7 Signs You’ve Put Emotional Walls Up To Protect Yourself

When you were younger, you wore your heart on your sleeve and were full of hope and positivity when it came to people and the world around you. These days, however, you’re much more closed off. Your experiences have made you jaded and overly cautious, and as a result, you’ve put up emotional walls to try and preserve what’s left of your heart and soul. Not sure if this is you? If you relate to any of the following, you’re guilty as charged.

1. You’d rather be alone than open yourself up to pain again.

It makes sense that you’d want to put up walls if you were seriously hurt by someone (or many sometimes) in the past. After all, heartbreak is so painful that it can feel physical, and being betrayed or abandoned by someone you cared about and let get close to you can leave scars that simply never heal. However, in doing this, you keep yourself from ever experiencing true companionship and deep-rooted love and support, both of which you deserve.

2. You avoid connecting with people on a deep level.

You have friends, sure, and maybe you even date casually, but you don’t let anyone really get close enough to hurt you. You prefer keeping people at arm’s length. Having people to hang out with, grab dinner with, or hop into bed with is great and all, but you never let it go any further. You prefer to keep things light, laid-back, and without strings attached. You think this is protecting you, but again, you’re just robbing yourself of the opportunity to have rewarding relationships.

3. You tend to disassociate a lot.

When you’re around your friends or the people you’re dating, you tend to sort of disconnect your mind from your body. It’s as if you’re not really there half the time, never fully present or “in it.” Maybe other people have even noticed it and brought it up, but you’ve always brushed it off. This is usually always a sign that you’ve put up walls that you won’t allow anyone to knock down at any cost. The sad part of this is that you end up simply floating through life and the whole thing becomes pretty meaningless. Is that really how you want to live?

4. Want a partner? Attract love with the power of your mind.

Sweetn is a new research-based startup that shows you how to call love into your life with the power of your mind. Take our quiz, and try our tools—they can transform your energy and your love life in a few weeks. Just click here.

5. No one has ever seen you cry.

Tears aren’t a sign of weakness, by any means, but if you’ve put walls up and tend to compartmentalize your feelings, you probably think they are. We all cry when things are emotional when we’re hurt or tired or sad or any number of other feelings. It’s not just normal, it’s actually cathartic. It’s a form of release that we all can do with indulging in more often. However, if the friends you’ve known for years or even your family members who’ve been there since the day you were born have literally never seen you cry, there’s a problem. Sure, maybe you’re just not the crying type, but if you’re holding it in for the sake of keeping up some bizarre, robot-like facade, you’re making a serious mistake.

6. You want to care about people, you just can’t bring yourself to.

You might have a deep despite to connect on a deep level with other people, but whenever you start to feel that way, you snap yourself back to reality and immediately disconnect. The walls you’ve put up keep you from really letting anyone in, and every time you get the urge to maybe loosen the reins every once in a while and give people a chance, you worry that you’re getting soft and that you need to wise up. This is an exhausting game to play with yourself.

7. When things get too real, you get out.

When you do find yourself growing close to someone and your feelings getting involved, it’s like a massive alarm goes off over your head and you go into panic mode. You might go AWOL for days or weeks on end until you have a better handle on your emotions and can go back to being compartmentalized, or you might even ghost the other person entirely for fear that you won’t be able to stop yourself from becoming too invested. That’s when you know these walls you’ve put up have become completely toxic.

8. You find it hard to identify your own feelings sometimes.

When you’re not connected to your feelings and lack emotional intelligence, it makes sense that they’d throw you for a loop when they do crop up. Not being able to figure out what you’re feeling or talk about it in a meaningful way means there’s some work to be done internally. You might want to consider talking to a therapist so that you can start to break down those walls and start living a more fulfilling life.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill