I enjoy our talks during our lunch break." Leaving out the heavy, super-serious concept of "love" makes striking up a conversation less stressful for you and easier for your crush to handle because you're approaching your conversation as an interested friend.

Read the Reaction

Talking isn't the only part of effective communication. Listening to the other person is just as important during a conversation as what you say. Before you start gushing over your crush, slow down and take a moment to notice what her body and face are saying. For example, you say, "I really like spending time with you." She responds with a cheerful, "Me too. I have so much fun talking to you." Her words, and her smile, indicate that she has some interest in you, too. Continue reading your crush's reactions as the conversation progresses. This will help you decide what you should -- or shouldn't say. If she seems bored by a subject, that can indicate it's time to talk about something else, or to end the current conversation, for example.

Explore Mutual Interests

After you muster up the nerve to approach your crush, you'll need something to talk to him about. Strike up a conversation about his interests. Ask him what activities he enjoys, if he's in any after-school or extra-curricular clubs or what he likes to do with his down time. As he talks about himself, add in what you like to do and explore any mutual interests. Doing so can help take your budding relationship from a crush to something that's more substantial. While it doesn't mean that you're in a real relationship just yet, exploring each other's interests can help the two of you to bond. Getting closer brings on the possibility that he'll become more than just a crush.