Being vulnerable is something I constantly struggle with... and with good reason. It may not be the smartest thing to open up to people 5 minutes after you meet them, but it shouldn't take me years to finally get beyond generic conversation.
So how do we push ourselves to get beyond the word acquaintance and to develop true friendships? I think the answer lies in trust. Learning to trust people, and believing that by telling someone who you are will not only bring you closer to them, but will benefit you individually as well. Opening up to others can take mounds of pressure off our shoulders, can confirm that we are loved, and can give us a sense of belonging.
If I would have been afraid to open up in college... I wouldn't have the incredible group of friends I have surrounded myself by. I would be left alone.. in the dark. And life is so much happier with people to share it with, trust me. So if you find yourself constantly battling those voices that tell you to hold back, tell them off. Be vulnerable and be open. It WILL change your life.