I’ve never been the kind of person who is comfortable opening up to people.
Whether it be about my thoughts or opinions, and most especially about my feelings, I prefer to keep them hidden. And if you’re like me, you should know that I understand you’re scared. I see where your fear is coming from, the possibilities are endless. Maybe you’ve had a rough childhood and you’ve learned to cover up for your family’s problems at a very young age. Maybe you’re really just born as an introvert. Maybe you’re scared of getting hurt, being judged, or rejected. Maybe you’re shy and socially anxious and that your initial view of a person is judgmental or mean-spirited. Maybe you’re embarrassed about your secrets. Maybe you’ve been traumatized by a past event.
As for my case, when I open up, I feel like I’m being robbed off my privacy and somehow I feel like I’m giving away too much and that what I say will later on be used against me. And also, I’ve always felt like I bother people with my stories. And I’m the kind of person who care more about others than myself. I feel like every time I open up to someone, I burden them with my problems and cause them to think of me as someone weak who can’t even handle facing things on my own.
I’ve learned the hard way that I didn’t have to face things on my own. And so do you.
The world is not meant for us to carry on our shoulders.
It’s meant for us to explore and learn from, and share with others.
Now, I hope you’re ready for the harsh truth.
We all build a wall that we think protects us from what’s out there, but the sad reality is the only thing that wall does is it hides us from everything that could possibly make us happy.
From everything that could possibly love us, and everything that we could love back. We think we’re being open when we share these articles and quote authors about what we want to say to someone, when we share photos and say “right in the feels” or “I can relate”…but the truth is we just use every excuse to avoid showing any form of real, authentic emotion. We keep letting others speak for us when we should be speaking for ourselves. I think one reason why we avoid showing emotion is because we fear being known. Maybe we have something to hide that we think might turn people off, we fear being exposed, that’s why we try so hard to mask these things. But the armor we put over us when we think we’re protecting ourselves are helpful in a way that it makes us look tough. But that’s all it does, it only makes us look tough.
At the end of the day it still leaves us with the feeling of being alone and lonely in the thought of never being known.
The armor doesn’t make us tough. Removing it is what gives us courage and strength to face the real world.
When you’re vulnerable, you can step out and walk this world as yourself, and not as somebody you pretend to be. Another reason we avoid emotion is because we try to prevent bad things from happening, and so we prevent ourselves from feeling. We’re all too scared to get hurt… that we avoid to love, too. We’re all too scared to feel lonely that we shut out every other feeling in the process. We’re all too scared to let anything in. Because when we open ourselves to people, we give them the power to hurt us. And what we can’t seem to accept is that not everyone will use that power. The right person will come along, and although he/she has that power to hurt you, he/she would choose not to. The right person will come along, and he/she will listen to your stories, engage in them, no matter how absurd they sound. The right person will come along and he/she will treasure your secrets. The right person will come along and he/she will value your feelings in the same way you do. The right person will come along and he/she will not judge you for something you’re passionate about, instead you will get all the support and motivation you need. He/she will guard your heart in a way that you thought only you could do… And we’re never going to find out who that person is if we keep shutting ourselves from everyone.
So stop being so scared of letting people in, because not everybody’s going to hurt you.
And if ever some people do, if ever people break promises, ruin moments, it’s not the end of your world. You should know that happiness is not equivalent to having no pain or not getting hurt. Happiness is accepting pain, being contented in it, and finding something good about it. Don’t put yourself behind bars and set restrictions that hinder you from doing what you really want to do. Remember that the only way you can be really, truly happy is to risk being totally open. When we open ourselves to people and when we allow ourselves to feel all the emotions, we become familiar to these emotions that we will eventually know what to do with them if we feel them again.
When we open up and become vulnerable, we’re allowing people to know us in a different level, and I think people deserve that.
We all deserve to know each other.
Hurt, shame, betrayal, rejection… these are just few of the things that might come to us when we open ourselves entirely to others. But love, happiness, solitude, contentment, are also few of the things we can receive. You see, being vulnerable means accepting everything that might come your way. It might work to your advantage, it might not. But it’s always worth the risk. I think that although embracing vulnerability is risky, it’s not as dangerous as shutting ourselves from everyone and hiding ourselves from the beauty (and tragedy) of life. Vulnerability doesn’t account for weakness, it actually accounts for strength. Placing your unguarded heart out there, with your walls broken down, and letting in the possibilities of getting hurt or being loved, that’s brave.
So go ahead, do yourself a favor and be vulnerable, be brave, and eventually be happy.