Is it better to be open or guarded?

Question is in the title. When getting to know people, is it better to be more open and therefore possibly be able to connect with people on a more personal/emotional level, or is it better to have your guard up and be more cautious so they don't know too much too soon (before you can trust them) and/or can't hurt you?

I've vacillated between wanting to share too much information at first and not sharing enough. Is there a happy medium? Sometimes opening up and spilling a deep feeling or insecurity can help you connect with someone, but sometimes it can backfire and they can use it against you or judge you.

What do you think?
 
Good question.

If there is a good medium, I would not have a clue how to achieve that. :idontknow:
I keep my guard up for too long based on past experiences of getting hurt. This has caused me to miss possible friendships.

For some over sensitive people sometimes the missing out on connections with people can be less painful then the hurt of the opening up having it backfire on us.:thinking:
 
Guarded. Definitely.


Edit: I say that because it seems that every person i meet changes within weeks or months of meeting them. So id rather not let anyone in my true thoughts and feelings. There's only two men in the world i trust: one of them's dead and the other'n ain't here. When i meet new people I'm polite but i don't do anything but small talk, and while I'm around them i study every twitch, every tic, every nervous glance towards the ground, listening intently for them to contradict themselves at any time, just sizing them up. Much like an animal watching its prey. I figure its a defense mechanism. I have to know someone several years to trust them at all for anything.
 
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DepravedFurball

Well-known member
Guarded.

First-impressions are essential foundations for blossoming friendships, and if you come out spewing all your self-perceived faults, they're going to assume that you're the type of person who just b.itches and complains about themselves constantly. Thus... it would not work out well.

Give-and-take or 'quid pro quo' are the best options. You gain a little info, and toss some right back, build up the foundations, *then* drop a bomb on it.

That's if you're looking to make friends. I just look for people that I can trust, and am completely up front with my short-comings. If they stick around, all that much better, but if they look at you like you're crazy, then you don't have any qualms about letting them walk away.
 

S_Spartan

Well-known member
I find that it doesn't matter either way, things still don't seem to go anywhere...I've played both sides of the court to little or no effect.
 

SoScared

Well-known member
Guarded – Socially one would share interesting non personal conversation. Talking about oneself is considered a conversational faux pas. BORING, who likes people who just talk about themselves?
 

planetweirdo

Well-known member
I always keep my guard up with people that I don't know well. I don't know if that's the right thing to do, but I'm afraid to let my guard down with people that I don't know well.
 
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Like a hand of cards, play the safe, lower value cards first to feel your way before revealing the others in your hand.

Not that I would know cards or relationships
 

hidwell

Well-known member
As I very rarely meet people, this isn't an issue for me. If it were I would most definitely keep my distance and say as little as possible.
 

Graeme1988

Hie yer hence from me heath!
If it were I would most definitely keep my distance and say as little as possible.
Ah actually dae this wi' ma family a lot... Don't know what that says aboot me? Or mibbe it coz am a bit introverted than the rest uh ma family. :idontknow:
 

Hoppy

Well-known member
Guarded with the wrong people, open with the right people.

The problem is that the only way to find out if you were right is when you found you were wrong.

I hope that makes sense.

I go with the guarded part. With everybody. Never not been bitten.
 

theoutsider

Well-known member
Guarded works best for me. I've been open in the past and had whatever information given freely used against me. So better to guard myself than be at the mercy of other's meanness, selfishness or insecurities.
 

Kiwong

Well-known member
I think I am too open sometimes, and I make mistakes with how I react to people, but being guarded is the barrier that my anxiety puts up in front of the world, and that is what is destroying my world.

I would like to disappear, I'm too lost and broken to continue this fight.
 

Pacific_Loner

Pirate from the North Pole
I think I am too open sometimes, and I make mistakes with how I react to people, but being guarded is the barrier that my anxiety puts up in front of the world, and that is what is destroying my world.

I would like to disappear, I'm too lost and broken to continue this fight.
Kiwong where is your optimism gone? I hope it comes back :/

About the topic, I don't know if it's because english is not my first language, but why does everyone seem to think "opening up" means having a self-loathing conversation with someone?
 

Kiwong

Well-known member
Having a bad night, Pacific, one of my worst for a long while. Thanks for your thoughts they mean a lot. When I see the sun come up tomorrow I hope to feel better.
 

planemo

Well-known member
I think it depends on the people you're around. It's probably better to be guarded against people who notice you're guarded and may make you aware of it. That shows that they probably read a lot into your behaviour around them and perhaps will find fault if you say too much or say the wrong thing by mistake.

It's good to be open are care free around people who are open and care free, and who don't make a habit of 'reading between the lines' whenever you do or don't say anything.
 

Odo

Banned
I'm going to be a rebel and say it's better to be open.

Most people aren't trying to hurt you-- being open doesn't mean you should just start telling everyone all of the awkward, embarrassing details of your life, just that it's better to assume that people have the best intentions and that you can trust them not to be a **** if you're honest with them and show them who you are from the beginning. People tend to reciprocate/mirror your mood so if you're guarded they're probably going to be put off/be guarded as well, and then you've just lost a potential friend/acquaintance.

If someone is too guarded at first I'm usually put off by it... I mean, if someone is making the effort to get to know you and you keep shutting them out, it makes them regret even bothering to try. I have to admit sometimes my anxiety has gotten the better of me and by not opening up I have made some truly lovely people feel awful/creepy/rejected.
 
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