How to Open Up To People

Self-awareness
19 Dec 2023
10 min read
9 Tips on How to Open Up to People

Learning how to open up to people can be difficult. Whether you suffer from social anxiety, have trouble reading other people’s body language, or feel as if you do not deserve any sort of emotional support, there is a way for you. With our tips, you can open up to others – and this way, open up a whole new world of understanding, boost your self-confidence, and create a bigger safe space for yourself. Because you deserve the best in life!

9 Tips on How to Open Up to Others

Opening up is good for your overall well-being, but it’s challenging to do at first. Even more, some people make it more difficult to do than others.

Still, it can be not that hard if you follow these tips. Remember that a good relationship will become stronger when you build your connections through vulnerability and honesty. You will also learn which relationships may not be worth keeping.

Related reading: Vulnerability in Relationships: How To Be More Open

1. Don’t Rush Into Openness

You don’t have to become an open, vulnerable, assertive person overnight – it’s too stressful and risky, in the end. But you can take baby steps towards this goal.

Every bit of progress counts, and you will be talking about your thoughts and emotions before you know it. Remember that this is a process, and you don’t have to become everything at once.

2. Connect Over Common Interests

Knowing mutual interests can help you focus your efforts on one trustworthy person. That way, you will feel safe being vulnerable with them. This will often be someone you share similar interests with.

Start by sharing your excitement and enthusiasm for that particular topic. As you connect over those shared interests, your bond will strengthen. Then, you can delve a bit deeper. You will learn to become more open, and you will develop a stronger relationship with that person.

3. Think About What You Want or Need

It’s hard to describe your feelings or express yourself to another person if you don’t understand exactly how you feel or what you are trying to say. This is particularly true if you are attempting to express a want or need.

Take some time to process what it is you need or want. Then, you can start a conversation about it.

4. Find the Right Person at the Right Time

You’re always taking a risk by talking about your feelings and being vulnerable. That’s why the last thing you need is to end up feeling brushed off or the sting of rejection. That’s not good for your mental health – and can make it hard to be honest about your feelings again.

It’s so important to wait for the right person to talk to. Also, be sure the timing is right before you reveal your emotions. Wait until you have time to talk and listen to one another. This isn’t something you should rush through.

Related reading: Right Person Wrong Time – It is Really All About Timing

Address your vulnerability, and how to open up to people won't be a problem anymore

5. Focus on Your Own Feelings

This is about you and your ability to talk about your emotions and open up. The best way to do that is to keep your mind on expressing yourself.

Don’t assume how the other person is going to feel, or what they are going to say. Give them the space and the responsibility of navigating and expressing their own feelings.

6. Remember That It’s OK to Feel Vulnerable

“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.”

Madeleine L’Engle, writer

Vulnerability is great when it involves self-awareness. Whenever you let your guard down like this, you do several good things at once:

  • Communicate to your partner that you trust them with all of your feelings, not just your positive ones
  • You are telling them you believe you can talk to them without fear of rejection
  • You are showing all your true colors and increase mutual trust between you two

Don’t mistake vulnerability with a hurt ego, and remember that showing your true loving self is the best thing yo can do to your partner.

7. Write Things Down

Not everyone is good at verbal communication. If talking to people makes you nervous, you may find it hard to reveal your emotions verbally. Instead of focusing on being open, you’ll pay attention to your body language or making eye contact.

If that’s your case, it’s perfectly fine to use your written communication skills to help you get through this. You might write things down to help gather your thoughts before you speak. Also, a well-written, heartfelt letter is a perfectly fine way to put your feelings into words.

8. Be Honest With Others

Radical honesty is good for your overall well-being. When you are honest with others, you establish yourself as a person who is willing to put their thoughts and feelings out there. That’s a refreshing trait to have.

Just be aware that you can be honest without attempting to hurt others.

9. Remember to Do the Same for Others

Does your partner feel safe opening up to you? If other people in your life can’t share their vulnerability with you, then they likely won’t be supportive of your vulnerability either.

Be a good listener. Make people feel good about sharing with you.

Why should we open up to people

6 Benefits of Opening Up to People

Learning how to open up to others is no easy task, especially when you have been made not to feel comfortable opening up to people. But why is it so important? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why.

1. Build Confidence

A person who feels comfortable with opening up to others is often a person who has high self-esteem and confidence. They are in their comfort zone when they share personal topics and talk about their own experiences.

With this confidence comes a lot of emotional intelligence that allows them to not only open up about their feelings but be in control of them as well. By learning how to open up about how you feel, you will see your confidence get a huge boost.

Related reading: Male Maturity – When Does It Kick In?

2. Strengthen the Bonds and Relationships That You Have

When you strengthen your communication skills by learning how to open up to people, not only does the world around you get bigger, but your inner world also expands:

  • You raise your own self-awareness of things that are going on
  • You gain more meaningful and deeper relationships with those you love
  • You may also become one, if not the very first person others come to when they have similar issues.

Being able to open up to people can also help you navigate a deeper level of understanding other feelings. This way, it can help strengthen the relationships that you already have – with family and close friends, especially. When you are able to talk with your closest friends about anything, they will also feel like they can open up about their feelings.

3. Form New Relationships

Effective communication based on vulnerability helps with making new relationships. When you open up to people, and they open up to you, you are able to practice active listening skills and become more interesting to all the people around you.

In fact, most people who have trouble opening up to others or having trouble starting the next conversation are often seen as bad listeners. However, when you open up to people and express your emotions, you encourage others to see your ability to share and listen, which makes them more likely to develop relationships with you eventually.

Related reading: What Should You Look For in a Relationship

4. Open Up New Experiences

Learning how to open up to people is something that can help you to open up new experiences. For some, it is the very first step in making some big life changes.

By talking with others, making new connections, and letting yourself be vulnerable, you are taking essential small steps towards great achievements.

5. Become More Self Reliant and Self Aware

“I think self-reliance and self-responsibility and self-accountability will help you as a parent, a teacher, as a citizen as a friend.”

Henry Rollins, American singer and writer

When you open up to people, you develop effective communication skills and become an active participant in your relationships. You learn to advocate for yourself as well. These are all important skills that help you develop self-reliance.

Also, when you feel comfortable sharing things, you become more self-aware. You get rid of anxiety about dealing with the reactions of others – even though not everybody is going to be happy that you start opening up, especially if you are expressing negative thoughts.

Despite this, it’s worth going through the process of being emotionally honest. Yes, you may deal with some anger and offense from people in your life. Sometimes, that’s a reflection on them. In other cases, this is a sign that you need to look inward. Maybe you are causing hurt because there are better ways to articulate things. That doesn’t mean you should stop. It just means you are becoming more self-aware and can learn better communication styles.

7. Deal With Conflicts

“Conflict and resolution are two sides of the same coin.”

Haresh Sippy, entrepreneur and technocrat

Imagine you have a co-worker who is doing things to frustrate you and cause you additional work. You know you should speak to them, but you are hesitant. You don’t want to make the situation worse. So, you avoid having a difficult conversation. Eventually, you dread going to work because you are afraid to open up.

Opening up to people is something you have to practice. One of the benefits of engaging in this type of communication is that you learn to deal with conflict in a positive way. Remember that opening up isn’t about “getting in someone’s face” or “telling them off”. It’s about being clear and assertive without bullying. You will also learn that conflict is easier to resolve when you assume both parties have a common interest in resolving whatever issue there is.

How you can heal your inner world and have more emotional support

Inner Work: 5 Reasons Why It’s So Hard for You to Open Up to People

Sometimes you just get a sense that you will never be able to open up to somebody:

  • Some people in your life are just unapproachable
  • A given relationship is just too surface-level
  • Sometimes your fear of opening up to others comes from within

Nevertheless, you can use this situation as a purpose to work on yourself. To assist you, here are 5 common reasons that you can’t open up to some of your friends or romantic partners.

1. Personality

The fact that it’s so hard to open up to people can be deeply rooted in your personality. And while you can do things to help you adjust, you can’t exactly change your true nature.

Opening up to others is a lot like attempting to fold a piece of paper in half more than eight times. To a point it is possible – however, it is extremely difficult once you hit a certain limit. Just keep practicing – that’s the only way to make things easier.

2. Fear of Judgment

The worry of being judged by others is a powerful vice that keeps us from truly being able to open up to people. Frequently, we become actively stuck in our own thoughts and feelings, where a distinct fear of judgment prevents us from being able to speak our minds freely.

Here are the common examples of these thoughts and feelings:

  • I worry too much.
  • This is stupid.
  • Nobody actually cares.
  • They’ll probably just say I’m being dumb.
  • They’ll probably laugh at me.
  • What if they use my words against me?

These are only a few examples of the many thoughts a person with a fear of judgement may have when thinking of the possibilities for another person’s reaction.

3. Upbringing

Some people have trouble with emotional expression due to their upbringing. In this case, you get used that your problems are your own, which prevents you from to open up to others and be your authentic self.

Such things are deeply ingrained in us from those who raised us. You may also be raised to believe that you should always be positive and upbeat and make others feel happy as well. So, you paste on a smile, and never share anything of depth.

4. Bad Experiences

There is a chance you had bad experiences in your past when tried to open up in your meaningful relationships. Whether there were deep conversations or an effort to embrace your vulnerability, others may have reacted in a a negative way – and you’ve learned that opening up to people is bad because of this person’s reaction.

Remember that exact situation that has caused you to not want to seek out human connection. Yelling at you for things that you could not control, using your own feelings to ridicule or humiliate you, or even belittling your experiences can all take a drastic toll on your mental health. If you’ve lost friends or loved ones because you dared to share your emotions, it’s no wonder you are hesitant now.

5. Low Self Esteem

For some people, the only thing that stops them from being open or expressing emotions is simply a lack of self esteem. They may feel as if they don’t really matter, or that they don’t deserve the emotional well being that comes with opening up to people.

These negative thoughts causes them to fear judgment and does not let them embrace vulnerability.

You Deserve Meaningful Relationships

It isn’t easy to be open with others in a random conversation, especially if that’s new to you, you’re afraid, or you have negative thoughts and feelings inheristed from your past. That said, this is part of forging relationships with deeper connections.

Don’t be afraid. You deserve this, and it’s worth making the effort to get past your fears and embrace opening up to people.

Love&Sex Expert
Cherie Hamilton
I’ve always been inspired by women who are outgoing, very sure of themselves, and not afraid to be who they were, including their sex lives. Under their tutelage, I gradually shed my old self, hung out and socialized with them, and, over time, became the empowered, self-confident, and sexual woman I am today. Happy to share my insights with other women today!
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