People get hurt all the time, but that doesn’t mean we stop feeling pain. That’s why we develop defense mechanisms – walls that are supposed to prevent us from getting hurt again. Unfortunately, this system is flawed, especially because it prevents others from getting close to us. As a result, we don’t get to experience all the great things that come with having close friends and falling in love. Are you too guarded to let yourself fall for someone as well? These questions might help you get to know yourself a little better.
Do you always wait for other people to make the first move?
Think about your interactions with others. What are you like when you first meet someone? And how exactly do your relationships evolve? You’re probably at least a bit shy and unwilling to let others see you for who you really are. Does this result in you never making the first move in any of your relationships? This doesn’t just involve approaching someone and asking if they’d go on a date with you. It’s also about being the first to share something embarrassing or taking the relationship to the next level in whatever way possible. If you always wait for others to do it, you’re probably too guarded for your own good.
Do you feel uncomfortable when you need to ask for help?
When was the last time you asked someone to help you with something? Can’t remember? Asking others for help reveals your weaknesses. At least that’s how a guarded person would see it. It kind of makes sense, since you put yourself in a position in which you’re at the mercy of your benefactor. It also makes you feel uncomfortable because you don’t really believe someone would want to help you. If you feel the same way about this, chances are you’re too guarded and should try to let lose a little bit.
Is it hard for you to be affectionate towards others?
There’s no question about it – there are people in your life that you care about deeply. It would be hard to tell, though, especially from the way you interact with them. You rarely compliment them, you avoid touching them and you almost never let them know how you feel about them. Do you recognize yourself in this? If the answer is yes, you’re unusually cold to others, which is probably because you’ve put up too many walls around yourself and should do your best to tear some of them down.
Does it always take you long to develop feelings for others?
There are people who make friends and fall in love so quickly it’s hard to keep track of it all. But there are also those who really take their time. Which one are you? If you’re one of the slow ones, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re too guarded. But if all your relationships took years to evolve from casual interactions into something more, you’re probably too careful when it comes to people.
Want to change how you interact with others and stop preventing yourself from developing real feelings towards potential partners? It’s never too late to do it, especially if you listen to the following advice.
Remember that putting up walls doesn’t really protect you from anything. Although on some level it does make sense, avoiding close relationships with others won’t make it any easier for you to live among people. There will always be those who won’t care about hurting you with their words or their actions – that’s just life. But apart from not doing yourself any good, you actively harm yourself by being too guarded. And that’s because your walls are successful at one thing – keeping your loved ones from entering your life.
Don’t let your walls keep out your loved ones. You probably didn’t choose to be too guarded. Someone hurt you or disappointed you, which resulted in you putting more and more distance between yourself and others. This means that even you don’t want your walls separating you from your loved ones. And why let something you don’t even want control your whole life? Try to look at it that way and start saying “No” to the part of yourself that wants to remain behind walls.
Start with baby steps. You don’t need to become a completely different person overnight. Do your best to change the way you interact with others, but don’t be too harsh on yourself. Start with something small, such as hugging a member of your family, texting someone you haven’t seen in a long time or playing Truth or Dare with your friends. It will take time, but eventually, you’ll be able to do more, and one day you’ll find yourself unafraid of going out with someone and giving them a real chance.