Just wear your heart on your sleeve. I don’t know who came up with that little bit of BS wisdom, but life doesn’t work that way. Go ahead and ask someone who’s tried it. Either they’ve never experienced anything bad in life or they’ve gotten so hurt it’d take years to pierce the walls around their heart.
I get it; it’s a wonderful idea on the surface. Be open and vulnerable and nothing but good will happen. We don’t live in a utopia. Openness and vulnerability are great, but not around everyone all the time. Honestly, would you be as vulnerable with your boss as you would your best friend? No. This is exactly why no one actually wears their heart on their sleeve. It’s not practical and it’s not possible.
- Everyone has reservations. I don’t care how supposedly open and caring you are. Everyone has their own reservations. You might trust a stranger almost completely, but there are still some things you hold back. It’s your instincts kicking in. Sure, you can be too reserved, but it’s kind of like knowing what to share and what not to share on social media. Holding back sometimes is the best idea.
- It’s hard to be that vulnerable all the time. Yes, there are times, such as in a committed relationship, where you should let yourself be vulnerable. Other times, it takes more work than it’s worth. When you’re so focused on trying to be vulnerable, you end up stressing yourself out. Trust me, it’ll come naturally when you’re ready. Until then, it’s okay to be a little closed off.
- It’s too damn stressful. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is like going out everyday completely naked, smiling and pretending like you don’t care that everyone’s staring. It doesn’t matter how confident you are, you do care, at least a little. Eventually, it gets too stressful dealing with all the hits to your ego.
- Being open and naive are two different things. If you want to experience life and love, you’re going to have to be open. But you don’t have to be naive. Trusting blindly and completely is going to get you into trouble. Trusting a little and letting someone gradually earn your completely trust is the better option.
- You’ll get hurt, often. I remember early in high school I had that whole heart on sleeve mentality. Now, people call me cynical. What happened? I gave everyone the benefit of the doubt and got hurt often. It didn’t take me long to realize everyone else didn’t care about how I felt. Some did, but those were the people who taught me to keep some of my heart closed off from those who didn’t deserve me.
- Everybody isn’t worth of it. Speaking of not deserving me, I can honestly say not everyone’s worth your trust and vulnerability. You’re not a bad person for holding back. You’re protecting yourself. Why waste your time and energy on people who don’t deserve all you have to give? Let them earn their way into your heart.
- It makes you overly emotional. Yes, you get crazy emotional when your heart is out there for everyone to break. You’ll be ultra happy when things go right, but all it takes is one negative loser to break you and send you off to cry yourself to sleep. Basically, you’re this raw emotional time bomb. No one should ever have to be that raw.
- It’s just an overused cliche. Cliches are fun. They inspire, they make us laugh and sometimes they’re just plain stupid. Like this one. You can be open without being way the hell too open.
- You deserve to be in control of your heart. The more you wear it on your sleeve, the less control you have. I know it sounds a little strange, but think of it like being a major pop star. The more you’re in the spotlight, the less privacy you have. The more you put your heart out there, the more it’ll be mistreated. At least when you’re a pop star, you’re making millions. With your heart, you’re just getting hurt.
- Guys are confused enough. I can’t tell you how many times a guy got pissed because I said “hi” and then didn’t want to go out with him. Honestly, just being nice makes many guys think you’re flirting. Now imagine how many mixed signals they get when you’re wearing your heart on your sleeve. They’re honestly going to think you’re already in love with them.
- You’re an easy target. I can say from experience that you will get walked all over. You seem friendlier, nicer and you’re more willing to do things for others. All of this is great, but if you don’t know how to hold back a little, you become an easy target for others to take advantage of. These people don’t mind using you and breaking your heart. Be careful and don’t be afraid to hold back and say no sometimes.
- No one likes feeling guilty. The worst part of my short time wearing my own heart on my sleeve was the constant guilt. I’ve watched the same thing happen to others. You know how it feels when someone disappoints you. When you’re so vulnerable, you feel it tenfold. You don’t want to ever disappoint someone else so you’re wracked with guilt anytime you disappoint or hurt someone else.
Let yourself be open and vulnerable, but only to a point. Use some caution and let your instincts guide you. After all, no one’s really got their heart on their sleeve anymore.