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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    How To Overcome Fear Of Being Loved?

    Dear eNotAlone: I'm so scared of being loved and I don't know what to do. Being with someone who loves me just doesn't seem comfortable or familiar; it seems uncomfortable, threatening and alien.

    I feel like the idea of being fully emotionally exposed terrifies me, and lingers in the back of my mind however hard I try to push it out. Every time someone expresses a level of genuine care for me, I push them away as if I don't deserve it or take it for granted.

    I don't really know why I have this fear, it just seems to be there when it feels like somebody is taking an interest in me. It's like my brain - or heart - puts up a guard before I can even think about how I feel. I don't know how to open up anymore.

    Is there something wrong with me, or am I just scared? What can I do to get over this, and let somebody in?

    * * *

    It sounds like you have been through some very difficult experiences which have left you feeling scared of being truly loved. This is understandable, but the good news is that there is a way forward.

    First and foremost, it is important to remember that everybody experiences fear and vulnerability, but that it is nothing to be ashamed of. Fear of being loved is a very common issue that many people struggle with, and it is normal to feel scared and anxious in this situation.

    The best way to start facing and dealing with your fears is to practice self-compassion and self-acceptance. Accepting yourself, flaws and all, is key to feeling confident and loving. You need to learn to love yourself before anyone else can. You could try writing down all the things you love and appreciate about yourself, or find affirmations on the internet that speak to you, and repeat them to yourself every day.

    To help you develop more trust towards people and towards relationships, try spending time around people who are supportive and make you feel safe. It is absolutely OK to take your time when it comes to trusting someone, and letting that person into your life. As long as your feelings are respected, letting people get to know you better can be a great way to learn how to open up and be vulnerable.

    In addition, therapy can be of great help if you need someone to talk to. Therapists provide a space for us to process our thoughts and feelings, and gain a better understanding of what is going on. We can learn how to manage our feelings and better cope with whatever challenges come our way. Take it one step at a time. Try to be kind to yourself, because this is part of the journey towards becoming more comfortable with being loved and finding love.

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