People Who Hide Their Feelings
People who hide their feelings seem cold, compassionate, and even indifferent. We’re talking about people with such hard hearts that few emotions make it through their walls and into the layer of awareness.
Hard-hearted people tend not to cry, or smile, or show much affection. They stay on the margins and make you believe that they don’t care or want to get involved in what’s going on around them. People like this seem strong but they’re actually quite fragile.
“Sometimes, people put up a front becuase they think that will keep them from feeling pain. However, isolating yourself in that way does more harm than good.”
What are hard-hearted people like?
People who seem hard-hearted have a very difficult time expressing their feelings. Here are some of their common traits:
- Assumptions. They often assume that other people know how they feel, so they stop showing their feelings.
- They’re often perfectionists. Consequently, it can be hard for them to admit their mistakes and be vulnerable in that way.
- Low self-esteem. They often feel as if they aren’t worth anything, so there’s no point in expressing themselves.
- Fear. These are the kind of people who are afraid of conflict and letting their emotions show.
- Catastrophic thinking. Sometimes, they believe that all is lost. As a result, they think it’s pointless to do more.
- Not knowing how to communicate.
- Shyness. Actually, a lot of people seem cold and unfeeling but they’re actually just shy. They want to share what’s going on, but their anxiety about uncharted territory stops them.
- Protection. Hard-hearted people sometimes hide what they feel to protect themselves. It’s a defense mechanism against potentially being vulnerable.
- Having a hard time feeling. They aren’t very good at listening to themselves, so they aren’t in touch with their mental, emotional, or physical states.
No space for emotions
Everyone is living in their own unique world. People who hide their feelings usually have one or more of the above characteristics. The common denominator is that hard-hearted people can’t open up a space for their emotions.
However, just because they don’t express their feelings doesn’t mean they don’t feel them. They feel them, intensely, but they don’t know how to communicate them. The reason for that could be something they’re aware of (or not).
What do people who can’t hide their feelings do? How do they act? Often, they seem to others to be either very strong or very distant. They frequently give the impression that they’re insensitive.
All that being said, there are people who are as cold as ice, and they have no idea how to feel compassion or empathy for other people. People on this extreme end of the spectrum are generally categorized as psychopaths. However, most people who seem cold and unfeeling aren’t actually psychopaths. As we mentioned above, they might just be shy or perfectionists.
How people who hide their feelings learn to manage emotions
It’s very important to learn how to manage your emotions. Why? Because you’ll be able to be more assertive in your relationship with yourself and others. Here are some tips:
- Accept your feelings. Acknowledge your feelings and accept that you have them. Realize that they’ll help you grow and know yourself better.
- Focus on your self-esteem. When you recognize your own value, you realize how important you are to others. That, in turn, helps validate your emotions. Then, you can focus your attention on your emotions when necessary to grow as a person and improve your relationships.
- Freedom. Sometimes, if shyness is ruling your life, you shut yourself up into a cage and throw away the key just to avoid the anxiety of interacting with others.
- Facing fears. Maybe you’re afraid. That’s okay. In addition to recognizing it, try to figure out the root cause, and let it go. That will make it far easier to express what you’re feeling. Not only that but if you forget about caring what other people will think or how they’ll react, you’ll be able to have more authentic moments. You’ll be able to express yourself without all that pressure.
- Practice expressing your feelings. If you’ve spent most of your life hiding what you feel, it can be really difficult to start. To ease into it, try practicing with understanding people you’re very close to. That will make everything ten times easier.
- Knowing yourself. If you know who you are, you’ll be much better at identifying your emotions and expressing them in an assertive way.
Emotions are a world unto themselves. Managing them isn’t easy, nor is it impossible. The most important things are to recognize them, experience them, and know how to express them. Then, figure out when the most appropriate time to do it.
No two people are the same, and everyone expresses themselves differently. While it might not seem like hiding your emotions is that big of a deal, keeping them all bottled in can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety.
The benefits of softening that hard heart
If you want to stop hiding your feelings, you’re on the right path. Expressing yourself and being more open has myriad benefits. Here are a few:
- Lower your levels of anxiety.
- Increase empathy.
- Reduce stress.
- Get to know yourself better.
- Increase self-awareness.
- Strengthen relationships with yourself and others.
- Improve your self-esteem.
- Encourage assertive communication.
It’s easier to experience all of these benefits if you get a good emotional education from a young age. Aris Redo, in his article for the Vivat Academy Communication magazine, talks about the importance of emotional education. Not just for the students but for the teachers too.
Just because someone seems hard-hearted doesn’t mean that their heart won’t soften a little bit. With some good emotional education, they’ll learn how to manage their feelings and express themselves in a more assertive way. Little by little, they’ll start to tear down those thick walls they built up so long ago.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Redó, N.A. (2010). La educación emocional y la comunicación escolar. Vivat Academia, 113, pp. 79-87.