1. Your personality is a poorly presented carnival, in the sense that, it looks like a maximum security prison from the outside, but within those tall, heavily guarded walls is in an enthusiastic, colorful, friendly, welcoming festival.
2. When you do start talking, you can’t stop—you talk to fill the space of that moment that you fear, the moment where maybe no one has anything to say in response to what you just said.
3. People think you’re cool based on what you’ve shown, but you worry that providing a larger sample would expose flaws and fall short of their expectations.
4. Awkward interaction, or really any interaction at all will be thought about hours after it has ended. I should’ve said this. I shouldn’t have said that. I wish I’d not shared this and shared that instead. I wasted an opportunity to be outgoing, they probably think I’m the worst.
5. You get into extremely deep conversations without meaning to, and you wouldn’t have a problem with it if it weren’t for the fact that people take it as a sign of romantic interest. You can’t help it, you just really do genuinely want to hear someone’s real feelings and give them your honest thoughts in return, and you feel more comfortable in those private moments at big parties, where everyone is so loud that no one can hear what you really, truly, honestly have to say.
6. You’re hesitant to offer any types of personal discussions or reach out to people unprovoked, yet you spend a lot of time hoping someone else will initiate it so you’ll have a perfect opportunity to divulge things.
7. Even when people do ask questions, a lot of the time it requires prying before you’ll reveal anything. Not because you want extra attention, but for the same reason a person might be hesitant to bungee jump until they get a sufficient amount of encouragement and reassurance that it’s safe.
8. You’re difficult – borderline impossible to date, because most can be open with their feelings and when they offer full admission into their life, your emotionally guarded habits are extra noticeable and can be taxing on the relationship, especially if your significant other grows impatient for your slow opening ways.
9. When you meet people who are completely comfortable sharing any and every detail about their personal lives, you’re mesmerized and envious of whatever it is that allows them to be so confident and carefree.
10. You have a tight-knit group of friends, which is a great thing, but also makes it stressful for you when friends of friends, acquaintances, or new people are around.
11. All you want is to tell everyone everything all of the time always, and you know how immature it is to overshare or blurt out random bits of information when it isn’t necessarily appropriate, so you curb that urge and act like a mature adult who can manage their feelings. In spite of all that, you still end up on public transit or in your car, or anywhere, looking at strangers and wondering if they’re thinking what you’re thinking. You know this isn’t unique or special — this impulse to share and be honest and talk about your thoughts and feelings — and that’s why it’s so hard. It feels like you want to throw your hands up in the air like, “Why isn’t everyone talking?!”
12. You can grow attached and adoring of people who don’t feel the same level of admiration, because they’ve been talking and sharing and you’ve been learning about them, without giving information about yourself for them to base an opinion on. It’s similar to being a fan of a celebrity, watching all of their interviews, and feeling like you know them — and perhaps you do, but they know nothing about you.
13. When someone does throw stones and aims hurtful words your way, it can reinforce that extreme guardedness tenfold. Any progress you’ve made opening up can regress, then it’ll eat at you, and have you convinced that the idea of the general public genuinely having nice feelings towards you is unlikely, or even impossible. In short, it’s a huge step back in the process of becoming who you want to be.