Do you have a wall around your heart? Many people do, making it hard for you to let people in and for others to get close to you. Do you understand why it's in place? Perhaps there was a singular, traumatic event that caused you to build emotional walls around your heart, or perhaps those walls are the product of systematic hurts over the years. There are hundreds of reasons you might have a wall around your heart, but these are the most common – and understanding them might make it easier to let people get close to you, when their intentions are good.
1. Your Heart's Been Broken
When your heart has been broken by someone careless or cruel or even kind, it hurts. It's easily enough to make you build a wall around your heart. You don't want to fall in love again, for fear of experiencing that same level of pain. It's easy to spout cliches about how it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all, and in time you'll realize that. Be protective of your heart until it heals, but don't let those walls keep you from experiencing true love when it finds you.
2. You've Suffered through the Death of a Loved One
Losing someone close to you is always hard, but losing someone to the finality of death is much worse. Knowing that you can never see or speak to your loved one again is devastating, and it's certainly enough to make anyone put up walls. However, the person you lost wouldn't want you to cut off your emotions like that. Take your time to grieve, but realize that it's better to celebrate a life forever than it is to mourn it and hold yourself back.
3. Someone Cheated on You
Being cheated on is one of the worst betrayals imaginable. It makes it incredibly hard to trust anyone else. Better to break up with someone than to betray their trust and love that way. Realize, though, that not everyone will cheat on you. If you've gone through several relationships where you've been betrayed, think about the type of men or women you've been dating. You owe it to yourself to find someone who will respect you and cherish the gift of your emotions.
4. You've Been Abused
Abuse is one of the foremost and most debilitating reasons to build a wall around your heart. Whether it's emotional, physical, mental, or sexual, it can unquestionably cause you to build protective walls around yourself, and those walls are completely understandable. Healing from abuse takes time, and some people never get over it completely. The best thing you can do is find and accept support from a group, a therapist, or a psychiatrist – whatever works best for you. With that kind of help, you can learn to heal and slowly figure out how to let others back into your life and your heart.
5. You've Been Betrayed by Friends
Sometimes being betrayed by a close friend is even worse than being betrayed by a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife. Once a friend turns her back on you, stabs you in the back, or otherwise hurts and betrays you, it's difficult to open yourself up to other friends. Again, you'll need time to heal, but take a look at your other friends. Do they seem like the kinds of people who would do this to you? Don't judge all your friends by the deplorable actions of one person.
6. You Feel Abandoned
Feeling abandoned by parents, lovers, or friends is extremely hurtful. Perhaps your parents didn't give you a lot of love or attention growing up, maybe your significant other spends more time doing something else, or your friends may put distance between you. Whatever the reason, feelings of abandonment make it easier to then keep others at a distance – in essence you abandon them before they can do it to you. You need to know, though, that there will be people in your life who stand by you through thick and thin – you just have to give them the chance.
7. You Don't Love Yourself
If you have a wall around your heart, it may exist because you don't love yourself, and therefore can't accept love from others. To truly accept love, friendship, kindness, and acceptance from other people, you have to feel those things about yourself. If you don't, your walls may be there because you don't feel you're worthy of love or friendship.
Having a wall around your heart makes you feel protected, like nothing can hurt you. Pain can't get near you. The problem is that love and kindness can't get near you either. You have to think long and hard about why you've built up these emotional walls, and decide if they're doing more harm than good. Have you ever tried to knock down those walls? What do you have them?