10 Telling Signs You Are a Guarded Person

Being a guarded individual can be a necessary defense mechanism, stemming from past experiences and a desire to protect oneself.

However, this guardedness can also hinder personal growth and the ability to form close, meaningful relationships. If you find yourself questioning your level of openness with others, this article will highlight ten common traits of guarded individuals.

guarded person

1. You Keep Your Circle Small

Guarded individuals prefer a smaller, more selective group of friends. This selective nature often comes from the belief that having fewer people to trust means less chance of betrayal.

While quality over quantity is a commendable approach, an excessively small circle can sometimes lead to isolation and missed opportunities for new, positive interactions.

2. Sharing Doesn’t Come Naturally

If you find it difficult to share personal details without feeling vulnerable, you might be guarded. This reluctance stems from a fear of judgment or a past where sharing led to emotional pain.

However, sharing can also be a catalyst for understanding and empathy, critical for developing strong connections with others.

3. You’re a Great Listener, But Talking About Yourself Is Challenging

Guarded people often excel at listening. They are the go-to for advice and support because they are compassionate and great at understanding others’ struggles.

On the flip side, when it comes to discussing their own feelings or experiences, they can clam up, not wanting to expose themselves.

4. You Question Others’ Intentions

A guarded individual tends to be more cynical about others’ motives. They may overanalyze casual actions and statements, looking for signs of hidden agendas.

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While skepticism can be helpful in certain situations, constantly questioning the intentions of well-meaning individuals can prevent meaningful connections from forming.

5. You’re Skeptical of Praise and Compliments

Receiving compliments or praise can make a guarded person uncomfortable. They may believe that such positive feedback is insincere or a form of manipulation.

If you often downplay or question the motives behind kind statements, it could be a sign of your guarded nature at work.

6. Vulnerability Feels Like a Risk

For a guarded individual, the idea of being vulnerable feels like a significant risk. It’s common to associate vulnerability with weakness and fear that revealing too much could be used against you.

However, learning to be appropriately vulnerable is key to building trust in relationships and allows for genuine, reciprocal connections.

7. You Struggle to Ask for Help

Self-reliance is a trait often associated with guarded individuals. They prefer to handle challenges on their own, as asking for help is seen as a sign of dependence.

While being self-sufficient has its merits, recognizing when to ask for assistance is an important life skill that even the strongest people need to practice.

8. It Takes Time for You to Warm Up to Others

Guarded individuals are not quick to open up or become comfortable around new people. They approach new relationships and interactions with a healthy dose of caution, taking their time to assess the character and trustworthiness of others.

However, this guardedness can sometimes be misconstrued as aloofness or being unfriendly.

9. Trust Is Earned, Not Given

For those who are guarded, trust is something that must be earned through consistent actions over time. They do not believe in giving trust freely and are not quick to share personal information.

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While it’s essential to be discerning about who we trust, being overly cautious can also prevent the development of strong, supportive relationships.

10. Emotional Walls Are a Part of Your Personality

A sure sign of a guarded person is the existence of emotional walls. These ‘walls’ serve to protect one’s emotions from getting hurt but often prevent others from getting to know the real you.

Breaking down these walls can be a difficult, but important step towards personal growth and forming authentic connections with others.

Final Note

Recognizing and understanding these traits is the first step in finding a healthy balance between self-protection and openness. By acknowledging your guarded tendencies, you can begin to work on fostering trust, embracing vulnerability, and building more meaningful relationships.

Remember, it’s okay to protect your heart, but don’t forget to give it the chance to love and be loved in return.

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