On Letting People In

How do you say, “I need you” without letting yourself become vulnerable? I wish I knew. Because sometimes I really do need you, but I just don’t know how to put the words together.

In the past, I’ve allowed myself to become vulnerable with all the wrong people. So because of that, I think I’m a little bit more guarded now. I’m not sure which people to open up to and which ones to keep my distance from. I wish I knew. I wish I could see how my friendships with people will play out.

One of my biggest problems is that I want people to be there when I’m struggling with anxiety or just having an extra stressful day but I also don’t want to talk about it. I know just about anything will feel like rejection when I’m that down, so I don’t often even call anyone. If I do, I don’t say anything is wrong. I just say that I wanted to talk or I come up with some random excuse to call. But I won’t talk about it.

And I realize this is confusing, and I don’t blame you for being unaware of my problems. I understand that in order to get help I’ll usually have to be the one to ask for it. I especially realize this because my problems aren’t so big that they stare you in the face. No, they’re actually rather small compared to some of the problems I’ve heard from other people. But this isn’t about comparing myself to other people. This is about being honest.

How can I be honest without letting you in? Because I don’t want to let you in. Becoming that vulnerable is too terrifying. But I know that having you in my life has been so helpful to me. So I do want to let you in. I’m just not sure I can do it without feeling like I’m falling apart. And what if you don’t even care? What if my vulnerability doesn’t mean anything to you.

This is the struggle I’ve been through on more than one occasion with some of my friends. Letting people in can be a challenge, and it can be scary. Sometimes it’ll cause heartache when people don’t return the affection, and other times it’ll end up being the best decision ever to let people in.

So I keep doing it. And I keep hoping that I’m right when I open myself up to someone new. But if not, I know I’m capable of picking myself back up. Plus, I know of at least a couple people I can trust – a few real friends who will stick by my side. And that is the best thing in the world.

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