1. People feel comfortable talking to you. Sometimes you just give off those vibes like you cry over OWN documentaries and are ready whenever someone needs to talk. And yes, that can mean that you are occasionally overwhelmed with all of the various villagers’ problems (such as sickly livestock or interference from Trickster Gods), but it’s the best! When people know they can come to you, and that you are a space of non-judgment, nothing is more lovely and human.
2. You don’t have to pretend to be cool. Pretending to be cool and aloof and not care about things when you definitely do care is very, very hard. I’m capable of pretending to be cool for about twenty minutes until I’ve exhausted myself completely. The thing about having a lot of feelings is that you never have to pretend to be cool and removed, because everyone knows you’re neither of those things already!
3. You are open to falling in love. Whether it’s making a new friend at a dive bar while waiting to get served, or going into online dating with an open heart and mind, there is something great about always feeling ready and excited for the next — often unexpected — source of love in your life.
4. You get to geek out. Just this morning, I sent an email with like thirty exclamation points, because I just couldn’t contain myself. I was too excited about the subject matter, and too overwhelmed to take a moment to check all of the typos that I was definitely sending. But that’s the great thing about caring: you get to geek out! You get to be overwhelmed with joy and eagerness, and not care about how you look.
5. When you hurt, you confront it head-on. There are some people who can suppress all of their unpleasant feelings over and over like some kind of trash compactor, until (I assume) it all emerges in some fiery ball of hate and disgust and tears towards the end of their lives. But when you care openly, you just can’t do that. If you’re sad, you’re gonna be sad, and you’re going to feel it for a while! And it kind of sucks in the moment, but the feeling is confronted and dealt with and understood. (And then, hopefully, moved on from.)
6. You get to cry! I don’t care what anyone says, a good cry every now and then is a healthy, fun activity. It’s a workout for the soul.
7. Your relationships are deeper. There is a certain depth that you can only achieve with another person — be they friend or SO — if you are willing to be vulnerable and (possibly) rejected. We’ve all encountered the people who are always one step ahead of the other person, never quite giving up their feelings. And yes, they can break hearts. But there are many things they will likely not get to experience.
8. You already know what heartbreak feels like. Once you have dealt with a serious, humiliating rejection that stemmed from you caring way more than the other person, you know you can survive it. You know that everything is a little less scary, and a little more worth going for.
9. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Yeah, you can refuse to ever put yourself out there and be the one to say “I love you” first, or tell someone directly that “Hey, this is really hurtful, and it makes me sad.” But then you will never get the chance to experience all the great things that can come with that, such as someone saying “I love you, too” or “I’m sorry, I didn’t meant to hurt you.” And honestly, those things are so worth the risk.
10. You are a braver person all around. People with a lot of feelings, in a world of text messages and swiping to reject someone and pretending to be cool on Twitter, are pretty courageous.
11. You get to experience the full spectrum of life. Sometimes people will make fun of you for being a bit of an emotional spaz, but the great thing about dancing at your desk and running down the street and crying over an email is that you really get to feel everything. You take everything in in a full way, and don’t numb yourself to any of the great feelings that life has to offer.
12. Your heart is always open. Yes, Big married Natasha and we all thought that Carrie’s heart would pop out of her chest and just roll away down the street. But she kept that bad boy open, and look what happened! We can (and should) all be Carrie. (Except without all the shoe-debt and cheating. Actually, let’s be Charlotte! And let’s cry over the scene where Harry proposes to her.)
13. You get to be happy! At the end of the day, the greatest thing about being open emotionally is that you get to be really, truly, unabashedly happy. You get to enjoy things and tell people how much you care about them and feel all the joy that comes with expressing your affection. So go ahead, tell that friend “I love you!” or text your crush how much you like being around them. The worst thing that can happen is they don’t feel quite the same. The best thing that can happen is a life of shared joy with the people who really matter to you. Come on.