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How to help or get to know someone...

...who has built walls to protect themselves? This person has been through an extreme amount of pain...starting with his childhood. He has trouble getting to know people on an intimate level. He has a fear of abandonment and a fear of commitment. What can I do to help gently break down those walls?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:01 PM on Mar. 10, 2011 in Relationships

Answers (11)
  • Encourage therapy. But do not seek a romantic relationship.

    Answer by isabellalecour at 12:02 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • You can't really break down the walls. You just need to make sure that he knows that you care about him even with is fears and childhood. I have extreme abandonment issues and so I can relate a little bit. It has caused issues in my marriage because I have pushed him away so the only thing i can say is make sure he knows that you love him no matter what and just stick with him, it will show him that you aren't going to drop him as soon as he messes up a little and also that you care.

    Answer by vchristineg at 12:03 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • Being there and not leaving is probably the best way to help. However, it's not your job to break down any walls. It's up to the other person to open up.

    Answer by Nonoluna at 12:04 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • i would say romantic relationship is still possible with him with the right therapy... what sort of problems are we talking about from his childhood and so on if you dont mind sharing? might could provide more insight so we can give you a better answer :)

    Answer by ash2011903 at 12:05 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • but romantic or otherwise just being there apart of his life i'm sure would mean a lot and communication is key so
    just let him know if he needs to talk your there for him!

    Answer by ash2011903 at 12:06 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • He grew up in foster care, was adopted, then "unadopted". I won't be pursuing a romantic relationship at the moment, but in the future I believe it's possible.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:13 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • Then maybe you should start out as friends. That way you can earn his trust. In time you can move slowly to the next step.


    Answer by HomeAlone45 at 12:27 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • We are starting out as friends...that's what I'm saying. I'm asking how I can help a friend.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 1:01 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • Disorders are created by treating children like that. I suggest reading the book Stop Walking on Eggshells. It will give you an insight on what you can do to help. Keep in mind there is much hurt and destruction behind those walls. I wouldn't try to get the walls to come down too fast. Time and consistency will help build a foundation.

    Answer by admckenzie at 1:01 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • As a friend, just be there for him! Care about his feelings and his happiness, but not above your own, that is dangerous territory. I have a friend whose dad was that guy your describing and he's been married for 20 plus years and had a great relationship. There is hope!

    Answer by JackieGirl007 at 3:44 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

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