This happens at training sessions. The group is already almost friends, the situation is warm, the tasks are clear, the situation for the participants is completely safe - but one or the other person is sitting on the sidelines and with a strained face says: "I would like to trust, but I can not trust people so quickly." It is clear that there are no grounds for tension, anxiety and fears, it s only a matter of fear, in the absence of the habit of trusting.
Closed behavior of one person in itself provokes others to restraint and reciprocal closeness. A person who does not know how to be open and trusting, deprives himself of good friends, deprives himself of reasonable contacts and has to place himself in a company of closed people who look at each other with disbelief.
By the way, among hostile, distrustful people, it is more often possible to see hostile reactions, because if I expect that hostile actions will be committed against me, then I myself am hiding, and then just in case, I give an adequate response. "Peaceful Soviet tractor in a retaliatory salvo destroyed the enemy battery!"
A self-fulfilling prophecy is working: open people are convinced that people can be trusted, and closed people receive confirmation that people can not be trusted.
Types of closed people
Behind seemingly similar behavior, there can be two quite different types: habitually closed and neurotic closed.
Usually a closed person is not open because he is so well-bred and so used. For its closeness, there is no pain, no fear of openness, no other special problems, it’s just that he saw such samples from his childhood and that’s how he was brought up.
A neurotic closed person is not closed from upbringing, but from one or another trauma, pain, problems and related fears. Sometimes the pain already seems to have been forgotten, but the habitually bound behavior with the internal text: "keep silent," "do not stick out," "I can not afford it," accompanies his restrained gestures and tensed shoulders. It’s difficult to restrain yourself all the time, and the inner tension is once broken by small pricks, then by grievances and accusations, after which comes a short relief and, almost immediately, accusations of your own incontinence.
How to help a closed person? It is difficult for a closed person to talk about his feelings, it is difficult to express his real thoughts and relationships, it is terrible to take a bold step, it’s terrible how to remain alone, and to give up solitude and fall in love... To teach such a person "not to worry" is probably a crime, the same , how to wrap a child, so that he does not hurt...
And what should I do?
In the beginning, what should not normally be done. Require from a closed person "Open, start to behave boldly, confidently, tell me what you think and feel?", give him shock loads in the hope of breaking through his defenses - hardly correct. In fact - sometimes it helps, but more often causes strong resistance and even greater mistrust and closeness.
What helps better? - Helps to be friends and gradually bring out good people in the company. If you manage to make friends with such a closed person, gradually he becomes more and more open next to you. It’s best if he (she) manages to draw good people into the company, but without the obligation to be active there: at first it’s normal to just stay there, watch, listen. Well, if you sit around, then the impressions will be more positive. And gradually, time after time, a person gets warm...
Difficulties: it often turns out that a closed person is a person with a serious character. Simply put - a poorly educated person who does not know how to behave among people. If you are ready to give him lessons of social behavior, to teach the elementary skills good manners and good tone - honor you and praise. Unfortunately, very few people want to take care of a person who, in return, will not say thank you, or else they will "kick" inadvertently... Actually, this is the main difficulty: few people want to mess with a closed person.
How to teach yourself to be open?
If you are told that you are not a very open person and you would like to change the impression of yourself, this is real, but most likely you will have to teach yourself the following things. So, be interested in other people, try to talk them into topics that are interesting to them. When you express your opinions, indicate your attitude. Make an expressive facial expression on your face. Expressing your attitude, tend to the positive.