What does it mean to open your life up to someone and be vulnerable and put yourself in a position to be hurt?
It simply means that people will always annoy you and irritate you, and most of the time, we will only find out once we’ve got a bit closer to that person.
If you only know someone from a distance, they are not likely to hurt you. There is a safe distance kept between two people where private spaces are not invaded, the friendship is amiable and there is not much disagreement.
The people who hurt you are always the people closest to you. This is because we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people, and the closer you are to someone, the more you see their quirks and habits. The more you see their quirks and habits, the more likely it is to irritate and inconvenient you.
The best example is your own family. You love them, yet you hate them. You think you can live without them, but most of the time you really can’t. Your family members have seen you from Day 1, and there is no hiding your imperfections from them the way you can cover up with strangers and colleagues.
If you don’t let people into your life because you don’t want to see that annoying side of them and get hurt by them, then there’s unfortunately no way of ever developing any meaningful friendships. A man once told me that a sign in Johannesburg Airport read, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.”