We build up walls to keep ourselves safe, to prevent our hearts from being broken, and to keep our trust from being violated.
However, the very walls that we put up to eliminate these things from happening can also cause us to block out relationships that may bring joy to our lives. Shutting others out is not a healthy way to live.
In trying to keep out the bad, you will also keep the good. It can be scary to let people in, but it is worth it when you are able to hold an intimate and trusting relationship with another person. Here’s how you can break down the walls around your heart in four simple steps.
How To Let Others In
1. Confront you past and learn from it
Learn from your mistakes. This is crucial to all forms of personal growth, but especially when it comes to relationships.
Related: The 7 C’s Of Happy Relationships
Don’t keep letting the same kind of person into your life, and don’t keep making the same mistakes that have led your relationships to failure. Our pasts shape us, but they don’t have to define us.
If you’ve had negative experiences with relationships in the past, it can be easy to retreat into a shell and shut out the world. However, there are healthier ways to deal with these experiences.
You may still have pent up emotions that need to be let out in order for you to move on. If so, try talking to a friend, family member, or a professional. Once you start working through the things that are holding you back, you can begin to live in the present and look towards the future.
2. Retain your standards, but don’t expect perfection
Letting new people into your life doesn’t mean that you have to let just anyone in. There’s nothing wrong with having standards; in fact, you should have standards. You deserve to have individuals in your life that respect you and with whom you can get along.
However, keep in mind that no one is perfect, and sometimes you will need to be forgiving of their downfalls.
Know that people will disappoint you at some point during your relationship, but that doesn’t mean that they themselves are a disappointment. They are only human, and they will make mistakes, just like you will. Expecting perfection is hypocritical.
3. Let things happen naturally
In order to let people in, you can’t overanalyze every detail of your relationships. Get to know the other person and see where it goes. Not every relationship will work, but some will; everything happens for a reason. Just because things may not turn out exactly how you want them to doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give every relationship a fair chance.
4. Open up
Don’t be afraid to tell your loved ones how you feel. No matter how you do it, telling others that you appreciate them is an important step in opening up to new relationships and letting people get close to you.
Keeping your cards close to your heart is a defense mechanism. The rationale is that if you never tell them how you really feel, there’s no way to get burned. However, in reality, this may do the opposite and cause them to think that you don’t care about them.
There are many ways to express your emotions: with a hug, a cute message on a sticky note, or you can keep it simple and say what you’re feeling out loud.
If you believe that you are doomed to endure life alone, you are wrong. Many of us make decisions that we know are wrong because we think that is all we deserve. You can have healthy, happy relationships. You can let people in to your heart. Start with making better decisions about who you allow into your life and better choices on how you treat the people who are close to you. The power to change the quality and number of relationships in your life lies in your hands.
Lauren Pickens is a freelance writer and Inspiyr contributor. She holds Bachelor of Arts in Communications and enjoys writing about lifestyle and culture. To read more of her writing, visit her website.
Photo by *amanda lynn