This post was updated on Nov 28, 2022
If you’re just starting a new relationship, it’s normal to not be completely open immediately. However, as time passes, not being able to let your partner see your emotions and not allowing them to come close to you can trigger feelings of emotional neglect. It hurts to be ignored, and if you want to be in a loving and caring relationship, you need to be prepared to provide emotional support to your partner.
The only way to show your partner that you care for them is to allow yourself to start letting your emotions out. Everybody enjoys small displays of affection and it feels good to be loved and to not constantly feel rejected by your romantic partner.
In order to be able to do that, you need to learn how to overcome your fear of commitment, build intimacy in a relationship, and let your guard down.
What Does It Mean To Be A Private Person?
When you’re a private person, you tend to keep to yourself. This has nothing to do with being an introvert, although people tend to use the two terms interchangeably. People who are private tend to keep a closed lid on what goes on in their lives.
And it’s completely normal, sometimes even encouraged, to keep some details about yourself and your life to yourself. Being private is not necessarily a bad thing, nor should it be. Different social contexts demand different modes of behavior.
For example, oversharing about your personal life with your colleagues can be a workplace faux pas. It can hurt your professional relationships, impact your advancement opportunities, and overall affect your career in a negative way. It doesn’t have to, but it can.
Knowing Where The Line Is
But remaining private in your personal and romantic life can be a bad way to function with people close to you. Hiding your feelings, not discussing important matters concerning you and your friends, family, or partner can lead to those close to you feeling emotionally neglected.
If that happens, it may be difficult to open up again, in which case you can try seeking help from qualified coaches.
And that is what it means to be a private person. On the one hand, being private is normal, depending on the social circumstances, while, on the other hand, it can start creating problems in your private life. Sometimes, you need to open up to people who care about you. Discerning who the people are you can trust to discuss what is private to you can be done by completing the Relational Circle Boundary PIVOT module with a certified coach.
What Is The Difference Between Private And Secretive?
Being private means keeping your values, feelings, and beliefs away from public view. It involves keeping our daydreams and fantasies away from the rest of the unfamiliar world. The matters you consider private will, once shared, provide an insight into your personality.
Unless you become overly private in your emotional life, there’s no need to fear your private nature affecting your life negatively.
On the other hand, being secretive involves an act of having to hide things from people close to you. Secrecy goes beyond privacy. While secrets are often private, very few private matters are actually secretive.
Keeping matters private means that you choose to bring up certain boundaries involving your private life and to not allow everybody inside them. Keeping matters secret means that you’re proposal hiding something from fear of it negatively impacting you and your life.
How Do I Let My Guard Down?
When you’re a private person and you’re entering a new relationship, it’s not easy to open up to another person and let your guard drop. The fear of being hurt can be too large, and old habits die hard in this instance.
However, allowing yourself to become more open and trusting in a relationship can yield many beautiful moments. Sometimes, you need to talk to a qualified advocate to help you improve your romantic life. But, before that, there are a couple of things you can try.
- Share a happy memory from your past with your partner.
- Talk about your beliefs and values, and about other things you feel strongly about.
- Reveal a single thing that makes you scared.
- Allow your partner to share something about themselves while you simply listen.
- Realize that every person and every relationship is different.
- Accept the fact that you’re not always going to know why you feel the way you feel.
- Allow yourself to validate your feelings.
- Do not place any blame on your partner and yourself.
- Communicate even when it gets hard.
- Try to be patient with yourself and your partner.
- Don’t be afraid to open up.
- Try to live in the now and not fear the consequences.
How Do You Tell Your Partner How You Feel?
Part of opening up to your romantic partner is sharing your feelings with them. If you’re a private person, this can be a daunting task. Sharing feelings means you’ll be leaving yourself vulnerable. This is in no way a bad thing, as it allows others to get to know you better. But, when you’re private, it can be challenging.
Trained emotional advocates can greatly help you in this respect. They are qualified for helping you deal with your emotions, and they will assist you in opening up to other people. But, before that, try some of the following techniques for sharing your feelings.
- There are no wrong feelings. Behavior that stems from those feelings can be inappropriate, such as becoming aggressive when angry, but you should accept how you feel and start there. Name the feeling without the expectation that your partner is somehow supposed to fix it.
- Try your best to explain your feelings to your partner. Help your partner understand what you’re going through by being as open and as detailed as possible.
- Be aware that sharing your feelings, especially if you’re not used to doing so, can be quite difficult in the beginning.
- Do not share just the surface feelings. Try to dig deeper and tell your partner about what’s really going on deep inside.
- Don’t judge your partner’s feelings when they share them. Be as open to them as you’re expecting them to be open to you.
- Use “I feel” instead of “I think” whenever you can. This will help your partner know that you’re talking about feelings, and not just projections.
- Be as direct and as open as possible, without being brash. Being sincere with your partner will make them feel you value them and their opinion.
How To Be More Honest With Your Partner?
Once you manage to share your feelings, it’s time to work on you and your partner’s mutual honesty toward each other. An honest relationship is a relationship that lasts, and there are things you can do to make your relationship more honest.
- Never forget that you and your partner are on the same team and that you need to work together, not against each other.
- Do not blame or attack your partner. This will make them close up and stop being as honest as they used to be for fear of how you’ll react.
- Be ready to hear what your partner has to say as well. Sometimes, it’s not easy hearing the truth.
- Chat about everyday occurrences and always be completely honest about your day.
- Reserve some patience for both yourself and your partner.
- If you’ve made mistakes, own up to them. Don’t just point out what your partner did wrong without admitting your own mistakes.
- Discuss your problems with your partner as openly and as honestly as possible.
- Open up about your flaws and accept your partner’s flaws as well.
- Show your partner that you love them even when you’re not seeing eye to eye on something.
And, if all else fails, you can attempt to build trust in a relationship workshop. Talking to a qualified advocate can go a long way toward helping you and your partner overcome your issues and becoming more honest with each other.
Who Can Help Me Build Intimacy And Trust In My Relationship?
Going from private to open in a relationship is a big task. Although it can be extremely hard in the beginning, it can give you great rewards down the road. At PIVOT, we know just how difficult and rewarding letting your guard down can be, which is why we offer you an opportunity to work with qualified relationship advocates who can help you find happiness with your partner.
Depending on your needs, we can help you overcome your fear of opening up with individual coaching, or you can attend our intensive relationship workshops and retreats. We want you to enjoy your life to the fullest. Reach out to a PIVOT advocate today!