By Eric Waisman
You know, it's been a while since I wore my heart on my sleeve.
It's said that during jousting matches in the Middle Ages, knights wore the handkerchief of a lady in the king's court around their arms. "This one goes out to the one I love," in the words of R.E.M's Michael Stipe - basically dedicating the jousting match to a special lady. These days we post our affections on Facebook, and it's been a while since I've seen anyone joust. But the expression's still with us. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is all about being transparent and open with your emotions. That can be scary and a lot of us try to protect ourselves by being more guarded emotionally.
In the past decade or so I've worked hard to create a lifestyle of abundance. I've been surrounded by a lot of people, friends, and women, which has made it very natural to be busy and invited to a lot of stuff. I feel blessed. I genuinely have to schedule social stuff weeks in advance.
But somewhere along the way, it's become hard for me to wear my heart on my sleeve for anything. I may have come across as super independent. Looking back, I realize in my last two relationships I was a bit distant at times. When I was struggling with something emotionally, I often tried to work through it on my own instead of confiding or seeking support from the people closest to me. Now I wonder if I've closed myself off to deeper emotional connections with people by not letting myself be more vulnerable. I kinda miss a little bit of needy.
It feels really good to be desired and to desire others. Right now I'm working on finding that balance. I'm playing with being much more vulnerable in investing in people I genuinely like and love.
How can you do this?
You can straight up tell the person that they're important to you, ask them out, or even text them back immediately whenever possible. Yep, I said it. It's all about balance and opening up. Being a bit distant and independent can be very healthy and attractive, but make sure you're showing some love, and wear your heart on your sleeve as you joust through life too. Studies have actually shown a correlation between how long relationships last, and how responsive the two people are with each other.
Lately I've been getting lots of phone numbers from new people I'm meeting, and I'm realizing how great it is to establish a responsive behavior with someone. It actually feels contagious where I want to give back that great feeling of an immediate text or phone call. Getting a text back quickly may be a great sign of great things to come.
This Valentine's Day let the awesome people in your life know that you care about them. And remember, it takes real strength to show your weaknesses. Even social dynamos need help sometimes. In fact, "heart on your sleeve" is going to be my Halloween costume this year since it's pretty scary.