Why I’d Rather Be Open Than Guarded, Even If It Means I Get Hurt

Why I’d Rather Be Open Than Guarded, Even If It Means I Get Hurt ©iStock/PeopleImages

If you wear your heart on your sleeve, you’re definitely in the minority. It seems like these days, it’s not cool to be overly emotional or even have any emotions at all. We’re supposed to think “Netflix and chill” is the equivalent of a romantic dinner date and to never say anything for fear of getting hurt. But that’s no way to live. Here’s why I’d rather be nice and get hurt than closed-off and a totally miserable person.

  1. We’re all human. News flash: being human means having feelings. And sometimes you just have to express those feelings, no matter what the consequences. Maybe you reach out to a friend who’s struggling and she’s in such a bad space it initiates a friendship break-up. Wouldn’t you rather be an actual human being instead of never saying how you feel about anyone?
  2. I don’t want to be afraid. Showing kindness and compassion is part of being alive and part of being on this lovely planet. I wouldn’t want to live any other way. Sometimes talking to strangers is scary but after months and months of small talk at my local barre studio, I’d rather known as the nice girl than wonder if people will be receptive.
  3. Some people deserve the benefit of the doubt. Emphasis on the “some people” part. I don’t believe in giving every single person the benefit of the doubt, because sometimes they’re just not worth it. Maybe you’ve had a few interactions with someone – an acquaintance, a distant relative, a date – and are unsure about whether they’re a good person or not. They may be facing a deep depression or suffering in some way, so I’d rather be nice at least one more time before I stop trying.
  4. Shyness is an epidemic. Okay, maybe not. But close to it. I can’t believe the number of parties and events I’ve attended over the past few years when I’ve introduced myself to people or tried to strike up a convo and been met with icy silence and one-word answers. Some people don’t want to chat, but others are totally shy. So even if it hurts a bit to be shut down, I know some people are just quiet and it’s not about me at all.
  5. Better to have loved and lost. You know the famous saying. Well, it’s definitely true. I’d much rather ask a guy out on a second date and have him say no than be afraid to give someone a second chance. I’d rather offer help and be turned down than never ask in the first place.
  6. I don’t want any regrets. Most of us claim we want to live without regrets but not everyone actually does. Before I do something, I ask whether I’d regret it. If the answer is no, I go ahead. It may sound cheesy but it’s a pretty good system. Even if the outcome isn’t all that positive, it’s better than kicking yourself, wishing you had acted.
  7. Life is hard. Let’s be real here: life is pretty difficult 90 percent of the time. It’s even harder when you’re in your 20s or even your 30s, working diligently to figure out your career and your love life and your friendships. There’s really no other way to live than as a nice person when you think about all the crap we all have to deal with on a daily basis. Why make life any harder.
  8. We’re too casual and vague these days. I know people who have dated others not because they were totally head-over-heels into them but because they didn’t know why they shouldn’t. I don’t like how casual we are about how we feel. I don’t like how ambivalent we act toward the opposite sex – if we’re dating, aren’t we supposed to be expressing how we feel? It may feel a bit weird sending a text asking how your new guy’s important meeting was or saying you feel bad that he’s got an epic cold, but that’s only because we’ve gotten used to not saying anything at all. Let’s not be that way.
  9. You can’t control someone’s reaction. All you can do is be a nice, good person and hope you don’t get hurt. Sometimes you will. That can’t be helped. But I’d rather live that way than never let anyone in.
Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor from Toronto, Canada. In addition to writing about dating and relationships for Bolde, she also writes about movies, TV, and video games for ScreenRant and GameRant. She has a Political Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Journalism from Ryerson University. You can find her on Twitter @ayatsintziras and on Instagram @aya.tsintziras.