If someone displays these 12 behaviors, they’re afraid to reveal their true self around you

Ever felt like you’re only scratching the surface of someone’s personality, as if there’s a whole world hidden beneath the facade?

You’re not alone.

In the intricate dance of human interaction, certain behaviors serve as subtle clues, hinting at deeper insecurities and fears. If you’ve ever found yourself pondering why someone seems guarded or hesitant to let their true colors shine, you’re about to embark on a revealing journey.

Brace yourself as we unveil the 12 telltale behaviors that signal someone’s reluctance to reveal their authentic self in your presence.

1) They’re always agreeing with you

You know those people who just nod and agree with everything you say? It’s like they don’t have an opinion of their own. Well, that could be a sign they’re not being real with you.

People often do this because they’re scared of conflict or rejection. They think if they agree with everything, they’ll be more liked or accepted. But in reality, it’s just a barrier they’re putting up to hide their true feelings and thoughts.

So next time someone is always on your side, think twice – are they really agreeing or just trying to please you?

2) They avoid deep conversations

Ever noticed how some people steer clear of any conversation that goes beyond the surface level? They’ll chat about the weather, the latest TV shows, or gossip, but the moment you try to dive deeper, they quickly change the subject.

This could be because they’re afraid to reveal their true thoughts and feelings. Deep discussions often require vulnerability, something they might not be comfortable with. 

3) They’re overly defensive

Remember when we used to build forts as kids, using anything we could find, just to keep everyone out? Some people do the same thing with their emotions – they build walls and become overly defensive.

I once had a friend who would get super defensive even over the smallest things. I could say something like, “I didn’t really enjoy that movie,” and she’d react as if it was a personal attack, even when it wasn’t about her at all.

I later realized it was her way of protecting herself from revealing too much or being judged. Being overly defensive can be a sign that someone is not comfortable showing their true self around you.

4) They mimic your behavior

Did you know that mimicking someone’s behavior is a subconscious way of trying to fit in or be liked? It’s a phenomenon psychologists call “mirroring.”

If someone is constantly copying your gestures, speech patterns, or attitudes, it could mean they’re trying too hard to make you like them. It’s a way of hiding their true self because they fear their authentic personality might not be as acceptable or likable.

It’s fascinating to realize how much our actions can reveal about us, isn’t it? 

5) They struggle to express their feelings

We all know that expressing our feelings can be difficult sometimes. It’s like standing at the edge of a cliff, not sure if you’ll fly or fall. But imagine feeling this way all the time.

Some people struggle to express their feelings because they’re afraid of being seen for who they truly are. They fear that their true self might not be good enough or worthy of love and acceptance. That’s why they keep their emotions locked away, hoping they’ll never have to face that fear. 

6) They’re always in control

I remember a former co-worker who always needed to be in control – of everything.

From the tasks he was assigned, to the office lunch order, he always had to have the final say.

At first, I thought he was just a control freak. But as time went on, I realized it was his way of hiding his insecurities. By controlling everything around him, he could maintain a certain image and avoid revealing his true self. 

7) They never show weakness

phrases used by conversational narcissists to manipulate you 3 If someone displays these 12 behaviors, they're afraid to reveal their true self around you

Let’s get real here. We all have our moments of weakness – times when life gets tough and we feel like we’re falling apart. But there are people out there who never let you see them struggle.

They always appear strong, no matter what they’re going through. It’s like they’re wearing an armor, protecting themselves from any potential harm. They believe showing weakness is a sign of vulnerability that might lead to rejection or judgment.

But in truth, it’s just their way of hiding their real, human self.

8) They never take risks

Did you know that fear of failure is one of the most common fears people have? It’s called “Atychiphobia.” Some people are so afraid of failing or making mistakes that they avoid taking any risks at all. They stick to what they know and stay in their comfort zones.

While this might seem like a safe strategy, it’s often a sign they’re hiding their true selves. They fear that if they take a risk and fail, their true self – the one that makes mistakes and is not perfect – will be revealed. 

9) They rarely make eye contact

Growing up, I had a friend who would rarely make eye contact during conversations. It always felt like she was looking everywhere but at me. At first, I thought she was just shy or not interested in what I was saying. But with time, I realized it was her way of hiding her true self.

Eye contact can be really intimate; it’s like letting someone see into your soul. Hence, avoiding it can be a way for people to hide their real emotions or thoughts.  

10) They’re always wearing a smile

 In reality, when someone feels genuinely at ease with you, they’ll naturally reveal their authentic self without hesitation. Life isn’t always filled with sunshine and rainbows; there are moments when smiling feels oddly out of character.

What about people who always maintain an unwavering cheerfulness, irrespective of their circumstances? Well, they’re either perpetual optimists, or they just feel that they can’t freely express themselves around you.

This scenario often rings true for those experiencing “smiling depression,” a term coined to describe individuals living with depression internally while projecting an outward facade of contentment or happiness.

Despite outward appearances of having a put-together life, internally, they grapple with the weight of depression and its associated struggles. They’re only smiling and looking cheerful because they don’t want to be judged by others or become a burden. 

11) They must always fill the silence

When someone consistently seeks to fill the silence with chatter in your presence, it could signal underlying discomfort.

The need to constantly talk may stem from a fear of vulnerability, as silence allows space for introspection and authenticity. By keeping the conversation flowing, they avoid moments of quiet that might reveal their true thoughts or feelings.

This behavior suggests a reluctance to engage in genuine connection, preferring surface-level interactions to shield themselves from intimacy. 

12) They constantly seek approval

There are people who constantly seek approval from others. It’s like they’re on a never-ending quest for validation. They do things not because they want to, but because they believe it will make them more likable or acceptable.

By seeking approval and validation from others, they attempt to fill the void left by their own self-doubt and uncertainty. This reliance on external validation becomes a coping mechanism, providing temporary reassurance and a sense of worthiness. 

Empathy unlocks authenticity

So what should you do next?

First and foremost, it’s crucial to create a safe and non-judgmental environment where they feel comfortable opening up at their own pace.

Avoid pressuring them to disclose personal information or feelings before they’re ready. Instead, demonstrate active listening and genuine interest in what they choose to share. Also, respect their boundaries and refrain from probing or prying into sensitive topics. 

Ultimately, by demonstrating empathy and understanding, you can help them feel valued and accepted, fostering a deeper connection built on trust and mutual respect.

Picture of Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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