Learning How To Open Doors Taught Me How To Open Up In Relationships

Learning How To Open Doors Taught Me How To Open Up In Relationships

It opened my doors in building more meaningful relationships with others down the road in my life.

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Our major milestones in our early lives set us up with a strong foundation for learning and further developing through the rest of our lives. From our first steps to our first words, or from the first-time biking, to the first day of school, all of those are introductory moments that prepare us for the more difficult skills and paths in our life. Personally, one of my most momentous "first" moments was learning the importance of knocking on a door from my brother. My brother not only taught me the significance of knocking on doors, but he also opened my doors in building more meaningful relationships with others down the road in my life.

I distinctly remember the first time I was lectured over knocking on doors. I sat at a little desk in the study room, excitedly painting a picture of a cherry red crab I saw from crabbing the previous week. After I finished my painting, I eagerly jumped out of my seat where I let my tiny, stubby legs carry me to my brother's room to show him my masterpiece. The door had been shut. It was a tall white door that seemed like a massive brick wall to a sacred kingdom. My body, like a small canon, barged into his room without warning. As a 5-year-old, I had no sense of privacy. "Nicole, what are you doing? Get out of my room!"

My brother was sitting next to his girlfriend (now wife), Joy, with his face bright pink. He hurried over to where I was standing at the door, painting at hand and the other hand reaching up on the door handle and scurried me out of his room to lecture me. "When you see that the door is closed, you can't just walk in without knocking..." Joy soon peers outside the room and asks me about what I had been painting. I guiltily showed her my painting. She smiled and said that she wanted to paint another crab with me. While Joy was open and welcoming, my brother had been closed off and unprepared.

Knocking requires patience. You can't ring a doorbell and directly walk into someone's house because you don't have their permission until they invite you in. It's like the three little pigs or three little sheep stories. They refuse to let the big bad wolf in because they are afraid of falling into danger. Opening a door is like opening someone's heart. It reveals their insecurity or their vulnerability, none of which people want taken advantage of. When you first meet someone new, you generally don't open up immediately and begin telling them your deepest, darkest secrets.

Who knows, they could be a big bad wolf in your life. Everyone you meet is a closed-door full of secrets. Maybe some people are ready with welcoming arms, or you may have to knock a few times and wait. Others may leave the door locked, then you'll just have to accept it and move on. Depending on people's past experiences, some people may be more willing to share more than others. People are selective to who they tell their secrets to, it takes time for them to get to know you before they decide to share more of themselves with you. Through the stories they choose to share, you learn so much more about people and what's behind their door. Walking through someone's door is a crucial step in building a stronger foundation to the relationship because it builds trust, and it gives you more insight to who they are not only on the outside but on the inside too.

I choose to knock on people's doors, asking for their permission to come in, because I aspire to find the hidden treasures within them. It's an honor to have someone's trust and be able to learn about who they truly are on the inside. To me, it's not always about the "best" quality in someone that makes them special, it's about the hardships and past experiences that help develop the characteristics they have. It's not only one quality that makes someone unique, but it's also about every characteristic that makes them who they are that's unique. That way, a better understanding between people can be established and their relationships can begin to grow even stronger.

However, it is always important to be mindful of what the other person may be feeling. As willingly as I was to share my painting with my brother, he was unprepared to have his door opened by me. Although I may be eager to share a piece of myself to other people, they may not be ready to accept it and open up. I learned how to be more mindful of other people's feelings and circumstances, more specifically, how other people may respond to my actions before I try knocking a few times into their lives through trial and error within my lifetime so far. It's understandable that if I try to barge into my brother's room, he would want me to immediately leave. That's why it's also important not to push too hard into someone else's life because they may end up wanting to push you away instead. If it were not important to knock on doors, then houses would not have locks to protect what's on the inside.

My brother was my introduction to real-world relationships. He is my mentor, my leader, and my teacher. Most importantly, he is my best friend. Without him, I would be lost and probably still be barging through other people's doors. My introduction and understanding of my surroundings are because he was always the one to open a new door filled with his unique, valuable perspective. Much of who I am and the knowledge I have gathered was through my brother's guidance in helping me grow with my surroundings. Not only has he taught me how to be mindful over other people, but he has also taught me how to protect myself from others who want to come into my life and take advantage of me. He helped me build the foundation to cautiously approach the world around me. A door full of opportunities was opened for me to grow as I began to knock on those doors and move on through life in my own way. He is the reason I understand why knock-knock jokes follow up with "who's there" instead of "come in."


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Why You Should Stop Chasing Him

You deserve better.
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They say “the thrill of the chase" makes someone more enticing. There's just something about wanting something you can't have that drives you crazy (in a good way). There is never a dull moment. Pursuing him is a challenge. Nothing comes easily. What's the fun in that anyway?

I'm going to tell you this: stop chasing him. Stop forgiving him when he forgets to answer your text messages and phone calls. Stop being the one to always make plans. Stop letting him bail on you. Stop waiting around for him. Stop being lied to. Stop making excuses when he doesn't make time for you. There is a difference between someone who is “hard to get" and a flat out jerk who doesn't give you the time of day. Stop letting him use you.

You deserve to be with someone who makes you fall asleep every night in the middle of texting him because neither of you want the conversation to end. You deserve someone who plans dates for the two of you. You deserve someone who asks you to hang out before midnight. You deserve someone who wants to spend time with you just as much as you do with them. You deserve someone who insists on paying for your ice cream. You deserve someone who won't deceive you. You deserve someone who is straightforward. You deserve attention. You deserve affection. You deserve a partnership that is mutual, not one-sided. You deserve to be chased.

You are better than 3 a.m. “Hey" texts. You are better than a night spent watching a movie just to fool around. You are better than trying to decode his vague messages. You are better than his shadiness. You are better than mind games. You are better than being ignored.

If you have to chase him, he's not worth it. Don't settle for someone who makes you beg for his attention. If he is genuinely interested in getting to know you, he will put in the effort. A relationship where your feelings are reciprocated is far more rewarding than one where you constantly feel like you have to drag him along.

Change your mentality. Become more independent. Be confident, be bold. Find happiness in being alone. Don't waste your time pathetically chasing after someone who doesn't feel the same, but doesn't have the heart or the courage to tell you so. Your self-confidence and positivity will make you radiant, and eventually, you will attract the kind of guy who is mature enough to not mess with your head.

Cover Image Credit: weheartit.com

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The Easiest Way To Get Over A Breakup

Laying in your pajamas is not going to fix everything.

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Breakups suck. There is no other way to say it. But... the good thing about breakups is that they can be seen as a good thing rather than a bad thing. I think the first step to getting over a breakup is to take time to grieve. Your life is going to be different. A whole person is removed from your life. Removed from your routine.

It's OK to take a day to be sad.

I usually take one to two days to be sad and eat a lot of food. You can't just skip over the loss and think that you will recover. You can't do that. Take your two or so days to be sad. No longer than a week. Don't wallow in your dirty, crumb covered sheets.

Once you have taken your grieving time, get your butt up.

Take a shower and leave your house. Put on your favorite outfit and do whatever you need to to make yourself feel better. Go do something. It can be something as small as getting a coffee or walking with friends. Do something with people. Don't become a recluse and isolate yourself.

Do not post on social media.

It is SO tempting to tweet about how sad you are or post a sad snap but don't. Don't let your ex have that much power over you. Don't give them the satisfaction of how sad you are without them. They are going to move on, so you should too. You should also mute them or unfollow your ex. There is no reason to get upset every time you open your phone and see their face. It's not "childish" or "petty" it's smart.

You have to put yourself first and be selfish at this time.

Once you allow yourself to climb out of your dark hole of pity, jump back into life. Keep your chin up and keep going. The best way to "win" in the breakup is to be happy and move on without them. You may fall, you will get random slip-ups of sadness, but you will be OK. Take what you have learned in the relationship and remember that part. Notice what worked and what didn't.

You are fine, it's just a breakup not the end of the world. You got this.

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