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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Do you let people into your heart, or do you keep everyone at arm's length and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (33861 points ) 4 weeks ago

Pretty straight forward. Thoughts?

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13 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

Do you let people into your heart, or do you keep everyone at arm’s length?
Everyone I meet are kept at arm’s length. But I try to get to know them, and when they turn out to be the kind of people I like, I slowly open my heart to them, like reaching my arm and pulling them closer. I give more personal information and trust them more. And there are also people I hate too. They are kept at ocean’s length :P I like people generally that’s why I get to know them, it’s just I have to be cautious.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
If you keep everyone at arm’s length, you will be safer since you don’t have to reveal your personal information or put too much trust, but you don’t have a chance to make friend and understand people. And letting people into your heart will give you friends and companions, but you will also risk getting betrayed.

thorninmud's avatar

There’s a private and a public aspect to this. There really aren’t many barriers to getting into my heart; that open door policy is pretty much my default option. But we’re socially complicated creatures, and you have to know how to respect boundaries. People who emotionally glom onto others without respecting the conventional layers of process raise all kinds of alarms in others.

So privately, chances are I think you’re wonderful. Publicly, I’ll respect the ages-old social dance that honors everyone’s comfort zone.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Only cardiologist get anywhere near my heart.

As for my emotions – I’m picky. People earn their way.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I will start my reply with the story of A Perfect Heart. I came across this many years ago and thought it was an appropriate parable for my own experience.

I am the type of person that tends to extend my hand and open my heart to any stranger in need. To be sure, I have been called naive, and on occasion I have truly deserved the label. I have always been a “Think with your heart” kind of guy. It was only later in life that I learned that the follow-up should be ”...and follow with your mind.”

Advantages and disadvantages? They are obvious to me, but I will share my perceptions: The disadvantages of living through one’s heart: a tender heart can be easily broken, scarred, maimed, or otherwise damaged. Sometimes so much so that, as in the story, there is may be painful memories or “holes” attached to a memory. The advantages are also illustrated beautifully by the story. If my heart was beautiful and untouched, I would have none of the beautiful memories of experiences based upon love.

Haleth's avatar

THE SOUL selects her own society,
Then shuts the door;
On her divine majority
Obtrude no more.

Unmoved, she notes the chariot’s pausing
At her low gate;
Unmoved, an emperor is kneeling
Upon her mat.

I’ve known her from an ample nation
Choose one;
Then close the valves of her attention
Like stone. -Emily Dickinson

longgone's avatar

I let lots of people in. Weirdly, I have a default “secretive” mode – I share feelings when I need to, but I often wait to share plans.

My parents regularly argued about honesty…”Where have you been?” situations. I think I may have inherited my dad’s secretive vibe. Luckily, though, I’m much more loyal.

Pachy's avatar

[sigh]—like my Mac, my is protected with a password-heavy firewall these days. Would take a pretty good hacker to break in.

Pachy's avatar

[sigh]—like my Mac, my heart is protected with a password-heavy firewall these days. Would take a pretty good hacker to break in.

janbb's avatar

I am trying to learn to not let some people into my heart.

hearkat's avatar

I wish I knew the words to express my views on this, I’ll try my best.

To me, when people talk about ‘giving someone their heart’, it seems like they have placed some sort of expectations on them, and/or that they depend on the other for some sense of fulfillment. But I guess I could say that I have a revolving door policy (to borrow from @thorninmud‘s analogy). I accept that people will come and go throughout our lives, and that each person has their own histories and futures and complex storyline. I respect that we are separate entities and do not base my own sense of self-worth on my relationship with them.

I love my son as much as any parent could love their child, but I don’t define myself as a ‘mother’. When he attempted suicide several years ago, I was sad and concerned, but not distraught. He has his own path to follow, and I have guided him this far as well as I could. I love my sweetheart as much as I’ve loved anyone, but I do not define myself as a ‘fiancée’. When the time comes for us to say goodbye – whether parted by death or other circumstances – my heart will break, but I won’t be destroyed. I am Kat, with or without them.

I am my own self with anyone, whether we’ve just met or I’ve known them since before I can remember. I offer my love, support and encouragement to anyone, and do my best not to judge people but to allow them to reveal their character to me. I take each individual at face value and if someone proves themselves untrustworthy, I will no longer put my trust in them—but that does not mean that I no longer wish them well.

There was a time when I did emotionally depend on my son and my sweetheart to be reflections of myself and to be my source of happiness. There was a lot of drama when things weren’t going the way I wanted them to or hoped they would. Human nature being what it is, it was rare that things were peachy-keen, so we all wound up miserable. Once I learned to be accountable for myself and to place others’ self-responsibility in their hands, I developed a sense of integrity and found that life is more harmonious and content, and my capacity for love has expanded.

hug_of_war's avatar

Well being vulnerable with other people has only resulted in pain. So I try really hard to not do it anymore. There are times when it sucks, like two days ago when someone stole my phone and I was left at a bus station in a city I don’t know. I was lost for nearly 5 hours before I found my way home. It would have been great to use a payphone (which weirdly still exist around here) and call someone to pick me up. But I had no one so I had to suffer alone. That sucks, but life sucks.

Every time in my life I’ve turned to another person for help, revealed parts of myself, I just end up more hurt in the end. I’m never the person people choose to be with, I’m always the tag-along, I’m always the last picked and after a while it starts to eat into you. I just can’t cope anymore with thinking I mean X to a person when really I mean nothing to them. It hurts too much.

Adagio's avatar

I will allow myself to be vulnerable with those I deem worthy of the privilege. I would consider it utterly foolish to wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve with anyone and everyone.

hearkat's avatar

What do I have to lose by being open and honest with others? I don’t feel vulnerable by wearing my heart on my sleeve, because my sense of self-integrity is strong.

I’ve been through so much in the first 40 years of my life, that I eventually realized that those assholes didn’t actually hurt or damage me in any way—I realized that I was still the same person that I was before they took advantage of me, mistreated me, walked all over me, and broke my heart.

It was my own self-perception that I was worthless and damaged that held me back – not anything that they did. If anything, they really made me stronger, because I have proof that my ‘spirit’ is whole and complete.

Once I came to that awareness, I no longer tolerated mistreatment by others. I learned to give of myself and expect nothing in return.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt, This is My Story

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