8 surprising signs a man is hiding his true feelings

We all have a few secrets stashed away, don’t we? 

And when it comes to emotions, those are often most kept hidden under lock and key – especially when it comes to men, who society still often shames for expressing true feelings and depth.

Hence why men can often be masters of concealing their true feelings.

Have you ever wondered if a man is hiding what he really feels? 

The signs can be subtle, yet surprisingly very telling if you know what to look for.

So, let’s cover 8 signs that suggest a man is hiding his true emotions. 

Who knows what you might realize by the end of this article?

1) He’s often silent

Silence is golden, they say. 

But when it comes to deciphering emotions, it can be quite the puzzle and is pretty unhelpful in issues surrounding communication or expressing emotions.

Men aren’t always the most vocal about their feelings.  Sometimes, they prefer to hide behind a wall of silence rather than express what’s truly going on in their hearts.

We stereotype girlfriends for saying “I’m fine”, when they’re really raging about the trimmed beard hair you left over the sink – but men are just as guilty of concealing their true feelings.

And this isn’t to say that every silent man has a secret emotional vault he’s hiding somewhere deep down within him.

Maybe he’s just quiet and introverted by nature.

But if you notice that he walls up and retreats into silence – especially during moments when you might be trying to push for emotional connection – it could be a sign he’s hiding away from his true feelings.

Remember, it’s not about labeling him as secretive or shady. Or at least not all of the time. It’s about understanding that sometimes silence speaks louder than words. 

So next time you’re with him and you notice these periods of silence, don’t rush to fill the quiet or pester him to answer more questions. 

Instead, respond with silence yourself. You’ll be surprised what people end up telling you to fill these silent gaps.

2) His actions don’t match his words

Oh yes, the men who promise to take you to places you’ve never been before…

And you end up in therapy.

They call every night, chatter about plans for the weekend, and even talk about introducing you to their families. 

But when the “What are we?” question arises, suddenly they’re running off with their tail between their legs.

Men often say one thing, but their actions tell a different story. Now this is a classic sign of a man hiding his true feelings.

It can really indicate a few things; either he’s not that invested and doesn’t want to lose the benefits you bring but can’t be bothered to commit. 

Or, he doesn’t understand his emotions himself and is even scared of how much he likes you.

Or maybe he’s even playing hard to get.

Confusing, right?

3) Skilled topic changes

You try and probe and ask a question about where your relationship is headed or how he’s feeling, and suddenly you’re discussing how to make bread from scratch.

If a man frequently diverts the conversation away from any that involve emotional depth, it could be a sign he’s trying very hard to conceal his emotions.

This can be both a subconscious way of avoiding topics that stir up emotions he’d rather keep hidden, or a conscious attempt at keeping the truth from you…

But remember: it’s not about pushing him to share. 

Rather, it’s about recognizing these signs and giving him the space and time he needs to reveal his feelings when he’s ready. 

And if that never happens, take that as a sign of an emotionally unavailable man and go find one ready to give you all the love you deserve.

4) He’s overly defensive

Defense mechanisms can be our subconscious way of protecting ourselves from emotional harm. And sometimes, they kick in to shield hidden feelings.

If a man becomes overly defensive, especially over minor issues, it could be a sign he’s harboring concealed emotions. 

Perhaps he’s trying to deflect attention away from his true feelings or maybe he’s struggling with internal conflicts.

But remember, everyone has their own pace when it comes to revealing emotions. So while it’s good to be observant, it’s equally important to be patient and understanding.

5) He’s there when you need him

surprising behaviors that reveal true intimacy in a relationship 8 surprising signs a man is hiding his true feelings

Sometimes, actions truly speak louder than words. 

Sure, a man might not send you love notes or shower you with praise, but his actions can reveal the warmth of his heart and can often be a far more honest show of what he’s feeling.

If he’s always there for you, ready to lend a helping hand or an understanding ear, it could be a sign of hidden emotions. 

This kind of unwavering support and compassion often comes from a place of deep feelings plus it’s exactly the type of dependability you need out of a partner.

Some people just struggle with verbalizing the “I love/like you”. Instead, they show it through physical deeds and acts of service.

So don’t be put off if he’s by your side and fighting your corner no matter what, but a little reserved when it comes to expressing emotion.

If this bothers you hugely – communicate it.

Love languages can be learned and built upon, and you two can surely reach a compromise whereby you recognize his acts of service as an expression of love, and he does a little more to express it in other ways. 

Maybe even a finger squeeze!

6) He’s more comfortable in writing

Is he all silent and closed off when you’re together, but the moment you get home you receive a text essay professing his love and how much he enjoyed your date?

Look – I communicate better over writing too. Else I wouldn’t be here.

And whilst it can be hard to accept written feelings over vocalized ones, don’t be too put off.

Some men (and people in general) find it far easier to express their emotions through writing rather than speaking

It gives them time to think, to choose their words carefully, and to express their feelings without the pressure of immediate reactions. No panic blurting out or saying the wrong things.

If you notice that he opens up more through written words – perhaps in text messages, emails, or even handwritten notes – it could be his way of revealing feelings he finds challenging to express verbally.

And if you still desperately need it vocalized, tell him. Work together to find a balance that works for him both.

But maybe start writing a few little love letters of your own…

7) He remembers tiny details

Not everyone has a photographic memory, but when it comes to matters of the heart, even the smallest details can stick.

If a man remembers little things about you – your favorite pie flavor, your childhood pet’s name, it could suggest there’s more to his feelings than meets the eye.

We study things we find interesting and are attracted to in great depth; storing away all the intricate details that sum them up so that we may understand them better.

And these are not just signs of a good listener; these are marks of someone who cares deeply – someone who appreciates you so much that he subconsciously embeds all these seemingly trivial details into his memory.

So next time he brings up that random tidbit you shared in passing, take note. 

It’s a pretty obvious sign that he’s hiding deeper feelings for you than he’s letting on.

8) He shows signs of nervousness

Nerves can be quite revealing. 

If a man often seems nervous around you – maybe he stammers, fidgets, or has a hard time maintaining eye contact – it could be a sign he’s wrestling with hidden emotions.

These signs might be subtle, but they’re the body’s natural response to feelings that are hard to control, let alone hide. Your heart beats faster, the butterflies pound against your stomach. It all makes it quite difficult to stay still and look…normal.

So if you notice him acting slightly nervous in your presence, it might be because his heart is trying to tell you something his words are not.

Final thoughts

Deciphering a man’s concealed emotions is no easy task, given that many men tend to be more reserved – as unfortunate as that is.  

But it’s also crucial to remember that these subtle signs should not be seen as definitive answers (I’m not promising he has a ring in his pocket, for example), but instead as pieces of a larger emotional puzzle.

Exercising patience when suspecting a man has hidden feelings is essential. 

Giving him the time and space he needs is important, as emotions are not something to be rushed but gently uncovered. 

Push too hard, too soon, and you’ll probably overwhelm him and scare him off. 

Like a stray cat.

And in this process of patience and understanding, you may not only uncover his hidden emotions but also the potential to build a deeper connection with him. 

Who knows, but good luck!

Picture of Liv Walde

Liv Walde

London-based writer with big thoughts, big dreams, and a passion for helping others.

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