You Look Like An Asshole When You Keep Your Guard Up

Girl with her guard up
Unsplash / Tanja Heffner

I feel like an asshole, because I push people away when they start to get too close. I protect myself by keeping my distance from anyone who has the potential to break my heart in two.

I feel like an asshole, because I care about my privacy. I keep my secrets locked deep down inside so that no one can use them against me — and so no one will ever pity me. I refuse to talk about the darkest parts of my life, even when I’m dying to spill my guts. I keep my mask on so that no one ever sees the real me.

I feel like an asshole, because I am blinded by my trust issues. Whenever I meet someone I can imagine dating seriously, I think of the way other relationships ended in the past. I think about how much I trusted my exes and how they hurt me anyway. My past has turned me into a pessimist, a skeptic, someone who always believes the worst will happen.

I feel like an asshole, because I run away when things get good. I leave before anyone has the chance to get hurt me. I will break someone else’s heart before they break mine, because I only care about myself.

I feel like an asshole, because the people who mean the most to me have no idea how often I think about them. They assume that I’m perfectly fine without them, because I stop myself from texting them too much. I stop myself from reaching out to them when I’m bored or lonely or missing them. I never give any indication of how much I care. I try hard to come across as emotionless.

I feel like an asshole, because I am uncomfortable with feelings. I don’t know how to respond when someone compliments my appearance or admits how much they like me. Instead of flirting back or thanking them, I will make a joke. I will act like it means nothing to me when it means everything.

I feel like an asshole, because I am overly suspicious. I assume that someone is being nice because they want something from me. I assume that anyone who dates me is going to cheat on me, bruise me, leave me behind. I assume that everyone is out to get me, despite how well they have treated me.

I feel like an asshole, because I expect other people to put in more effort than I do. If they don’t text me first or ask to see me in person, I assume that they want nothing to do with me. Instead of reaching out myself, I wait for them to do it, to prove that they care as much as they claim they do.

I feel like an asshole, because I always keep my guard up, even around people who have proven that they can be trusted. Even around people who swear that they would never hurt me. Even around people who deserve a real chance. TC mark

The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved.

You don’t have to solve your whole life tonight. You just have to show up and try. Focus on the most immediate thing in front of you. You’ll figure out the rest along the way.

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