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Why can't I learn to open up to people?

201 Answers
Last Updated: 01/16/2022 at 3:19pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Tricia Saviano, MA, ATR, LCPC

Art Therapist

Life can be tough. Finding creative ways to get through issues and live a happy life is important. As an art therapist and licensed counselor, I can help you reach your goals.

Top Rated Answers
March 3rd, 2021 5:14pm
Learning to open up to people is a hard thing to do that takes a lot of practice. You have to want to learn and take baby steps of opening up and 7cups is a great place to start that since it is anonymous. By starting with baby steps such as just stating when you had a hard day or you get a bad grade you may find it easier in the future to open up. And by starting small on resources such as 7cups you. may be able to build up the confidence to start confiding in your friends or family.
March 17th, 2021 12:44am
Hello, great question. The simple answer would be opening up is very difficult when you do not want people to know or are uncomfortable opening up at all. I don’t believe anyone has to open up. Only do what is right for you when it is right for you. Maybe you are not trying to open up to the right person or people. I speak from experience answering this very question so maybe you would benefit from opening up to a listener such as me. Please do check out my profile and decide if I might be the type of listener you would want to open up to. All the best :)
April 4th, 2021 5:17am
Something at some point taught you that opening up was akin to asking to be nearly killed. The fact that your body physically freezes leads me to believe that it happened at an extremely young age, because there's no basis in logic and/or more mature control. Maybe you saw, as a very young child, a family member be abused. Maybe you were privy to a fight between your parents at such a young age that you don't even remember (nor, probably, do they) that led you to believe that telling the truth about your emotions would result in dire ruin. Whatever happened, you're now blocked. And lying is not the solution, as you well know, because then people either hate you when the ferret out the truth, or act in ways that are not helpful based upon the lies. You can try to figure it out, but since I have survived abuse, I have found that often as a method of protecting us, our brain will simply refuse to allow us to go there until we have healed enough that we can stand to re-visit the trauma, and you're clearly not there. Since you feel physically unable to speak about whatever is going on in your head and heart, I would suggest starting with a very personal, no one every sees it journal where you write down what you're feeling and thinking. Keep doing it daily until your subconscious gets the idea that you will no longer be stuffing these emotions. Once that happens, you may find it possible to seek out either a trusted friend and/or therapist and begin making small steps to talk about things. I did so by letting the therapist begin to read select pages in the journal, and then ask questions.
April 7th, 2021 11:01am
You can! Opening up and trusting people is a skill literally everybody can learn. And it isn't just you. Maybe you have made bad experiences in your past and that's why your brain doesn't want to open up. That's okay. We can fix that. First of all, what helped me too opening up to people, is viewing it at another perspective. Showing yourself vulnerable makes you feel and seem strong. Have you ever seen people being completly open with their flaws or with their disabilitys? These people aren't just born like that. They only trust. If you can do that, other people will think you're strong and likeable as well. It isn't that likely that people will betray you when you act like it isn't such a big thing. Mistakes, flaws, illnesses etc. are completely normal. They only become your weaknesses, if you act like they were. But they aren't I wish you best of luck.
April 7th, 2021 8:17pm
Sometimes it helps to ask others questions and listen to them open up to you first. Listening to others may provide you with some commonalities and help you realize you can safely open up to them and share some things about yourself. Finding that common ground can help both you and the other person relate and feel comfortable together. Especially if you find it difficult to open up, discovering that you have more in common than initially thought can help to start the process of you opening up to another person. It helps to start sharing one small thing about yourself if this is difficult for you. As it enables the other person the opportunity to enquire more about yourself and slowly begin enabling you to open up more about yourself.
April 9th, 2021 3:56pm
it's not that you can't learn to open up to people, it's that you're frightened to. you're letting you nervousness take over your entire personality as a whole, which is causing you to feel like an outcast, isolated from everyone else, or shying yourself away, as some people would call it. i feel that to be able to open up is to have confidence about yourself on the inside & out and to be able to trust others. in order to trust others, you have to be able to trust yourself. to conclude, the reason for this is bc we just cannot simply open up to ourselves.
April 18th, 2021 6:32pm
When it comes to opening up to people, you don't have to do it with every person that comes in to your life. We all hate to be vulnerable. If you come across someone who consistently overshares their personal business, they’re the odd one out, not you. Most of us from early in childhood are not entirely trusting of anyone. Have you ever seen a toddler hide behind his adult of choice when confronted with a stranger? Infants in their cribs become agitated when approached by someone they consider a threat, and they do that based simply on the inborn facial recognition software that tells them when a person isn’t friendly. Experiments were done using balloons with faces drawn on, and infants were clearly upset by the frowning faces and drawn to the smiley ones.
April 28th, 2021 5:31pm
It can be difficult to open up to people, especially if you're a quiet or introverted person, or if you've been hurt in the past. Sometimes, it is hard to open up due to trust issues, or because you, yourself, don't feel you have much to open up about. A good way to tell why this is hard for you is to ask questions of your self like: 1) Do I have things to express to people that I hold back or don't express? 2) What makes those things hard to express or unlikely to be expressed? 3) Do I see value in opening up to people? 4) Do I have fears about opening up? If so, what specific fears do I have, and what are they based on? Are they realistic fears? Answering these questions may help you get insight into why it is difficult for you, in particular, to open up to people.
May 30th, 2021 10:39pm
there can be a number of reasons as to why you're feeling like you can't learn to open up to individuals. every now and then you'll have issues opening up to people once you have issues trusting other individuals, you're not comfortable with yourself, you've been harmed some time recently & you are feeling like no one is tuning in to you. for me, those would be the reasons why i would have a difficult time opening up to others. opening up to individuals is truly extreme, since when we open up to individuals we are defenseless to them. portion of the reason why you can't open up to individuals could be a fear of being vulnerable. is there something that has happened in your past that has made you doubting of others? were you once rejected by somebody for opening up to them? try to distinguish where you're stuck, and it might assist you open up. presently, opening up to individuals may be an exceptionally troublesome thing to do. in arrange to let that happen, you must to begin with recognize why you're perplexed of letting individuals in. attempt composing down what you're feeling, each single feeling and detail. donate it to one of your closest companions or indeed to an grown-up. you're opening up to someone, through composing. that will assist you w/ becoming more certain & before long, you may indeed be able to conversation around it individually. everything is taken step by step.
June 13th, 2021 6:01am
Opening up to someone can be a very tough and hard thing to do, especially if you are a very reserved and introverted person. first of all, i think you need to trust the other person to open up to someone. it is very hard to open up to someone who we do not trust, so i suggest you give yourself some time and not rush opening up to someone. take your time and you can open up to them when you feel you are ready. when you practise this more and more, you will be able to open up to people whether you know them well or not.
August 6th, 2021 8:48am
opening up is a process, and definitely not an easy one; it takes trust, patience and time; three things people seem to be running extremely low on these days. in a world of such high connectivity, ironically a lot of us have found ourselves feeling more alone emotionally than ever so take a deep breath and slow it down if you must; it's in all those baby steps that build up your self confidence strong enough to chip those walls down, bit by bit, brick by brick but let me remind you again; flowers can't bloom until they learn to open up - so give yourself all the time you need to blossom; beautifully, as you were destined to be 💛
August 12th, 2021 9:20am
Because we are scared, anxious. Afraid of their judgment and their inability of understanding others. Also one of the problems can be our fear of being left. We all have our own comfort zone built upon our own fears and we are so tightly connected to our own zone, I would say glued to it. But there is no "can't" option in life, you must learn how to open and to whom you should open as well to whom not to open. But everything is in our head so we need to clear things with ourselves before going out. Keep it up mate!
September 4th, 2021 10:52am
Opening up can be really difficult. A lot of times we open up to the people who we love or some people feel comfortable to open up with strangers but no matter what the situation is, sometimes it's just hard to trust the person whom we are talking to or maybe the fear of being judged or maybe it's about having a habit of bottling up your feelings or maybe you just don't like to make the conversation about you! Opening up could be really hard so it's okay to take your time to trust the person to who you are talking and making the conversation about yourself. It's pretty clear that this question was being asked because a need of opening up was felt and a lot of times acknowledging our own feelings is something that helps us to take the next steps!
October 1st, 2021 1:04pm
Opening up to people can be really tough, especially if we have a history of trauma, distrust, manipulation, violation or dismissal. It can often be rooted in childhood wounds. For example, if you shared an uncomfortable feeling with a parent when you were a child, and they responded by dismissing your feelings and telling you that you’re being dramatic, or to get over yourself, etc. you could internalize that response and begin to believe that your feelings aren’t valid, thus you will suppress and not feel them. This can happen with any kind of relationship, but it often starts in early childhood and during your developmental years. I encourage you to identify the feeling(s) that come with trying to open up, and questioning what it is that makes you uncomfortable about doing so! Once you identify those unhealed wounds, it’s about healing them.
October 6th, 2021 2:10am
The fact that you are unable to open up to people has become a learned behavior that the brain has associated with something unpleasant experience It is a way of trying to protect yourself from an unsafe or vulnerable place. A means to protect your emotions from rejection or negative responses from others. It also is a handicap to us by locking us in from the world. and cutting off our ability to meet new people being because of fear of rejection and or being hurt. It takes practice to change this and a willingness to dive in and take the risk. You might be surprised at your results. We can not guard our emotions from others because we are in control of our own emotions. So working on changing the way we think or working through why we feel as we do will help us to come to a better understanding on why we are afraid to be vulnerable to others. Our guard comes down and we stand raw that is not easy it takes practice.
October 22nd, 2021 6:10am
The first step towards opening up people is to listen actively them. There are three types of listening. First is passive listening in which you just give slight attention to verbal words. Second is active listening where you actively pay attention to the other side. And the third is global listening where while paying attention to the verbal communication of other side, you also notice the non verbal signs , like body language, expression etc. When you do global listening you get a better idea of what the other side actually want to convey and then revert accordingly. This way you connect with them
November 10th, 2021 1:30pm
Thank you for reaching out! I can really hear you are interested in sharing more about yourself with other people and can understand that it takes a great deal of trust to do so. The reasons some find it difficult to open up can vary and may require you to ask yourself why it seems to hard to open to begin with. Ask yourself if it’s because of anxiety or a negative experience that has become an conditioned fear (e.g. parental, environmental influence) of letting someone enter into you circle of people. As human beings we have this intense desire to feel accepted and want to “fit in.” Ask yourself if you have a fear of being rejected. During the hunter/gathering period, when we are alone our odds of survival were greatly decreased. Simply being in a large group meant we had a chance of survival. Has any experience of bullying shaped your reluctance or difficulty to open up to people? You may want to explore what factors have helped you trust in the past and what factors have betrayed your trust? What really is getting in the way of you opening up to people? Which people are you finding difficult to develop that openness with (e.g. friends, family, boyfriend/girlfriend , partner, spouse, new friends, colleagues)? Once you know what stands in the way of you opening up to people you can grow and learn from your interactions and insecurities and fear of rejection you have. It’s important to finally ask yourself what openness is to you. How often do you share your vulnerabilities and expect others to do so in your life? You are welcome to communicate with any one of our listeners on our site to further explore your thoughts and feelings without any judgement. Know that being your true, authentic self can be scary due to fear of rejection but that way people will know the real you. Take small, tiny steps but don’t push yourself too much.
November 12th, 2021 4:40pm
Sometimes it's hard to open up because we spent most of our lives without a person we find trustable and understanding enough to confide in. First impressions really do matter and if somebody has shut you down in the past, you are unlikely to ever confide in them again. Other times it's because we feel embarrassed or do not want to be judged. However, opening up is the first step towards relief. It is human nature to seek understanding and companionship in our struggles. Remember that it is okay to open up, even if it is to a stranger.
November 12th, 2021 9:14pm
One of the reasons why you may struggle to open up to people is due to past experiences. Not being able to open up to people could be a trauma response. You fear that if you open up to someone, they will use that information to hurt you somehow, so you don't over share because it makes things easier. I have gone through deceit myself. I dated a guy for 5 months and turned out he had a long-term girlfriend the entire time. That wasn't the first time I have been cheated on or lied to, but what made this situation worse and built up trust issues is that many of my friends knew about it and no one told me. For a long time, I didn't want to open up to people or even talk to people. But, after a while, it was a very lonely feeling. I slowly started incorporating myself more socially and opening up myself and taking those chances of getting hurt, but I am stronger for it!
January 12th, 2022 9:47am
Because you think of so many things that are not really relevant. You feel that you can't trust the person or the person will judge you for an unknown reason. It's at the moment you let go of those scary thoughts, thoughts that the person will use it against you, thought that it's plain useless and wasting of your precious time. When you leave those thoughts, that's when you'll be truly free. Actively sharing your problems, releases the burden on your side. You be more happy and healthier. You learn to trust others more and those thoughts might eventually fade away.
January 16th, 2022 3:19pm
It probably is because you have had experience of betrayal before which led you to become more cautious of talking about sensitive topics with others in fear of them telling others and/or making fun of you. You could try making some online friends anonymously and practice opening up to them because these online friends do not know you in person and won't be able to spread any rumors or tell anyone else that you know about your conversations. And since they are online friends, if they start to make you uncomfortable, you could just ghost them and never talk to them again :)