We all have moments when we mask our true feelings.
But some of us tend to do it constantly — those who are masters at hiding what they truly feel.
Why do they do this, you ask?
Well, the reasons can vary wildly. Maybe it’s to avoid conflict, or perhaps they’re trying to protect someone else’s feelings.
Today, we’re going to delve into some common behaviors that might indicate someone is hiding their true feelings from you.
Just a heads up – some of these might seem a bit harsh.
My intention isn’t to make you overly suspicious of everyone around you. Instead, I hope to provide you with tools to better understand the people in your life.
Let’s dive in and see if you recognize any of these behaviors.
1) They avoid eye contact
Ever had a conversation with someone who just can’t seem to look you in the eye?
I remember this one time, I was chatting with a friend about his recent breakup. He kept his gaze firmly on his coffee cup, barely looking up even when he was speaking.
That was the first clue that he wasn’t being entirely open about how he felt.
They may be experiencing feelings they don’t want to share or perhaps they’re not ready to confront those emotions themselves.
2) They’re unusually quiet
Remember in school when your usually chatty friend would suddenly become quiet? I do.
My best friend was the life and soul of every gathering. But one day, she just went silent. It was so out of character, I knew something was up.
When people are hiding their true feelings, they might retreat into themselves.
If someone who’s normally talkative suddenly turns quiet, it might be a sign that they’re wrestling with something internally.
They might be holding back their true feelings, mulling them over before deciding whether to share them or not.
3) They cross their arms or legs
Body language can be a powerful indicator of someone’s emotional state.
When a person is feeling defensive or closed off, they often unconsciously cross their arms or legs. This behavior is deeply rooted in our psychology. It’s a subconscious attempt to protect ourselves from perceived emotional harm.
So if you notice someone adopting this posture during a conversation, it could be a sign they’re concealing their true feelings.
4) Their laughter doesn’t reach their eyes
Laughter is one of the most beautiful expressions of joy — but not all laughter is genuine.
Sometimes, it’s merely a mask to cover up pain or sadness. When someone laughs, but their eyes remain dull or sad, it’s often a sign that they’re hiding something deeper.
They’re putting on a brave face for the world, while inside they’re hurting.
If you notice this in someone, it could be a silent plea for help, for someone to notice their pain and reach out.
5) They change the subject quickly
I’ve noticed this behavior in my cousin, a master at deflecting any conversation that veers too close to his personal life.
You’d ask him about his job, and suddenly he’d start talking about the latest football match.
Or you’d bring up his love life and before you know it, he’s on about a new recipe he’s trying.
People who are hiding their true feelings often become experts at changing the subject swiftly. It’s their way of avoiding uncomfortable topics, those that might force them to confront or reveal their hidden emotions.
So if you notice someone consistently steering conversations away from certain subjects, they might be hiding their true feelings about those topics.
6) They give vague responses
If you’ve ever tried to get a straight answer out of someone and all you get are non-committal responses, you know how frustrating it can be.
It’s like trying to pin down a moving target.
This kind of evasiveness can often be a sign that someone is trying to hide their true feelings. They might fear being judged or misunderstood, so they keep their responses vague to avoid revealing too much.
7) They seem distracted
People who are trying to hide their true feelings often have a lot going on in their minds. This internal struggle can make them seem distracted or distant.
I’ve seen this with my sister. She would often stare off into space during family dinners, her mind clearly somewhere else.
When I asked her about it, she admitted that she was dealing with some personal issues she wasn’t ready to share.
8) They overcompensate with positivity
It’s natural to want to appear happy and content in front of others.
But when someone is always overly positive, it could be a red flag that they’re hiding their true feelings.
They might be using this excessive positivity as a shield to cover up their sadness or anxiety.
They’re trying so hard to convince everyone (including themselves) that everything is okay, when in fact, it’s not.
9) They avoid deep conversations
Emotionally guarded people often stay away from deep or meaningful conversations as these might force them to reveal their true feelings. Instead, they stick to safe topics or
engage in small talk.
If you notice someone always avoiding serious discussions, there’s a chance they might be hiding something more profound.
10) Their tone doesn’t match their words
Sometimes, it’s not about what people say but how they say it.
Someone might tell you they’re “fine” but their tone says otherwise. It’s like when my friend told me she was “okay” after her breakup.
Her words said one thing, but her tone, heavy with sadness, told a completely different story.
We all hide our true feelings at some point.
But if you notice these behaviors in someone consistently, it might be an indication that they’re going through something and need your understanding and support.
Be patient with them, and give them the space to open up when they’re ready.