Have you recognized when you are keeping someone at ‘arm’s length?’ You know, they can know you but not too much. Perhaps you have decided to do so to avoid getting hurt. Perhaps you have gotten used to not allowing yourself to get too close to anyone. There may be a variety of reasons. Let’s take a moment to discuss, “Arm’s Length.”
Let’s be honest, there is something about allowing someone to get close to you that will require trust and vulnerability. Trusting someone means you have decided to get to know them beyond general matters. In this case, you may allow them to know your family and more details about your life.
When we do not want someone to know too much about us, we may decide to keep them at ‘arm’s length.’ Maybe you do not use this term, but this is a great way of being honest about the decisions we make about our relationships with others. Feelings of disappointment, discouragement and regret can be very overwhelming mentally.
Keeping someone at ‘arm’s length’ is not necessarily a bad thing. It is understandable when we need to do so. There are times for our own healing and mental health that we must do this. Other times, we may need to just keep the relationship as business and not allow it to become personal. Perhaps, you did not do this at first and allowed yourself to be ‘too personal’ with someone and now you recognize that you must change this; then do it. You see, it is vital to recognize the things that are impacting us in negative ways. You should not feel guilty when you decide to do so. Keeping someone at ‘arm’s length‘ can bring freedom and a protection from being hurt and impacted from this relationship.
There has been more than once in my life that I have had to make this decision to not allow someone to be too close. When I have allowed myself to become too personal with certain individuals, I noticed that what I thought was a safe place to share, changed because the person became too close and wrongly judged or became jealous. Also, when there may be too much shared, some may choose as they become too familiar to disrespect you. The best thing is to admit when there was a noticeable problem in working together and trying to come up with a solution to make it work and to not allow it to turn into something else.
I want to include the point about being authentic in your relationships. It is amazing how many would prefer to wear masks and not allow themselves to be genuine to whom they are. They become fake and even will try to keep a certain façade of who they are because if anyone got ‘too close,’ they would see the real person and not feel the same way about them any longer. I have met too many who choose to live like this. I am not only talking about on social media being this way but getting to know individuals in-person. I noticed how much change took place when everything became about social media. However, I believe being around someone in-person should reveal the reality of who this person really is. Therefore, I believe when you want to build a relationship, you should decide to get to know this person outside of only social media. This also would pertain to work, school, church and other. We are the ones who decide how much we want someone to know about us. Guarding our hearts and minds in any and every relationship is very important. They are too many who really do not care if they hurt you with their words or their actions. Some are willing to be something they are not, to gain trust and then take advantage of who you are. I encourage you to pay attention to warning signs and again do not feel guilty when you choose to keep someone at ‘arm’s length.’
Let me know if you have had to keep some people at arm’s length. What was the reason and outcome? Did you once have a close relationship with someone and had to change to now being at ‘arm’s length’ with them? Share your experiences, each of our stories brings encouragement to others. Thank you so much for taking moments with me.
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