On my Facebook page a listener asked, "How do you deal with being afraid to be hurt again?".
Well, one thing a lot of people do is stop opening up. They isolate themselves from everyone else and become lonely and depressed.
Can you see the irony? The problem with closing yourself off because you're afraid to be hurt again is that you ultimately end up hurting yourself.
So, how should we deal with being afraid to be hurt again? The first question you have to ask yourself is, "What is there to be afraid of?" Let's say you start dating someone and they dump you - what's the worst thing that's going to happen? You're going to feel bad? You're going to cry? Think back on all the times you got your feelings hurt. Did you die? No! You're still here, which means you survived.
That leads me to my second point: If you know you have survived it before, you know you can survive it again. There are probably countless times you have experienced disappointment, frustration, loss, pain, agony, and embarrassment. And you've survived them all, even though at the time you were absolutely sure you wouldn't. Nobody looks forward to being hurt, but you certainly shouldn't be afraid of it.
Lastly, you have to acknowledge that you're probably going to get hurt. Look at stand-up comics. They spend years developing their material in front of audiences, and in the beginning, they largely get booed. If they were afraid of getting their feelings hurt, they would never get up on stage a second time. There is no life without risk. Aches and pains are normal. If you work out a muscle, the next day it's going to ache. Hurt is a normal part of growth.
It's always good to have a little bit of fear. It keeps you alert and stops you from being naïve. But don't let fear dictate your life. Make fear the caboose of your train, not the engine.