Trying to be let inside the walls of someone who is emotionally guarded can be challenging.
Not because they are afraid of being exposed, but because they are guarded themselves.
You can’t just walk in. You have to pass through the walls, steps, and doors of pride, fear, and hesitation.
The first step in learning how to be let inside someone else’s world is to recognize your part in it.
You can be the wall.
I’ve seen people who have made a full-body cast so they could become more comfortable with who they are, and I still can’t figure out how that makes any sense.
It’s a lot like being locked in a room with a giant with a hard time walking and said giant decided he’d let everyone walk around, too.
I’ve seen people do self-destructive things because they can’t step out of their self-created shell. And I’m not talking about the good kind of self-destructive, like “have a good life” and “just be positive”.
I’m talking about the bad kind of self-destructive, like “stray.”
For some people, they may have made a habit of controlling themselves, and now they want to help others do the same. They want others to know they are safe and can be trusted.
For these people, being guarded is an armor-like control that keeps them from freely sharing their life.
How do you get out?
Being guarded can make you feel like a prisoner of a body, like someone who has committed murder, like someone who has killed their pets, or gotten sucked into a vortex of emotions too huge to escape.
To be opened up is to feel fear, like the objects in your parlor are dangling from a thread who’ll be sucked into the flame if you let your guard down.
This is the danger of letting your guard down. The danger of suppressing your feelings.
One of the most effective ways to reduce your anxiety around a new person is to get close to them.
Your new partner is a threat to your safety if you keep him or her away from your home. Let’s say you’ve been with your high-school boyfriend for a few months. You’re now in college and you’ve gotten to know your new partner and they make decisions about your courses.
You may feel the urge to tell your partner about your intellectual achievements. To tell them how your new major affects your social life. You could even offer to teach them your new ideas or help plan your classes. But wait! Don’t go too far.
The key is to give them permission to love you despite your baggage, just as you love yourself despite your old ideas and habits.
You’ll reach your moments of hesitation but should you let your guard down far enough for your new partner to feel like he or she can love you without precedent?
No one is going to choose you because you’re weak.
And you don’t have to let your partner know how much you love them.
Just be real. Be honest. Say that you want inclusivity. Be honest about the way you feel when you’re with them.
You’ll attract people who are willing to put in the same effort. And you’ll start to build relationships that are more in line with what you want.
So get out there and date!