Closed person: why do people close themselves off and not trust others?

All people build walls with others, avoiding intimacy. Some with colleagues, some with passersby, some with close relatives. But some go further and wall themselves up like a “bloody countess.” Communication with them brings only pain and internal exhaustion.

It’s not difficult to recognize someone like this: he gets in touch when it’s convenient for him, forgets promises, isn’t interested in the details of your life, doesn’t talk about himself. On the one hand, which does not concern him personally, he is active and emotional, on the other hand, he absolutely ignores any talk about feelings, experiences, no matter whose.

They build careers, they are sociable and open, motivated and confident in the future. But their inner world is closed, talking about feelings irritates and angers them, giving them a reason to shut down. And this is not a disease - it is a conscious choice. Permanent or temporary.


Closedness means fenced off, remoteness of an object or group from society. It arises under the influence of temperament, a characteristic tendency to be more interested in oneself than in the world around us. Or due to external factors: low status of the environment, persistent dissatisfaction of psychophysiological or social needs. Because of this, anger develops, which is why sometimes closed people are quite aggressive.

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Do not confuse closedness and agnosia; detachment from the world is not a disease.

Agnosia is a problem with vision, hearing, or speech during normal functioning of the body.

Closed groups can be large or small. Large closed communities are studied in separate branches of psychology (ethnic, political), since they mainly include tribes living separately. Psychological science as such studies small groups.

Psychology divides small closed communities into four types.

  1. Groups closed under duress, due to prevailing circumstances, and not of their own free will (lost tourists or survivors of a shipwreck).
  2. Groups isolated by society not of their own free will (prisoners, soldiers, orphans, patients undergoing compulsory treatment).
  3. Groups that are closed voluntarily, but under the influence of circumstances (living remotely, but calmly accepting it, or monks who, of their own free will, become hermits due to their religion).
  4. Interest groups that are closed due to obvious distinctive features from society (pupils of elite schools or colleges, astronauts, geologists or sailors).

Despite the factorial differences, the four types of groups are united by the inviolability of boundaries and an authoritative structure. In each of the communities it is clearly defined: who is the manager and who is the subordinate. Unchangeable rigidity is formed by the group's habitat.

The main contribution to the study of the definition of “closedness” was made by Erik Homburger Erikson. He identified two overriding principles: integrity and totality. Where integrity is a positive quality of society. Totality is a negative characteristic due to absolute isolation. As an example, the concept of “totalitarian regime” is suitable, which implies the protection of a group from the outside world.

The inviolability of the boundaries of totally closed groups leads to a lack of development of their members, a clear opposition of the community to the outside world, which is why, over time, conflicts arise within and the community disintegrates.

The indicated characteristics of the closedness of the group are projected onto the individual. Only a community is closed because of its participants, and a person is closed because of his character, temperament, and social attitudes. The latter include:

  • the human essence is anger; for people to be good, they must be kept under control;
  • Respect and control can only be achieved through force and punishment;
  • only a person with power knows how to live;
  • There is always someone who knows better what the other needs.

The more a person is closed from society, the higher the level of reluctance to change. A social psychologist, at the request of an introvert, corrects the psyche, accompanies and supports his changes. Forced treatment leads to more serious problems.

Types of closedness of a person

There are two types of closedness, which are very similar in appearance. With a detailed study and long-term acquaintance, it is possible to accurately determine the diagnosis of what type of closed person is: habitually closed or neurotically closed.

A habitually private person does not experience discomfort due to the condition. He was brought up that way; closedness is a natural psychological position.

More than 9,000 people have gotten rid of their psychological problems using this technique.

A neurotically closed person experiences mental torment and closes down due to psychological breakdowns.

He is protected from the outside world after severe mental pain.

Mental loneliness leads to the same consequences as loneliness in nature: the habit of withdrawing into oneself develops a sensitivity that allows you to notice the slightest shades in people’s behavior, just as in the midst of complete silence you catch even a barely noticeable rustle.

Honore de Balzac

What is closure?

It’s not without reason that we called isolation a disadvantage. The fact is that it gives a person a lot of problems. It is difficult for him to make contact with the world around him, which means he does not receive enough love, emotions, experience and many other components of life that an open person receives.

Closedness can be described as a certain fixation on certain things, events, patterns of behavior, thinking or perception of the world around us. Most often it occurs as a response to a certain event in life. Based on the negative experience gained, a person predicts the development of each subsequent event and does not even try to apply other behavioral options. This way the problem is not resolved.

Every day, a closed person moves more and more away from the outside world, losing any connections with his former environment. This changes his ability to communicate with other people, build business and friendships.


A person prone to closeness can be identified by a number of external and internal signs. Keeps his hands in his pockets as a sign of mistrust and a desire to protect himself from an unfamiliar environment. The head is slightly lowered - the person is not confident in himself and wants to remain inconspicuous. And his gaze is lowered to the floor (especially during a conversation), because he, consciously or not, is afraid to experience new, unknown feelings.

The main signs of closure include:

  1. Cowardice is fear of the new and unusual, of taking the first step, of asking a question. Introverts are unfamiliar with courage and are wary of anything outside their comfort zone.
  2. Hypersensitivity to criticism - it is perceived too painfully.
  3. Excessive shyness and timidity.
  4. Pathological fear of expressing uncontrollable physical manifestations in public due to fear of ridicule (blushing, sweating, passing gas).
  5. Difficulties with communication - arise due to the persistent belief of introverts that they do not know how to find a common language, or this is due to the fear of being ridiculed or misunderstood.
  6. Fear of being the center of attention due to shyness.
  7. Inability to take responsibility - reluctance to initiate is associated with the fear of failure of the idea.
  8. Inability to emote. Sometimes introverts seem cold; in fact, they are simply afraid to show emotions even among close and good friends.
  9. A small social circle means fear of making new acquaintances.
  10. Excessive seriousness is sometimes perceived as thoughtfulness.
  11. Greed is the reluctance to share with others as a result of isolation.

Due to character and temperament, not all signs may appear at the same time. You shouldn’t put pressure on an introvert or try to correct him yourself, such actions are repulsive.

Help from a psychologist

How to deal with isolation if you want to let new people into your life? Sometimes your own efforts are not enough, and the attempts made are ineffective, which makes the situation worse. In this case, the help of a psychologist is required. The specialist will ask you about everything that worries you and listen to your fears and concerns. Together with a psychotherapist, you will see the reason for failures in communicating with people. Sometimes one consultation is enough to understand how to behave in order to stop being withdrawn and uncommunicative. If the situation is complex, more meetings will be required.

As a professional, I am ready to work with you to understand the current situation and help you learn to communicate with people easily and with pleasure. Communication brings happiness, it is an irreplaceable element of social life - let's take a step towards it together!

There are people who are open-hearted and quite sociable. However, sometimes there are those who can be classified as a closed, closed group.

An individual of this type does not allow anyone into his world, tries to avoid communication, and completely closes himself off from people. It often happens that a person is smart, but is unable to trust anyone. This becomes a habit; in addition, a huge number of fears arise, many of which are unfounded and irrational. People try to hide them by saying that the world is hostile.

This is often observed during training. It would seem that there is a close-knit group, the atmosphere can be called warm, and the tasks given are simple. In general, everything is fine, and there is no reason for fear - however, you can notice one or the other person sitting on the sidelines, watching what is happening tensely and who says the following: “ I would like to trust people, but I can’t trust so quickly

" It becomes clear that there is no reason to worry, there is simply fear, and because of this, the habit of not trusting anyone has developed.

When a person behaves closed, then those around him respond with restraint and reciprocal closeness. If there is no openness and trust, then it means there will be no true friends, while there are no reasonable contacts, and a person will be forced to find himself in the company of people of this type, who look at everyone with distrust.

Among those who belong to the closed type, an outburst of hostile reactions is observed much more often, since if you are constantly in anticipation of hostile actions, then, of course, it is better to hide, and then, just in case, return fire.

A self-fulfilling prophecy is triggered (that is, an initially false interpretation of the situation): for open people, the world is more open, and others are trustworthy, but for closed people, it remains alien and no one can be trusted.

Although there is similar behavior, such individuals can be distinguished into two groups: habitually closed and neurotically closed.

A habitually closed person is unable to open up, because his entire behavior is affected by habits laid down in childhood. The individual is closed, not because he experiences any fears or other social problems, this is where upbringing comes into play. In order to make him more open, it is enough to interest him in something; treatment in this case is not required.

With neurotic closeness, a person suffers some kind of trauma, pain, and therefore a certain type of fear arises. Sometimes the consequences of pain and pain itself no longer seem to exist, but behavior remains constrained by habit, there is an internal attitude that it is better to remain silent somewhere and not stick out. At the same time, in appearance you can notice tension in the shoulders and restraint in gestures. Although outbursts in the form of small pricks, insults and accusations are also possible, after this a little relief comes. Next, the person begins to reproach himself for not being restrained.

Is it possible to help a closed person?

It is very difficult for such a person to open up to strangers, there is an impossibility of expressing one’s real thoughts and relationships, there is a fear of loneliness, but deciding to love another person is also problematic.

You should not tell such an individual that there is no need to worry, this will be the wrong step. It is certainly possible to help, but it will take a lot of effort to achieve a positive result.

So what should you do?

First, you need to figure out what exactly you shouldn’t do. It will not work to force a person to change, act more boldly, or talk about their problems. An attempt to rebuild an individual for oneself will lead to powerful resistance, greater mistrust and closeness. Although occasionally this method can help.

However, the best option would be sincere friendship, which requires gradual acquaintance with good people. If it turns out that you become a friend of a closed person, then over time this problem in communication will go away. The surest option would be to bring such a person into a sociable company, but there is no need to force him to be active.

To begin with, it will be enough that a person simply comes, listens, and looks. If you are always nearby, this will have a more positive effect. After a certain time, the person will become warmer.

Some difficulties may also arise. Very often a closed person has a difficult character. In another way, we can say that this is a type with a bad upbringing who absolutely does not know how to find contact with others. In order to cope with this, a close friend needs to be patient, because you need to explain to him how to behave, talk about good manners, about what you can do and what you shouldn’t do.

But, as you know, very rarely does anyone want to get involved with a person who does not know how to be grateful, and sometimes will also be rude. This is where the difficulties lie, so being friends with a closed person is very difficult.

How to learn to be open?

If there is an opinion that you are not completely open, but you want to think differently, then this is quite possible, but you need to develop certain habits. This means.

Representatives of the modern school of psychologists (K. Leonard, A. Lichko, etc.) identify these types of human character.


They are too sociable, talkative, have pronounced gestures and facial expressions. Suddenly during a conversation they move away from the original topic. They do not take official assignments seriously. Most often they initiate conflicts. However, they are very active, active, optimistic, and proactive. Repulsive traits are frivolity, the possibility of immoral acts, irritability, and frivolity.


People of this type of character are quiet, often pessimistic, and taciturn. They avoid noisy companies, do not enter into conflicts, and are closed from others. They easily obey those who are friends with them. They are serious, obligatory, extremely fair. But they are very slow, passive, unfocused, clumsy.


Characterized by frequent changeability of moods and manner of communication with other people. They can either be too sociable or withdraw into themselves.


These are boring and gloomy people. They are characterized by rudeness, conflict, quarrelsomeness, and love of power in the family. They can be irritable, extremely hot-tempered, and do not maintain balance in their behavior. When calm, they are precise, punctual, and loving towards animals and children.


They are not very sociable people, most of them are boring, they like to teach others. They are active in conflicts. They try to complete assigned tasks 100%. They are easily offended, vindictive, arrogant, and jealous. They demand too much from their subordinates and loved ones.


Non-conflicting, bureaucrats, formalists. But - conscientious, responsible, careful, faithful, efficient.


Unconfident people. Rarely conflict with others. Friendly, efficient, self-critical. They are easy to make fun of in jokes.


They choose a narrow circle of friends. Non-conflicting. Resentments do not spill out. Kind, merciful, efficient, fulfilling obligations. Extremely sensitive.


They easily make contact and take a leading position. Adaptable, self-confident, initiators of conflict. Artistic, captivating others, creative. Selfish, hypocrites, braggarts.


Wide circle of friends, chatty. Take part in mediation in conflicts. They are altruists, sincere, bright. They may panic and change their mood.


Sociable, talkative, receptive to any information. They do not conflict, they are performers, subordinate to others. They know how to listen, but are frivolous, imprudent, and gossips.


More closed, divorced from reality, philosophers. Lovers of solitude, do not have conflicts. But they are restrained and principled. Stubborn, ideological. They defend their point of view, even the wrong one, to the last.

You can study human character types in more detail in the psychological literature.

True, before taking decisive action, it is necessary to delve deeper into the problem: to understand what isolation is, how it manifests itself and what can provoke it. Once you can clearly define all of this, the job of eliminating this deficiency will go much easier.


Closedness can manifest itself at any age due to various factors. The main reasons that provoke a person’s unsociability:

  1. Under the influence of your own temperament. Phlegmatic or melancholic children are more interested in being in their own world.
  2. The teenager failed to complete the task due to conflict or misunderstanding among peers. The result is frustration and a storm of negative emotions. Together with the indifferent attitude of the parents, they push the child to close down and try to prevent the situation from repeating itself.
  3. Due to not receiving proper parental attention and care in childhood, the child withdraws from society with the idea that no one will ever need him.
  4. Children brought up in a dysfunctional family necessarily become closed. This involves devaluing their performance, no matter how well they did. As a result, fear, shame, and guilt are formed due to any action.
  5. In adulthood, closedness is formed due to a traumatic event. After the betrayal of a loved one or close friend, a natural decision arises to protect oneself from a similar situation in the future. Women, after their husband’s betrayal, are unable to trust other men due to a painful condition. Such people may well deceive themselves, thinking that they no longer need anyone. In fact, they unconsciously hide behind feigned indifference, because it is easier to devalue the importance of others than to recognize and overcome their own pain.

The list of traumatic causes can be endless; they all affect a person’s mental health to varying degrees.

If you don’t want to give up and are ready to really, and not in words, fight for your full and happy life, you may be interested in this article .

Smile and control of emotions

The easiest way to make a good impression is to smile. She always speaks for herself: “I’m glad to see you.” Can the sight of a gloomy and dissatisfied person make you feel positive? A suspicion immediately arises that it was this meeting that caused such emotions.

A smile is especially important in the first moments of communication, and during a dialogue you should strive to control your emotions. You cannot constantly expect praise or approval from your communication partner. Having made his condition dependent on this, a person finds himself in the position of a participant in a roller coaster ride. He gets inspired from compliments, and gets upset from criticism.

The steering wheel of feelings should be in the hands of the person himself. This is the only way to stop worrying and win people over. Emotional stability has a good effect on relationships, leads to an optimistic outlook on life, increased tone. The author himself said this:

A person who seeks approval from others trusts his happiness to strangers. (D. Carnegie)

Psychological portrait of a closed person

When introverts find themselves in an unfamiliar society, they behave aloof. They are not the first to introduce themselves, and when someone approaches them they become nervous or behave repulsively.

They feel uncomfortable among a large number of people, so you won’t see them at city events or in shopping centers during sales.

They tend to worry excessively on the eve of an important event. Think through a thousand and one possible scenarios in order to calm down and feel as prepared as possible.

They don’t immediately let strangers in, they need a lot of time to trust. But, in relation to those who become close, they behave honestly and value communication.

More than 9,000 people have gotten rid of their psychological problems using this technique.

To physically and morally restore a closed personality, you need to be alone with yourself, without doing anything. In moments of relaxation, you should not violate the personal boundaries of an introvert. The balance between solitude and communication is important to him.

Closed people will not answer a call or message if they are busy. And they tend to plan every activity and action carefully, otherwise they experience discomfort.

A smart person will first of all strive to avoid any grief, to obtain peace and leisure; he will look for a quiet, modest life, in which he would not be bothered, and therefore, with some acquaintance with so-called people, he will choose a secluded life, and with great intelligence - complete solitude.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Closedness of a woman

In representatives of the opposite sexes, withdrawal manifests itself differently.

In women, closeness is characterized by:

  1. Dreaminess. Girls imagine an ideal, understanding, caring man and strive to find him. But they are afraid of relationships, so winning their heart is a difficult task.
  2. Sensitivity. Closed women do not show emotions for various reasons. Due to her parents' prohibitions, the girl did not learn to show emotions. Or in adolescence, a girl decided to confess her feelings to a boy, but he refused her or made fun of her in front of his friends. As a result, she developed a complex, a fear of being misunderstood, difficulties with description and expression of emotions. An obsessive thought arises that the pain will recur if she shows feelings.
  3. Restraint. The opinions of others are important to them. For fear of offending the interlocutor, they tend to listen carefully and remain silent more.
  4. Feigned disinterest. A woman wants a relationship with the opposite sex, but is afraid. Sometimes he stops communication at the stage of close acquaintance, when the man opens up and talks about himself. She understands that she also needs to share information about her personality, but because she is not sure, she is afraid of being misunderstood and leaves.
  5. Inability to conflict. Closed women worry about peace, it is important for them to feel safe, so they avoid conflict situations.
  6. Irresponsibility. Fear of responsibility due to lack of self-confidence. It’s easier for her to blame someone else for her mistakes and make fun of her than to accept criticism and draw conclusions.
  7. Narcissism, manipulativeness. The girl is used to living in her own world: she cares only about herself, putting her own interests above those of others. For the sake of a feeling of security, she tends to manipulate people. If a woman knows that a man will do what she needs, then she will be sure that he will not try to “get into” her inner world.
  8. Tendency to frivolous relationships. Frequently changing sexual partners is normal for an emotionally closed woman. She shares the concepts of love and sex. Because of fear and inability to build long-term relationships, it is easier for a girl to spend one night with a guy and never see each other.

If a woman’s closeness is not related to painful events of the past, she can easily change. Having met a worthy life partner, he will be able to open up and feel more confident.

Name, importance of the interlocutor

The sounds of your own name - what could be more pleasant? You were probably in a large company and a newcomer was joining. When everyone was introduced to him at once, he remembered someone faster than others and immediately addressed them by name. Surely that person was pleased that he was singled out from the crowd. We will always reward with a good attitude the one who pronounces our name with respect.

Compliments will always help complement a pleasant impression. This will emphasize the importance of the face. It’s so easy to say a few flattering phrases to the tired girl serving you at the bank at the end of the work week! This will not only endear her to the author of the words, but will also brighten up an ordinary everyday day, turning it into one of the most unforgettable.

There is only one condition here - sincerity.

If we do good only for our own benefit, then we will face bankruptcy, which you deserve! (D. Carnegie)

Closedness of a man

Closed men, like women, are more occupied with their inner world.

But among representatives of the stronger sex, closedness manifests itself in other ways.

  1. Thoughtfulness. For a closed man, it is important to be prepared for any development of events. Especially if a serious event is to take place in the near future.
  2. Weightedness. He does not make rash decisions, does not like to chat in vain, spontaneity is not his strong point. The tendency to overthink everything can make communication seem tense.
  3. Detachment. A closed man does not need frequent communication; he feels calmer and more confident when alone with himself. Does not like noisy places and large crowds of people, prefers to relax in a calm, quiet place.
  4. The tendency to take everything to heart. If an unpleasant situation has occurred in his life, he will think about what happened for a long time. Replay events and worry about their impact on the future.
  5. Fantasizing. Constantly being inside yourself develops imagination. His tendency to daydream may make him feel like he can't hear.
  6. Self-control. Because of total control, it may seem that a man is insensitive, but in fact he is used to keeping everything inside. The reasons may be different: events of the past, due to which the fear of being misunderstood, rejected, or he has become accustomed to this since childhood.
  7. Conservative. A private man is unlikely to like a depraved girl in an overly tight dress with bright makeup.
  8. Taciturnity. He will never throw words to the wind, but will prove his opinion and feelings with actions. You shouldn’t wait or be offended if a guy doesn’t constantly repeat “I love you.”

A closed man can push a girl away with his secrecy and reluctance to immediately let her into his inner world. In fact, he is more capable of monogamous, long-term relationships.

Women, among other things, complained about his isolation. He preferred to read rather than listen.

John Irving

How to help a closed person

It is quite difficult to help people who are not accustomed to openness, but it is possible. It doesn’t matter what type of person he is (neurotically or habitually closed), you should not try to force him to open up. If she feels pressure, she will most likely begin to resist and defend herself even more.

If you don’t put pressure on an introvert, treat him warmly and sincerely, he will gradually begin to open up and trust more. The main thing is to be aware of full responsibility and not to offend or offend in any way. Especially if the closeness is provoked by traumatic events, otherwise you can do even more harm.

Another good way to help is to introduce your group to friends. You just can’t force him to take active actions; at the beginning of the acquaintance, you should let him be a little away. When he feels safe, he himself will begin to do things that he would not have dared to do before.

Difficulties can arise if, in addition to closedness, there are several negative qualities: selfishness, cruelty, aggressiveness. Sometimes people exist in their own world because they do not know how to behave in society. Then you will have to not only help them open up, but also teach them etiquette. There is no guarantee that he will react normally to attempts to help. To preserve your own emotional health, it is probably better not to bother such a person.


The phrase “modesty is decorative” has long been set on edge.
Yes, in some situations modesty is needed, because excessive boasting or obvious narcissism does not suit a worthy person. But shyness is something else. This quality interferes with the life of both the humble guy himself and confuses those around him - they try to help him, understand him, open him up, but this does not always work out. As a result, a shy person drops out of social life, since he is boring and has nothing to talk about. And this gives rise to new complexes and negative emotions in a closed person. And something needs to be done about this.

If you take some action, put in your efforts and back it up with a great desire, then everything will definitely work out!

How to communicate with a closed person

A sincere, kind attitude will help an introverted person begin to trust.

To build good, friendly communication with her, it is advisable to follow a few tips.

  1. You cannot suddenly and unexpectedly violate the personal space of a closed person. It is important to discuss the future meeting in advance so that he can mentally prepare for it.
  2. Do not insist on an immediate answer, because after hearing the question, the introvert will think about it for some time.
  3. You should not interrupt in conversation. He may get the impression that they are not interested in him, he will become silent and withdraw into himself even more.
  4. Closed people are vulnerable, but are not used to showing their feelings, so you may not notice that they are offended.
  5. You can’t be false if you want to talk about frank topics. Introverts will sense a lie, and then it will be very difficult to earn their trust.
  6. Sometimes you need to give them a break from active communication: a silent break or a conversation by correspondence.

Due to the circumstances that led to isolation from society, closed people are more reliable. If you learn to communicate with a certain person, you can count on making a great new friend.

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