How obsessed is too obsessed? Maverick TIERNEY REARDON breaks it down in this handy eight-point guide.


#1 First of all, you need to know that opting out is not that easy.
Once you have read that first chapter, seen that first episode or collected that first fluorescent fridge magnet, the trouble begins. If you enter a fandom, chances are you’ll stay there for a while.
By following this concise guide to being a fangirl, you will learn how to either a) extract yourself gently from the fandom or b) continue fangirling while preserving your sanity as much as possible. Hopefully.


#2 Try to determine what exactly your fandom is.
By pinning down the exact category and details of your obsession, you can attempt to only introduce yourself to material in that precise category. If you love The Lord of the Rings, please don’t install a Tolkien ‘translate English into Elvish!’ app on your phone. Your fandom will suddenly expand and things will swiftly get worse.
With all the video games, costumes, memorabilia and jewellery out there, there’s enough to fuel your obsession for life. There is a chance that you will begin to speak like Gollum, or name your first child Frodo.
In summary: try to isolate the flames, so the fire doesn’t spread. Read the books. Finish the books. Breathe. (Then watch all the movies. And read The Hobbit. And memorise a passage or two.)


#3 Don’t be offended when your friends avoid you.
You have brought this upon yourself, young Padawan. If you walk around, repeating whatever your friends say in your best Darth Vader voice, things are bound to go badly.
It’s okay to let your mates know that you have watched all the Star Wars movies – and a good friend will accept that. However, chances are
that your pals don’t want to talk about it every hour of every day. They may “have places to go” when you begin speaking, as they anticipate your new rant about the lack of female characters in Star Wars.
If your best friend refuses to dress up as Jar Jar Binks for Halloween, don’t get upset. He or she is only human. Also, if that costume was your idea, you probably need to read all of this article and follow the advice as best as you can. (Jar Jar Binks…seriously?)


#4 Eat. Also sleep.
Yes, yes, the fandom needs you. However, you need your sleep. It’s not necessary to watch a whole season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians in one night. The box set will still be there when you wake up the next morning – and by that I don’t mean the crack of dawn.


#5 Avoid fan-fiction and fan-art.
Just trust me. Some of the character pairings will burn your eyes and make you scream – especially the Harry Potter stuff. While this could potentially put you off the fandom forever, it’s just not worth the risk. Just. Don’t. (Harry and Hermione? That is so wrong!)


#6 Don’t be too defensive.
If your sister prefers Twilight to The Hunger Games, well, that’s her choice. Violence is not the answer. However, if she begins to talk about Team Edward vs Team Jacob, violence
is acceptable in moderation. Just kidding. (But still.) Same thing goes for Internet etiquette; you know how awful it looks when haters start ranting. You don’t want to be one of those, especially if you’re attacking people for liking things that are different. Even if it is Twilight. (But still.)


#7 It’s okay to give up on your fandom.
Even though you said you’d sink with that specific ship, you might end up losing interest. This is probably a good thing, especially if you’ve been showing some of the symptoms of an extreme fangirl, as detailed in the above paragraphs.
Don’t worry, you’ll find something else. Take down your posters, put away your Gryffindor scarf, sell your Harry Potter necklace on TradeMe. Your family and friends will be glad to have
you back.


#8 Then freak out because BBC’s Sherlock: Series Three is out on DVD in New Zealand.
Buy a celebratory Sherlock coffee cup! Yessss!