Why Are Some So Emotionally Guarded Print E-mail



Anytime someone guards something it is because they want to protect it.  An emotionally guarded person is protecting themselves from getting hurt.



Relationships of depth require vulnerability.  Vulnerability signifies the risk of getting hurt.  The emotionally guarded raise their shields to protect against exposing their vulnerabilities.  They are afraid that by releasing them they will be humiliated.  They are guarding against emotional intimacy.  A relationship cannot be sustained without emotional intimacy.




Intimacy requires feeling your insecurities and the painful emotions they elicit.  All painful emotions are based in fear.  The fear of getting hurt or humiliated can sometimes take control of one’s life.


If you find yourself venturing into a relationship with someone who is emotionally guarded it is best to practice patience.  Come into the relationship with an open heart.  You should also let them know that they are safe with you, through your words and actions.  Like the turtle that retreats in his shell until he knows it is safe to come out; the emotionally guarded will emerge once they feel they will not be harmed.



While patience is a virtue and should be practiced in any relationship, it’s important to take care of yourself at all times.  If you find that you are giving more than you are getting, then it may be time to move on to someone who is more emotionally available.  It has been my experience that the reward of emotional intimacy far outweighs the risk of getting hurt.



Written by: Della Wilbers - Certified Life Coach  


Della is the only life coach in Kentucky trained and certified by Dr. Martha Beck, best-selling author of "Finding Your Own North Star" and monthly columnist for O: Oprah’s Magazine.  www.newpathlifecoaching.com



+2 #2 Kristy 2012-08-23 09:46 I was exploring why I feel I have to be on guard all the time with my spouse and came upon this post. We will have been married for 19 years in November and I believe we are done for. There is no emotional security in this relationship for me. I have always run to self-help books to try and fix things but my spouse continues to deny, distance, and do his own thing while trying to do things which look good. He over does everything for me like finishing sentences, trying to read my mind, wants to have sex but admits to not caring about what I think or feel. How ignorant have I been all these years to have kept trying with someone so inept! Quote
+2 #1 essentialkaren 2011-05-05 05:56 Really well written. People who are guarding themselves are afraid of being hurt and afraid of being vulnerable but you have to open up to get anywhere in life. Quote

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