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How do you define "Opening Up" emotionally?

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Lauren8211

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Ok, this whole "Opening up emotionally" term is bugging the crap out of me.

I've had a recent falling out with an on again/off again friend of 20 years. I won't get into details (unless you're curious), but we're no longer friends. She claims I never "Open up emotionally" to her.

I'm not keen on this term. I don't get it. I'm not the kind of girl who gabs on the phone with you for 3 hours hearing the minutiae of your day. I don't cry on your shoulder, and rarely do people other than FF see me cry, or get emotional. I do that because I want friendships to be FUN... I don't like dragging my friends down with my little daily stressors or boyfriend problems (not that I have them anymore, but, yanno... girl talk
). I leave all the whining to you PSers! Haha. I'm better friends with guys. We can joke around, have a beer, and be stupid. No pressure.

I am, however, straightforward with friends. I tell them when I'm pissed off, or if there is a problem. Isn't this opening up?

I listen to my friends. I've been told by more than one that I should be a social worker or counselor, so are they getting upset that they share with me, but not me with them? I don't necessarily feel like I have much to share, my life is pretty stable.

Do you find it hard to be friends with someone who never "opens up?" What defines "opening up?" How do I do this? My friends, mom, and brother ALL say I'm closed off and inaccesible.

HOW do I fix this? What am I doing wrong? I'm really frustrated because I don't know what to say to people to make them think I'm connecting with them.

ETA: Sorry if this post is scattered and confusing. I'm not sure how to word it exactly. Let me know if something in unclear/confusing/ridiculous.
 

gwendolyn

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Hey sweetie, I''ll do my best to put some thoughts out there for you, although really I think the more reliable way of getting an answer would be to talk to some of those people (the ones you still speak to, naturally, not your ex-friend you started out talking about) and say, "Hey, you know how you say I''m closed off and inaccessible? What do you mean by that exactly? What would you like me to talk about that I don''t?" And then go from there.

My personal feeling is that if they want to know stuff about you, they can ask, and you can then choose to open up and tell them, or say respectfully that you aren''t comfortable talking about it. Everyone has different levels of privacy, and it''s my personal opinion that you shouldn''t share any aspects of your life from the meaningful to the mundane with anyone if it makes you ill at ease, even if the other people seem to think what they want is reasonable or normal. It''s up to you what you share with others.

Do you feel unhappy with the fact that people say you are closed off? Do you want to come across differently, or does it not really bother you that much?
 

decodelighted

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Messages
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Maybe I can explain it like this ... we're taught to put our best foot forward ...show our put together self to the world in order to make a good impression. Your friends & family are feeling like that's what you're giving them ALSO ... all the time. That you don't show or share your cracks & vulnerabilities and flaws and less perfect moments & messy emotions etc -- so they don't feel like they can open up to you w/o you being "better" than they are. "Above it". It's okay for a while -- because people assume you're just fine right now and WILL share when you're less than fine ... but eventually people get the idea that you just ENJOY being better/more perfect/more together than everyone else & then they shut down & refuse to be vulnerable TOO. The relationships become Perfection Contests rather than true, open, back & forth mutual HUMAN ones.

I think people are asking for you to show them your tender parts. So everyone is on the same "level". I'll show you mine, if you show me yours kind of thing. Whether you want to or not is up to you.
 

Lauren8211

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I''m frustrated, and that makes me unhappy. I want to come across as being more open because I am actually more open. I don''t want to just "appear" that way. It bothers me a lot.

I guess the reason its so frustrating is because I''m not leaving anything out! At least not on purpose. If someone asks me something, I will tell them the truth. That''s why I''m not sure what I''m doing wrong. No, I''m not forthcoming with my feelings about my own personal stuff, but I am forthcoming about issues in a relationship. If you''ve pissed me off, I will call you and say "Hey! This was uncool!" and we can chat.

I tend to over-analyze me. So when people say this kind of stuff, I start to think I''m in denial about something from my past, which is shutting me down, and making me cold. Am I "closed off" because I personally don''t even know there is stuff I haven''t dealt with yet?
I hate to think I don''t even know what is going on with me. I''ve dealt with a lot of crap from when I was a kid, and I feel like maybe them seeing me go through those changes made it seem to them I wasn''t sharing?

I want to change if this is off-putting for people. I don''t want people to think I don''t care, or that I don''t have feelings. I''m one of the most emotional people I know, but I don''t want to put that on other people, KWIM? Everyone has their own crap, and they don''t need mine.
 

Lauren8211

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Date: 2/20/2009 10:33:37 AM
Author: decodelighted
Maybe I can explain it like this ... we''re taught to put our best foot forward ...show our put together self to the world in order to make a good impression. Your friends & family are feeling like that''s what you''re giving them ALSO ... all the time. That you don''t show or share your cracks & vulnerabilities and flaws and less perfect moments & messy emotions etc -- so they don''t feel like they can open up to you w/o you being ''better'' than they are. ''Above it''. It''s okay for a while -- because people assume you''re just fine right now and WILL share when you''re less than fine ... but eventually people get the idea that you just ENJOY being better/more perfect/more together than everyone else & then they shut down & refuse to be vulnerable TOO. The relationships become Perfection Contests rather than true, open, back & forth mutual HUMAN ones.

I think people are asking for you to show them your tender parts. So everyone is on the same ''level''. I''ll show you mine, if you show me yours kind of thing. Whether you want to or not is up to you.
Deco, you hit the nail on the head. Seriously. Dead on. YOU should counsel people!

Everyone is always in awe of the fact that I''m never "stressed". At work, people can pile tons of crap on me, and I smile. "Don''t you ever get stressed?" they ask. I deal with it. It''s fine. I don''t depend on anyone else, I''ll do it myself!

I go home with migraines. I throw up. I can''t sleep. I can''t eat. I cry. FF sees this... no one else does. (well, i guess now you guys know)

I never realized this bothered people. I don''t know if I can show that side! Why would anyone *want* to see my crazy neurotic side? I just can''t fathom wanting to see that.

This is going to be harder than originally anticipated.
 

gwendolyn

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Date: 2/20/2009 10:35:55 AM
Author: elledizzy5


I''m frustrated, and that makes me unhappy. I want to come across as being more open because I am actually more open. I don''t want to just ''appear'' that way. It bothers me a lot.


I guess the reason its so frustrating is because I''m not leaving anything out! At least not on purpose. If someone asks me something, I will tell them the truth. That''s why I''m not sure what I''m doing wrong. No, I''m not forthcoming with my feelings about my own personal stuff, but I am forthcoming about issues in a relationship. If you''ve pissed me off, I will call you and say ''Hey! This was uncool!'' and we can chat.
Chickie, you and I would be good real-life friends, methinks. I do the same now (after years and years of being a doormat and finally saying, ''No more!'')

Might these friends see these sorts of conversations as you (as deco said) coming off as superior to them? Like, they feel like you jump on them with what they are doing wrong, but maybe you don''t admit to them when you have done something wrong yourself? Is there any sort of inequality there that could leave them feeling as though you''re only happy to talk when it''s them that''s done something wrong, and not you? (not insinuating that you do, just guessing!)

I tend to over-analyze me. So when people say this kind of stuff, I start to think I''m in denial about something from my past, which is shutting me down, and making me cold. Am I ''closed off'' because I personally don''t even know there is stuff I haven''t dealt with yet?
I hate to think I don''t even know what is going on with me. I''ve dealt with a lot of crap from when I was a kid, and I feel like maybe them seeing me go through those changes made it seem to them I wasn''t sharing?
People change throughout life. Sometimes the change takes them closer to people, and sometimes it moves them farther away. If your family and friends have noticed a change in you, their comments may be the result of them feeling afraid that they are losing you, but they don''t know how to reach out to you because you aren''t forthcoming with sharing your feelings with them. (again, just guessing)

I want to change if this is off-putting for people. I don''t want people to think I don''t care, or that I don''t have feelings. I''m one of the most emotional people I know, but I don''t want to put that on other people, KWIM? Everyone has their own crap, and they don''t need mine.
Have you ever told them this when they tell you that you are unavailable emotionally? In some respects, it''s a good thing your friends and family are asking to hear your crap, because an alternative to that is that they don''t WANT to hear your stuff and just dump on you all the time, treating you like a doormat. I used to have that, until I told *my* friends and family that I was happy to hear them share their problems with me, but that I needed to be able to do the same because relationships are about give and take. If you only do one without the other, someone isn''t getting what they need. Some of my friends couldn''t handle it and kept dumping on me, so I let them go. Your situation sounds like the opposite, where you''re trying to keep from burdening them (in your eyes) with your stuff, but as a result, they feel the inequality of the relationship and it makes them uneasy. Maybe they just want to hear you complain about something every now and then, to remind you all that you''re human and not superwoman, able to deal with it all on your own? (again, no offense meant, just wondering if maybe that''s how they see things)
 

decodelighted

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Date: 2/20/2009 10:41:11 AM
Author: elledizzy5
Everyone is always in awe of the fact that I''m never ''stressed''. At work, people can pile tons of crap on me, and I smile. ''Don''t you ever get stressed?'' they ask. I deal with it. It''s fine. I don''t depend on anyone else, I''ll do it myself!

I go home with migraines. I throw up. I can''t sleep. I can''t eat. I cry. FF sees this... no one else does. (well, i guess now you guys know)

I never realized this bothered people. I don''t know if I can show that side! Why would anyone *want* to see my crazy neurotic side? I just can''t fathom wanting to see that.

This is going to be harder than originally anticipated.
Ahhh ... you see this is what I *learned* in counseling ... uh, being counseled


It does take work but its really worth it, I swear. Right now you''re getting a pay off from your "strong" behavior. A part of you likes being unflappable & the awe that goes w/it. But its a LIE. Your body knows its a lie which is why it freaks out at home (migraines etc). What you''ll LOSE by not being "the amazing unflappable human robot-a-tron" all the time ... you''ll GAIN in deeper relationships & the comfort you''ll get in knowing that people will LOVE THE FLAWED IMPERFECT YOU way more than they ever loved the "Turbo Elledizzy 1000".
 

fieryred33143

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Being able to share your excitement/sadness with the ones you love and trust the most = opening up emotionally

Running to every single person in your life to tell them the details of your day and asking them for their opinion on everything that happens to you = drama queen
 

Lauren8211

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Gwen and Deco - this has helped tremendously. You saved me 120/hr+ for therapy.


I know that the on/off friend always felt like I was judging her. I wasn''t not judging her, ever! Now I realize she may think that way because I don''t ever show her my issues and weaknesses. I''m coming off as high-and-mighty. I don''t think that friendship will work (there are an endless number of other issues), but it''s good to know this, because she''s not the only one who has said it.

Gwen, I do tell people that I just like to keep it to myself, but it just doesn''t seem to work for everyone, especially the friend I''ve been having issues with. I guess I could complain about something, but that feels fake. I want it to be authentic. I can''t seem to get there.

Deco, I hear you on the relationship issue. I just don''t know how break it down like that. At least I realize now what the problem is. I do need deeper relationships. I don''t have any, except with FF. I feel lonely at times, but apparently not lonely enough to let someone see me cry once in a while. The thought of doing that is actually making me queasy right now.

Ok. I guess I am emotionally closed off. Dammit! I was hoping they were all just crazy.
 

Lauren8211

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Date: 2/20/2009 10:52:31 AM
Author: fieryred33143
Being able to share your excitement/sadness with the ones you love and trust the most = opening up emotionally

Running to every single person in your life to tell them the details of your day and asking them for their opinion on everything that happens to you = drama queen
That''s what I thought, too!

I DO tell people fun stuff and sad stuff, but that''s not what they want, apparently. They want to see me depend on someone else, or cry, or something. ANYTHING.

The people demand more!
 

Dreamgirl

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Date: 2/20/2009 10:16:38 AM
Author:elledizzy5
I leave all the whining to you PSers! Haha. I''m better friends with guys. We can joke around, have a beer, and be stupid. No pressure.

I am, however, straightforward with friends. I tell them when I''m pissed off, or if there is a problem. Isn''t this opening up?
Geee....thanks
lol Kidding, you know
I''m actually sometimes better friend with guys as well. Or older women. Usually not with gals my age. I too will tell ANYONE when I''m upset as well. I think that''s clearly opening up.

I wouldn''t read too much into this. I think you are being too hard on yourself. It''s just your personality. And you even said yourself that when asked...you tell. If you don''t feel comfortable giving up personal information, you shoudn''t feel obligated to do so because your friends want you to...you know?
 

Lauren8211

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Date: 2/20/2009 11:09:36 AM
Author: Dreamgirl

Date: 2/20/2009 10:16:38 AM
Author:elledizzy5
I leave all the whining to you PSers! Haha. I''m better friends with guys. We can joke around, have a beer, and be stupid. No pressure.

I am, however, straightforward with friends. I tell them when I''m pissed off, or if there is a problem. Isn''t this opening up?
Geee....thanks
lol Kidding, you know
I''m actually sometimes better friend with guys as well. Or older women. Usually not with gals my age. I too will tell ANYONE when I''m upset as well. I think that''s clearly opening up.

I wouldn''t read too much into this. I think you are being too hard on yourself. It''s just your personality. And you even said yourself that when asked...you tell. If you don''t feel comfortable giving up personal information, you shoudn''t feel obligated to do so because your friends want you to...you know?
LOL.. whatever DG!! You love my whining


It may be my personality, but if I''m alienating people... I have to fix it, ya know? Everyone has tendencies, but when mine are affecting other people, they need to change. I can''t go through my whole life without any good girlfriends just because I''m afraid to cry in front of them.

This is something I need to learn. I am likely this way because of my past, and I may be stubborn... but that makes me even more adamant about changing it. I''m not about to allow having my trust abused as a kid make me a closed-off lonely adult. Then they''ve just won again.
 

decodelighted

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Date: 2/20/2009 11:00:08 AM
Author: elledizzy5
Deco, I hear you on the relationship issue. I just don''t know how break it down like that. At least I realize now what the problem is. I do need deeper relationships. I don''t have any, except with FF. I feel lonely at times, but apparently not lonely enough to let someone see me cry once in a while. The thought of doing that is actually making me queasy right now.
It''s a process ... you don''t have to jump in all at once! And it def. gets easier over time ... once you survive the first emotionally vulnerable moment w/a friend & feel that sense of *relief* that you can do it & the later benefits of increased closeness.

I will say that you should choose people carefully. Sometimes the people pressing for closeness the MOST might have ulterior motives (maybe the on/off friend?) But emotionally-stable family members are a good place to start. Sisters? You *best* girlfriend ... one you really trust but have been trying to "save the trouble" of your angst?

Whether you try talk therapy or self-help books or just reading about stuff online ... I do wish you much luck in sorting through this stuff! The day I realized most everyone else was putting on a social mask & was secretly all messed up inside (like I felt) was the happiest day of my life! It still took a while to get comfortable sharing all my mess w/others though. Baby steps.
 

Dreamgirl

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Date: 2/20/2009 10:41:11 AM
Author: elledizzy5
I go home with migraines. I throw up. I can''t sleep. I can''t eat. I cry. FF sees this... no one else does. (well, i guess now you guys know)
Oh goodness. How often does this happen to you?
 

gwendolyn

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Date: 2/20/2009 11:00:08 AM
Author: elledizzy5
Gwen and Deco - this has helped tremendously. You saved me 120/hr+ for therapy.
That''s what you think. Our bill is in the mail!


I know that the on/off friend always felt like I was judging her. I wasn''t not judging her, ever! Now I realize she may think that way because I don''t ever show her my issues and weaknesses. I''m coming off as high-and-mighty. I don''t think that friendship will work (there are an endless number of other issues), but it''s good to know this, because she''s not the only one who has said it.


Gwen, I do tell people that I just like to keep it to myself, but it just doesn''t seem to work for everyone, especially the friend I''ve been having issues with. I guess I could complain about something, but that feels fake. I want it to be authentic. I can''t seem to get there.


Deco, I hear you on the relationship issue. I just don''t know how break it down like that. At least I realize now what the problem is. I do need deeper relationships. I don''t have any, except with FF. I feel lonely at times, but apparently not lonely enough to let someone see me cry once in a while. The thought of doing that is actually making me queasy right now.


Ok. I guess I am emotionally closed off. Dammit! I was hoping they were all just crazy.
Haha! Hey, it''s not easy to show your more vulnerable side to people, and when you do, it certainly won''t feel that great at the time (at least not at the start) because you''re putting yourself out there, and they can either help you or hurt you depending on how they respond. And not everyone knows how to deal with a crying or angry friend, so it''s entirely possible they wouldn''t offer some sort of miraculously awesome advice even if you *did* confide something in them. But even if they did fumble around a bit to help you, they would feel like they saw part of the real you--not to say the strong, self-sufficient you isn''t real too because it certainly is, but you''d have to let your guard down to be exposed like that in front of them, and that shows them you trust them. Shows them that you can have faults or problems or worries like they do. Is it possible that maybe they don''t feel like you trust them because you never show it in your actions?

Not to say you should orchestrate some sort of grandiose display of distress so they can comfort you, but maybe you could take baby steps towards being more open. Perhaps the next time you are bothered by something, try telling them about it (no matter how uncomfortable it may make you; it isn''t ''fake'' if it''s true) instead of throwing your walls up and saying (either mentally or out loud), "Oh, it''s fine, I''m fine--so what about the weather?" Maybe...?
 

Dreamgirl

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Date: 2/20/2009 11:13:49 AM
Author: elledizzy5
LOL.. whatever DG!! You love my whining


It may be my personality, but if I''m alienating people... I have to fix it, ya know? Everyone has tendencies, but when mine are affecting other people, they need to change. I can''t go through my whole life without any good girlfriends just because I''m afraid to cry in front of them.

This is something I need to learn. I am likely this way because of my past, and I may be stubborn... but that makes me even more adamant about changing it. I''m not about to allow having my trust abused as a kid make me a closed-off lonely adult. Then they''ve just won again.
YES I DOOOO

I hear you though. I can see your point.
 

gwendolyn

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Date: 2/20/2009 11:19:08 AM
Author: Dreamgirl
Date: 2/20/2009 10:41:11 AM

Author: elledizzy5

I go home with migraines. I throw up. I can't sleep. I can't eat. I cry. FF sees this... no one else does. (well, i guess now you guys know)
Oh goodness. How often does this happen to you?
That sounds like internalized stress, which is possibly exacerbated by keeping it locked away when people ask you how you are. Have you ever talked to or thought about talking to a counselor or a doctor about these problems, honey? *hugshugshugs*
 

Lauren8211

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Date: 2/20/2009 11:16:00 AM
Author: decodelighted

It''s a process ... you don''t have to jump in all at once! And it def. gets easier over time ... once you survive the first emotionally vulnerable moment w/a friend & feel that sense of *relief* that you can do it & the later benefits of increased closeness.

I will say that you should choose people carefully. Sometimes the people pressing for closeness the MOST might have ulterior motives (maybe the on/off friend?) But emotionally-stable family members are a good place to start. Sisters? You *best* girlfriend ... one you really trust but have been trying to ''save the trouble'' of your angst?

Whether you try talk therapy or self-help books or just reading about stuff online ... I do wish you much luck in sorting through this stuff! The day I realized most everyone else was putting on a social mask & was secretly all messed up inside (like I felt) was the happiest day of my life! It still took a while to get comfortable sharing all my mess w/others though. Baby steps.
Sad to say, but the on/off again girl was my best girl friend, and it clearly doesn''t work. I don''t have many close friends. The ones I get along best with are guys, and they''d do just fine without the tears.

I have one other girl friend who I''ve known since I was 3 we''re not that close (she thinks i''m closed off
), but I really trust her. I just feel like if I called one day and tried to lay it out on her she''d be like "Holy crap, where did my *real* Elledizzy go and WHO is this?"

Maybe I should just start trying to slowly develop a better relationship with her. She''s always been there for me.

On a side note, I love the self-help books, but always feel like such a nerd buying them. Guess I can''t open up to the Borders cashier, either.
 

Lauren8211

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Date: 2/20/2009 11:25:53 AM
Author: gwendolyn

Date: 2/20/2009 11:19:08 AM
Author: Dreamgirl

Date: 2/20/2009 10:41:11 AM

Author: elledizzy5

I go home with migraines. I throw up. I can''t sleep. I can''t eat. I cry. FF sees this... no one else does. (well, i guess now you guys know)
Oh goodness. How often does this happen to you?
That sounds like internalized stress, which is possibly exacerbated by keeping it locked away when people ask you how you are. Have you ever talked to or thought about talking to a counselor or a doctor about these problems, honey? *hugshugshugs*
It''s not as often as I made it seem, but it''s there. I used to throw up daily because of it. ( I was a lot thinner then!) I do have constant headache and sleeping issues though. I haven''t had a good night''s sleep in WEEKS, but I am in the midst of finals, so the stress is even higher right now.

I''ve talked to a therapist many times. But I quit... because... well... i''m emotionally closed off. It gets too deep.

Right now i have no insurance, so therapy is OUT. One of these days I will start and stick to it.
 

gwendolyn

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Date: 2/20/2009 11:29:54 AM
Author: elledizzy5
Date: 2/20/2009 11:25:53 AM

Author: gwendolyn


Date: 2/20/2009 11:19:08 AM

Author: Dreamgirl


Date: 2/20/2009 10:41:11 AM


Author: elledizzy5


I go home with migraines. I throw up. I can''t sleep. I can''t eat. I cry. FF sees this... no one else does. (well, i guess now you guys know)
Oh goodness. How often does this happen to you?
That sounds like internalized stress, which is possibly exacerbated by keeping it locked away when people ask you how you are. Have you ever talked to or thought about talking to a counselor or a doctor about these problems, honey? *hugshugshugs*
It''s not as often as I made it seem, but it''s there. I used to throw up daily because of it. ( I was a lot thinner then!) I do have constant headache and sleeping issues though. I haven''t had a good night''s sleep in WEEKS, but I am in the midst of finals, so the stress is even higher right now.


I''ve talked to a therapist many times. But I quit... because... well... i''m emotionally closed off. It gets too deep.


Right now i have no insurance, so therapy is OUT. One of these days I will start and stick to it.
Well, it may sound hokey but if you''ve started to open up to us on PS (a far cry from real-life friends, for sure, but it''s a start!), maybe you''re already changing towards being more emotionally available.

And although I''m totally an amateur, I''m always willing to listen and offer input (quality may vary
), so if you ever want to email me, please please PLEASE go ahead. I can message an admin right now to give you my email address right now so you have it, just in case...if you want?
 

Bia

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Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
6,181
I think Elle, it''s a process. There are probably good reasons why you''re a more closed off person. It has nothing to do with being unloving, uncaring or uninvolved.

Not to get too Freudian or anything, but it could have something to do with your upbringing, self-esteem, or fears, etc. Just as an example, my mother was very much like this when she met my dad. In her case (not to say this was yours) she was raised in a household that was not overly affectionate...loving maybe, but dysfunctional at the same time. When she met my dad, she had a hard time because he is very emotionally upfront (very open about his feelings), whereas she is not. She held a lot of things inside, and when people told her she was cold, she''d just close up even more. It took her awhile, but eventually she decided that she wanted to be more open, especially if she was going to have children. So she worked on it, slowly but surely. Years later, she definitely DOES NOT wear her heart on her sleeve, but she is more aware that she has to give more of herself to those she cares about. And now she does...as a result she has been able to hold on to relationships that might have been lost.

Obviously I don''t know you in person (though I wish I did), so I can''t speak from experience in your case, BUT I will say that you are doing the right thing (IMO). If people that care about you are telling you the same story, then it is worth it to try and understand why, and how you can be better--and that is what you''re doing. Take it in baby steps. You''re fully capable, as you have a big heart and a smart head.

(((HUGS))) mama.
 

Bia

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Date: 2/20/2009 11:35:50 AM
Author: gwendolyn
And although I''m totally an amateur, I''m always willing to listen and offer input (quality may vary
), so if you ever want to email me, please please PLEASE go ahead. I can message an admin right now to give you my email address right now so you have it, just in case...if you want?
Ditto sweetie. I''m here if you need me, and will do the same. You''re my girl
 

fieryred33143

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
6,689
Elle

Have you taken the Myers-Brigg test? There are different versions offered online. It''s a personality test and is usually very spot on.

I guess for me I don''t see that you are doing anything wrong but that''s because I tend to be an introvert and at the same time somewhat cold person. Being an introvert, I don''t wear my emotions on my sleeve. I analyze my feelings and situations myself (PS excluded
) and don''t run to others to cry/vent. I''ve been told in the past that I''m cold but this is also from the same people that happen to be the drama queens in my life. Those that want to talk about every single thing that is going on in detail with no breaks in between.

My ex-friend was one of these people. She used to always say that I''m too cold and never open up. But that wasn''t true. I just reserve those intimate moments for people that I feel will actually listen and genuinely care (my mom, FI, brothers, and one cousin). The funny side story is that when I finally did want to open up to her, she didn''t practice active listening (whereas my "confidants" do actively listen). She would just focus on the part that related to her, stop listening, and then turn it around on herself. That''s how emotional vampires are so be cautious that this friend of yours isn''t the same way.

One of the good things about being an introvert though is that it makes me a very good listener and therefore a very good friend. I pick up on what others are feeling easily and I can give honest advice to anyone that asks (or doesn''t ask
).

What I''m trying to say is that if being quiet is part of who you are, there''s nothing wrong with that. What is unhealthy is keeping your feelings bottled up inside. I think that every person should have those select few that they can lean on in tough times. We weren''t meant to be alone in this world so you need these people in your life. But that can just be your mom/sibling and fiance. It doesn''t have to be every childhood friend you''ve ever had.

If you feel that you have a healthy and stable outlet where you can run to in times of need and that you don''t have to bottle everything up inside, then I don''t think you would need additional therapy to open up more. Knowing whether you have that outlet or not is key.
 

Lauren8211

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
11,073
Man, you guys are so supportive! I really wish I knew you in person!

Gwen, and Bia - that is such a nice offer. I would love to have your emails, just-in-case. It may take me a while to use it, but it''s so nice to know that it is there. I get a bit of anxiety about initiating contact with people. ( Man, I''m digging a "this girl is bat-shiz crazy" hole for myself today! Just call me Britney.
)

It''s always been a lot easier for me to open up onilne, because even if you do judge me, I can write it off as "whatever, it''s the internet" but when you say something that helps, I can take it to heart. When you spill it with people in your life, I can''t blame the screen name, unfortunately.

You''re right about the upbringing stuff, Bia! I''ve been working through it, and occasionally i get to dead-ends, like this one. I just don''t know where to go from here, but I''m open to trying anything.
 

Lauren8211

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
11,073
Date: 2/20/2009 11:46:53 AM
Author: fieryred33143
Elle

Have you taken the Myers-Brigg test? There are different versions offered online. It''s a personality test and is usually very spot on.

I guess for me I don''t see that you are doing anything wrong but that''s because I tend to be an introvert and at the same time somewhat cold person. Being an introvert, I don''t wear my emotions on my sleeve. I analyze my feelings and situations myself (PS excluded
) and don''t run to others to cry/vent. I''ve been told in the past that I''m cold but this is also from the same people that happen to be the drama queens in my life. Those that want to talk about every single thing that is going on in detail with no breaks in between.

My ex-friend was one of these people. She used to always say that I''m too cold and never open up. But that wasn''t true. I just reserve those intimate moments for people that I feel will actually listen and genuinely care (my mom, FI, brothers, and one cousin). The funny side story is that when I finally did want to open up to her, she didn''t practice active listening (whereas my ''confidants'' do actively listen). She would just focus on the part that related to her, stop listening, and then turn it around on herself. That''s how emotional vampires are so be cautious that this friend of yours isn''t the same way.

One of the good things about being an introvert though is that it makes me a very good listener and therefore a very good friend. I pick up on what others are feeling easily and I can give honest advice to anyone that asks (or doesn''t ask
).

What I''m trying to say is that if being quiet is part of who you are, there''s nothing wrong with that. What is unhealthy is keeping your feelings bottled up inside. I think that every person should have those select few that they can lean on in tough times. We weren''t meant to be alone in this world so you need these people in your life. But that can just be your mom/sibling and fiance. It doesn''t have to be every childhood friend you''ve ever had.

If you feel that you have a healthy and stable outlet where you can run to in times of need and that you don''t have to bottle everything up inside, then I don''t think you would need additional therapy to open up more. Knowing whether you have that outlet or not is key.
Thanks Fiery!

I have Myers-Briggs''ed myself. I''m an INFJ! So it makes sense that i''d Myers-briggs myself.


You are right, I should be OK with being an introvert, but I don''t want to alienate people. I still need closeness, even if I''m not the best at it.

The bottling up stuff is no good, but i''ve been doing that for SO LONG it''s hard to get out. My only "outlet" is my FF. Not my mom. No other family, really. I don''t feel that''s enough for me. I wish I could be closer, and i''m not happy with the way it is. I don''t feel fulfilled.

My ''friend'' that I mentioned, our friendship is a lot like your friendship ( i use the term loosely) with the one who snapped at you at her rehearsal dinner. (I''ve followed that story, because I can really relate) Long time friends, an odd amount of loyalty to her, but I''m not sure why, when she''s not very nice. I won''t be trying this whole "opening up" thing to her.
 

Dreamgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
5,070
Date: 2/20/2009 11:48:52 AM
Author: elledizzy5
Gwen, and Bia - that is such a nice offer. I would love to have your emails, just-in-case. It may take me a while to use it, but it''s so nice to know that it is there. I get a bit of anxiety about initiating contact with people.
Heyyyyyyyyy...........I want in on that! lol
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,534
Date: 2/20/2009 11:55:01 AM
Author: elledizzy5
My ''friend'' that I mentioned, our friendship is a lot like your friendship ( i use the term loosely) with the one who snapped at you at her rehearsal dinner. (I''ve followed that story, because I can really relate) Long time friends, an odd amount of loyalty to her, but I''m not sure why, when she''s not very nice. I won''t be trying this whole ''opening up'' thing to her.
Good self-preservation skills: check! If this had all been about *her* reaction to you I wouldn''t have had the same opinion. Another bonus to working on this over time is that there won''t be as much pressure on your FF to be your *only* support system emotionally. That can be wearing over time ...
 

Dreamgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
5,070
Date: 2/20/2009 11:29:54 AM
Author: elledizzy5

Date: 2/20/2009 11:25:53 AM
Author: gwendolyn


Date: 2/20/2009 11:19:08 AM
Author: Dreamgirl


Date: 2/20/2009 10:41:11 AM

Author: elledizzy5

I go home with migraines. I throw up. I can''t sleep. I can''t eat. I cry. FF sees this... no one else does. (well, i guess now you guys know)
Oh goodness. How often does this happen to you?
That sounds like internalized stress, which is possibly exacerbated by keeping it locked away when people ask you how you are. Have you ever talked to or thought about talking to a counselor or a doctor about these problems, honey? *hugshugshugs*
It''s not as often as I made it seem, but it''s there. I used to throw up daily because of it. ( I was a lot thinner then!) I do have constant headache and sleeping issues though. I haven''t had a good night''s sleep in WEEKS, but I am in the midst of finals, so the stress is even higher right now.

I''ve talked to a therapist many times. But I quit... because... well... i''m emotionally closed off. It gets too deep.

Right now i have no insurance, so therapy is OUT. One of these days I will start and stick to it.
Awwwwwww sweetie I''m so sorry to hear about all of this.
 

gwendolyn

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
6,770
Date: 2/20/2009 11:48:52 AM
Author: elledizzy5
Man, you guys are so supportive! I really wish I knew you in person!


Gwen, and Bia - that is such a nice offer. I would love to have your emails, just-in-case. It may take me a while to use it, but it''s so nice to know that it is there. I get a bit of anxiety about initiating contact with people. ( Man, I''m digging a ''this girl is bat-shiz crazy'' hole for myself today! Just call me Britney.
)


It''s always been a lot easier for me to open up onilne, because even if you do judge me, I can write it off as ''whatever, it''s the internet'' but when you say something that helps, I can take it to heart. When you spill it with people in your life, I can''t blame the screen name, unfortunately.


You''re right about the upbringing stuff, Bia! I''ve been working through it, and occasionally i get to dead-ends, like this one. I just don''t know where to go from here, but I''m open to trying anything.
Ok, I sent a message to the admins asking them to pass my email on to you (I think that''s how it''s done here, jah?). You have to at least send me one email as a test to make sure you''ve got it right and all that jazz, ok?


-Gwen (aka Kristin)
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
10,541
I think there''s a big difference between opening up emotionally and being "open". Some people are very direct and honest, but still don''t share their deep thoughts and feelings, so they seem "closed" to those who are close to them. I think being open emotionally is showing vulnerability and being open to the pros and cons of relationships. I think it involves empathy and looking at situations from perspectives other than their own.

Just my $.02
 
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