Opening When You Want to Close: Why Withholding Will Damage Your Connections

September 21, 2021

“Control is the death of connection.

Whereas freedom is inherent to depth of connection.

-Emily Gough

In the moments where you want to close the most, is when it’s most pivotal and transformative for you to choose to open instead.

The outcome might be a deeper connection.

Or perhaps you’ll realize someone isn’t the right fit for you upon opening to them.

But in my experience, the moments you close yourself off are the ones you’ll regret.

And the moments you open are the ones you can look back at and pinpoint as the moment you chose a different reality for yourself in the best possible ways, regardless of outcome.

Because if you’d remained closed, you’d be wearing a mask. Hiding your truth and who you really are from the person you’re trying to create a closer connection with.

Which only creates the kind of disconnection we like to believe closing ourselves off protects us from experiencing.

Some of the questions we’ll go through in this episode:

  • How can we tell/feel when we’re closing? Why does this happen?
  • What do I mean by opening? What does that even look like?
  • How do we do it?
  • What opening does NOT mean
  • Ask yourself: if I was to open instead of shutting down in this moment, what would that look like?

And…closing also has a lot to do with control.

By closing and withholding how we really feel, we choose to shift the narrative and take control of the situation. To block ourselves off behind a protective wall before anyone can hurt us. 

The more often we do that, the more dissatisfied we’ll be with our relationships.

Every time you want to close and shut down, I’m challenging you to open instead.

Make sure to let me know how this goes for you!

Apply to book a private call with Emily to work together.



Emily Gough Coaching

Room to Grow Podcast

Questions?  Comments? Want to connect and chat about this episode? You can email me at, or DM me over on Instagram @emilygoughcoach or Facebook at Emily Gough Coaching.  I would absolutely love to connect with you and thank you for listening in real life and here any takeaways you had from this or other episodes!.  It makes me day to see you listening to the podcast and fills me up with pure joy. Seriously.  See you on the ‘gram!

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