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What It’s Like Struggling To Open Up

I’m a very private person. When first meeting someone and even over time, I selectively reveal details about my life, both past, and present. I always feel anxious when I tell people about myself, whether I feel like I tell them too little or too much. After my first meeting with a person, I get nervous about whether I should have told them more basic life information or if I shared too much about my personal thoughts and experiences—I often feel that it’s hard to tell what I should do at the moment. I tend to say whatever feels right, although many times I feel like I should say more.

I have grown accustomed to this but I want to change. Each time I try to do so, however, my nerves stand in the way or I don’t have enough time to say more than the small amount of information I chose. I feel like if I do share more with people I’ve already met at this point, they will think I lied or was hiding from them before and then our friendship or possible friendship will be ruined. But lying or hiding was never my intention. Just because I take my time sharing parts of the truth doesn’t mean everything I’ve told you is false. 

Part of this could be that I grew up with parents who shared life facts as a way to draw attention. I also tend to shy away from talking about true events that have caused people to look at me negatively or in a way that I didn’t want. I also have shared a lot with some people who decide to end the friendship or relationship much earlier than I anticipated, so that makes me feel like I need to shut down more. It is definitely a flaw of mine that I should work on, and I realize that. 

Credit: People Skills Decoded

So to everyone I know or have met recently, I’m sorry. You are all wonderful people, and I’m sorry I’m not an open book about my life. I haven’t told you everything about myself and I feel bad about it. On the other hand, though, I realize it’s okay not to always share everything. Like anything, I have to take things at a pace that makes me feel comfortable. Over time, I’ll try my best to open up more. 

As for those of you reading this (thank you so much), some of you feel this way too, and I really hope you can relate. It’s difficult to be selective in what you tell people but in some ways, it can also be really beneficial. There are some cases in which this can actually be a good thing––telling people everything about you right when you first meet can be a big risk; sometimes it’s wise to take your time and see how things unfold. But if you’re an open book, then go for it. Do whatever works best for you. 

Credit: Yoga Journal

If you’re private about your life, it can be difficult figuring out what and what not to tell people about yourself. Not everyone is comfortable enough initially to share everything about themselves and that’s ok. If this is your personality, take your time.

There’s no reason to divulge everything about your life right when you meet someone. For those of you who have friends like this, just because some people to reveal information over time doesn’t mean they were hiding from you. It just means that they need some time to feel comfortable about opening up. 


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Charlotty Herman is a freshman journalism student at Emerson College. She was an editor on her high school's yearbook staff and over the summer, she had an internship with the Reboot Fellows. As well as journalism, she is passionate about the Spanish language, which she has been taking for seven years now. She loves Boston, and when not in class, she enjoys creative writing, fashion, and drinking coffee.
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