Yes, I’m guarded. No, I don’t need to fix that.

I’ve long had an issue that I’ve verbally chased but mostly keep to myself, and it’s this: I’m a guarded and typically emotionally distant person, and I wish people would believe me when I say that I’m okay.

No, I’m not okay every minute of every day, but who is? I just wish people wouldn’t take a bad day, or a tendency to write rather than speak, or a refusal to change a particular habit, or my refusal to talk about what’s bothering me, as me needing to be fixed. They insist I’m in denial, that deep down I’m hiding some sort of fear. If I say, “But I don’t feel afraid,” they’ll tell me it’s buried.

And I have to admit, when people try to insinuate that they know me better than I know me, people who have answers for all my objections, and that have determined that I need fixing, and that if I don’t agree, I’m the one who’s in denial…it does piss me off. Quite a bit, actually.

Newsflash: The quickest way to shut down a guarded person is to call out their guardedness as a sign that something is broken and needs fixing.

Continue reading