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What to Do When You Don't Want Anyone to Know What You're Feeling
Why should you ever hide your emotions? Well, the answer is quite simple. There are situations when you'd rather keep your thoughts and feelings hidden than display them in front of people who may ridicule, mock, make fun of, or even take advantage of your feelings.
There are plenty of other reasons why you might want to hide your emotions, and doing so certainly has its benefits, but there are certain situations where it may not be healthy to do so. In this article, we'll go over ways to hide your feelings, when and why you should hide emotions, and when and why you shouldn't.
We'll stay away from cliché advice like "control your temper," "laugh it out," and "stay calm." This article pinpoints the precise things you can do to hide and control your emotions. Don't let anyone know what you are thinking.
How to Hide Your Emotions
- Take a deep breath.
- Don't move your eyebrows.
- Don't put up a fake smile.
- Relax your face.
- Don't support your head.
- Stop fidgeting and refrain from constantly adjusting yourself.
- Pause, think, and speak in a balanced tone.
- Disassociate yourself from the situation.
- Speak to yourself in your mind.
1. Take a deep breath.
Besides the obvious advantage of amplifying the supply of oxygen, taking a deep breath will allow you to recollect your composure and act calm and collected. Deep breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which triggers a relaxation response. An important mindful living technique, deep breathing will give you more control over your body and your reactions and responses to outside stimuli.
2. Don't move your eyebrows.
Whether you like it or not, your eyes are the first escape route for your emotions. Your eyes may not be verbal, but they say a lot, and that's exactly where your eyebrows come in. Situations that make you feel angry, sad, excited, or nervous are often accompanied by specific eyebrow movements and positions. If you want to hide what you are feeling and thinking, stop moving your eyebrows and ease the tension from your forehead.
3. Don't put up a fake smile.
A smile is a great asset to carry but is not always beneficial. While a happy, bubbly look on your face may win you hearts and affection, it may not be the best look to wear in a serious meeting. You may think that with a fake smile you'll be able to hide feelings like sadness or anger. But we all know that a fake smile is, more often than not, easy to spot. So if you really want to hide your emotions, keep your mouth straight.
4. Relax your face.
There's a lot more to your facial expressions than just your eyes and lips. Relax your face and stay away from teeth-grinding, frowning, or displaying other typical emotion-bound expressions. No, this is not about always having a steely demeanor and acting like a tough guy; however, keeping a straight face when you need it the most is an important trick to keep in your arsenal.
5. Don’t support your head.
A droopy head held up by your hand or a sulky face buried into your palms can be a giveaway of a gloomy mood, depression, or sadness. The phrase "hold your head up high" is never better implemented than in a situation where you're trying to hide your feelings. Touching your face can also be an indicator of anxiety and restlessness. It's best to keep your hands away from your head in order to maintain a strong, composed demeanor.
6. Stop fidgeting and refrain from constantly adjusting yourself.
Sudden body movements and constant signs of physical discomfort are clear signs of nervousness or anxiety. Ease yourself and be comfortable. Emotions and feelings are hard to decipher when you maintain calm and relaxed body language.
Signs of Physical Discomfort
- tapping your feet,
- picking at your cuticles,
- biting your nails,
- cracking your knuckles,
- or touching your face.
Avoiding these classic signs of boredom and discomfort will result in a calm demeanor, which not only gives you the appearance of being relaxed, but it also requires you to focus on something, which makes you more calm and collected.
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7. Pause, think, and speak in a balanced tone.
The tone of your voice can immediately give away your thoughts. Frequent changes in your tone, speaking too fast, stuttering, and stammering are signals to the person listening to you indicating what's going on in your mind. Don't let that happen; speak properly. A slow speaking pace also gives your mind those critical few microseconds to think before you utter your next sentence.
In addition to this, try to think and speak in a logical manner. Focusing on logic is key to removing emotion from any situation. Just state the facts.
8. Disassociate yourself from the situation.
Detaching yourself from the situation is anything but easy, but it can be a necessity if you want to hide your emotions from onlookers. While it is not rocket science, it is also challenging.
The easiest way to go about is to think of happy thoughts or good memories. Think of a warm moment spent with a loved one or a moment of ecstasy. That will help you to mentally take yourself away from the frenzy and anxiety of your current situation, and makes it more challenging for others to read your thoughts.
9. Speak to yourself in your mind.
"Calm down, you can do this—just stay cool" is a line that even the most famous sportspersons and celebrities must have said to themselves during nerve-wracking moments. You should do that, too! If you think that you are letting your emotions get the better of you, simply tell your mind and ask it to think the way you want it to. All you need to do is ask!
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are the thoughts and feelings I'm experiencing rational?
- What's the worst that could happen right now?
- How likely is it that the worst-case scenario will happen?
Examining the situation with a calm, rational mind will allow you to de-stress and reevaluate your emotions.
When You Should Hide Your Feelings
There are certain situations in which hiding your emotions can be advantageous. Maybe you've had a really bad day, but you have a job interview later and need to seem cheerful and friendly. Or maybe you're trying to work on a personal issue, such as frequently overreacting to emotional events or suffering from bouts of irrational anger.
Reasons You Might Need to Hide Your Feelings
- You need to manage your anger.
- You need to remain calm in a dangerous or upsetting situation.
- You need to hide your feelings for someone.
- You need to seem less depressed.
- You need to appear courteous when you're shocked or confused.
Regulating your emotions alters others' perceptions of you and, for whatever reason, you want to learn how to control your emotional responses. Learning to regulate your responses is an important aspect of being a functioning adult.
Situations in Which You Might Need to Conceal Your Emotions
- If the situation is inappropriate (i.e. feeling anger or sadness when you are about to go to a job interview, performance, etc.), you'll want to put those emotions on hold and deal with them when the time is right.
- If the audience is inappropriate (i.e. dealing with feelings of rage over your pending divorce when your young children are around), it's best to find a time and place when you can process your feelings alone.
When You Shouldn't Hide Your Emotions
There are some situations where repressing your emotions can be unhealthy. Sometimes, expressing the way you feel, even though it may make you feel scared and vulnerable, is not the best course of action.
When You Are Rightfully Upset
Sometimes, people do things that are just plain wrong. If you see or experience injustice and it causes you to feel upset, expressing those feelings can not only be cathartic for you but may also be beneficial for others.
When You Love Someone
Feelings can be scary, especially when you're not sure if the object of your affection reciprocates. However, forever concealing the way you feel will prevent you from ever taking the risk of experiencing something great. Fear of rejection is not a good reason to hide your emotions.
When Someone Is Shaming You for the Way You Feel
Whether it's a parent, significant other, friend, or some other acquaintance, people can put you down when they're suffering from their own insecurities. Don't let other people try to invalidate your emotions just because they are unwilling to deal with their own negative behavior. If someone is making you feel bad, you have the right to express the way you feel, and you shouldn't repress your emotions just because you're afraid of losing them or hurting their feelings.
Concealing your feelings and emotions when you shouldn't can be damaging to your mental health and self-image. The most important thing you can do is to learn how to deal with your emotions in a positive, healing way.
Way to Deal With Your Emotions
- looking inside yourself to understand the way you feel,
- changing the things you can (such as incorporating new routines, getting more sleep, etc.),
- and finding a good outlet for your emotions (i.e., exercise, mediation, or other stress-relieving tactics).
sad on September 03, 2020:
I want to hide my emotions because i dont want to get pitied all the time
Hi on August 09, 2020:
I want to hide my emotions because i don't want to make other sad by me.
Tired on July 28, 2020:
I want to hide my emotions because I'm too much of an open book. I don't want to try and make people care about me, because they don't. I'm just annoying. I don't matter in this world.
Someone with broken-heart on May 26, 2020:
Does this really work?
Hello on May 25, 2020:
Thanks for this I can get really emotional because I’m very close to my dad but when I tell him I don’t like what he’s doing I just get excuses because he thinks he does everything right.
Khun on May 19, 2020:
Here’s some advice to dealing with your emotions, the hardest one to directly control is anger, and impulsiveness. The most efficient way to resolve these specific emotions to think of the consequences, and how you’d feel after finally retaliating(getting revenge) on this person who has hurt you.
. 2. Stop cowering in the face of strong negative emotion, if you feel like you want to cry, but can’t, maybe due to your situation, close your eyes, and breathe, do this for 40 - 60 seconds, and by doing so you will gain a temporary detachment from strong emotions you want to hold back, but, if you can try to release these emotions, learn to appreciate that feeling of tears building up, crying can give you clarity, and more connection to your emotions.
Lastly 3. Learn to let go, I know this sounds vague and quite cliche. But you need to learn to let go, you don’t have to let go of everything. But try letting go of certain impulses, like the need to scratch, let that go. Of course there will be things that are harder to let go, maybe you were bullied in school, or physically or verbally abused by a parent, or loved one, try letting go of this. Cause simply ignoring all your past traumas even the minor ones like having a teddy bear taken away, the earlier the trauma the deeper it will be in your consciousness. But if you can’t let it go, that’s okay, be consistent and sooner or later, you’ll be able to detach from your past. Besides, being cold and distant, has its own downsides too.
aiisha on May 12, 2020:
hi i wanna talk more about me to matt andrews
Someone on May 11, 2020:
This comment section is fake depression 101 lmao
Savannah on May 05, 2020:
Hi i am 12 and i have had way more prom then u can count and i am trying to has my emotions from my family so i wont let them down i have a hard life but i am getting it down.
Alex on May 05, 2020:
Thank you for this my mom and stepdad have made me feel like i should kill myself because I am not the kid they wanted
Nara on April 17, 2020:
I’m 13 almost 14 and I’ve hidden my feelings for a long time, I started in 3rd grade
Dedreana on April 14, 2020:
Jasen on April 14, 2020:
Thank you. I had to let go of the things I loved and used to do for a while and become very strictly well rounded in order to get any of it back. I even created my own social outlets to help me but that was also taken away. It's unfortunate that those above us who have such power over our lives can use their power in irrational ways. Hopefully showing interest in these new activities I must do daily will help me.
Dedreana on April 13, 2020:
I'm 13 teen and keep my feelings in so that people can't say sorry about what happened in my life.
Child on April 10, 2020:
I really thank you.
The Broken One on April 09, 2020:
This really has helped me.. thank you!
rosemary on April 01, 2020:
i am a 11 year old and my parents dont know i feel this way but im constantly getting buillied everyday 24/7 i tell no one and i have no one..
bella on March 29, 2020:
i just hate holding my feelings in. But at the same time i don't want my friends to see how sad i am. I don't know how to feel when my friends don't know what i'm going through. Ill try to explain it to them but they just don't know what to do so i hide my feeling not wanting anybody to ask whats wrong or are you ok.
Matt Andrews on March 19, 2020:
my gf is saying that she didn't text me last night and we had such a good convo, she says someone else went onto he account and now im just super sad cause she said she was texting another guy so im trying not to have a mental breakdown infront of my friends and her, I duuno, she always looks at other guys in a way she doesn't look at me, shes always making a convo with them and touches them more than she touches me and I feel like a complete piece of shit. She always laughs at their jokes and not mine even though mine are better, I just feel like im not good enough for her, Ik im a fucking loser but why is she still with me? I dated one of her friends a year ago so Im not sure if she's pulling a prank on me and I just wanna cry at the thought that Im being tricked. I honestly try to do my best but I dont think its good enough for her. I try to be nice and put a smile on her face but I don't think I can hold it in longer. I don't think we should be in a relationship anymore but I really truly love her. I wish I could go to a magical world where everything I want to come true. I wish she could treat me more with love and care. why is she still with an ugly dickhead like me. She's beautiful, kind but honestly I dont know. I think I see the good of people way to much that I dont focus on their bad side. I try to forgive her any time she says something but I feel like shit in this relationship and the sad thing is this is my best so far. every fucking girl just use me to get closer to my friends, they dont really care for me so why should I believe that she truly cares for me. I always annoy her so why. why is she still with me, does she truly love me for who I am, do I have to change myself to become better for her, my emotions are fucking retarted, Im at war with myself and its tearing me apart, I need to focus more on myself. I fucking hate myself for being the person I am, cant it all just fucking end, im sick of this fake shit, my feeling aren't real, but I fucking love her so much, FUCK I HATE MYSELF SO MUCH I DONT UNDERSTAND MY FEELINGS, IM SCARED OF BEING BETRAYED, she would choose her friends over me Ik it, I want to cry and die so badly, I just dont want to be judged for being sensitive. I dont know what I need to say to her im jut a clueless piece of shit. :(
Регςои оεο on March 16, 2020:
Thanks a lot! This helped me stay away from harming anybody that is not part of the situation! :)
Kaycee 3241 on March 15, 2020:
My friends always try to make be feel bad, they start calling me names and the rest, they are critiques of my personality as a whole so i just kinda keep my cool by not actually expressing my self to them
I think my biggest strength is when they cant read me tnx for the suggestions and advices
Nalei D. on March 13, 2020:
Uh that helped but to be honest I’m kinda, like a little heartless :/
tomtom on March 11, 2020:
S. Grace A. on March 10, 2020:
I constantly have sadness or rage bottled up inside of me. Sometimes I'll blow up on someone who has no part in my current emotion. I really hope this method works.
R. Lynn on February 24, 2020:
I'm going to try this. I try so hard not to show my emotions but well they get the better of me and I blow up. Either with anger or sadness. I always feel anxious and worried if I'm reacting right. SO hopefully this will help.
chris on January 05, 2020:
i will try my child mother an i is always fighting an i try to be the bigger person , but it dont work she always have to have the last say or want to always be right. i try to keep calm an not show my emotion. i try staying quiet an also u try not to show my emotioon nothing i try work. is it because im numb
VI on December 17, 2019:
How are you supposed to feel after it?
youdontneedtoknowit on November 16, 2019:
im always guilty about everything and nobody even cares about that i just want to get out of this world
wolfiegirl_08 on November 07, 2019:
this really helped because i was to expressive with my emotions and for a random reason i actually wanted to be cold and now i am so yeah #lifesucks
hidden behind the clouds on October 29, 2019:
i become numb and I dont know why but its almost a relief I feel nothing and I wish I could do it on command or take something to make it happen
Twilight on October 24, 2019:
I think this is really helpfull for me bc at times i feel really angry like so angry that i want to punch them in da face. This person keeps making fun of me bc i like a guy thats shorter than me and i dont want him to know that i like him. So I try to hide it. And other reasons like i try to hide the fact that im depressed.
Girl who’s scared of opening up lol on October 11, 2019:
I find it literally so easy to emotionally detach myself to a point that it really concerns people. Honestly it’s a pretty good thing (well it’s not but yeetus I can’t help it) I hate discussing my emotions with other people because I can’t open up to them because they would never understand and it’s hard to relate when you don’t understand so therefore showing no emotion is pretty useful. I get scared that they just won’t ever be able to understand and they might think I’m weird or something like that. I do have a lot of people who care about me but I just never feel comfortable talking to them about things (maybe I’m just insecure or something idk). I feel pretty alone at times lol. You're probably thinking I have like EDD or something - I don’t lmao. I’m actually really good with other people’s emotions and I’m extremely good at reading people and helping with their emotions, just not my own. Handling my own emotions is just something I can’t do because I often don’t know what’s causing them or what I’m even feeling at all, at times. I really do hate myself sometimes ooof I’m just a bit of a mess right now haha
a struggling choir girl on October 10, 2019:
thank you so much.
raymond on October 02, 2019:
thank you bc i did not know to hide my Emotions
Anonymous on September 25, 2019:
Thanks this helps a lot
pier on September 06, 2019:
it's very hard for me to hide my feelings, people can easily read on my face what i am thinking. I totally luck capacity to discern what i should keep to myself and what i should give out and this makes me socially emarginated especially at work. I hate this aspect of myself, and the more i try to fight it the more it shows. people read me and i am immediately put aside.
Emmanuel on July 25, 2019:
Scarlet Skye on July 19, 2019:
Thank you. Among all of the websites saying we should "be ourselves" and "stop hiding our true selves", you have offered helpful and honest information. I really needed this, and I'm grateful that you offered it.
Daughter in law on May 22, 2019:
Came here because me and my girl are currently living with her mother (my mother in law basically) who is a full blown narcissist. After times of my girl describing the abuse that shes been through, and now me experiencing it and it eacalating for the past 4 months, it is undeniable. We have plans to go no contact asap, but its not possible yet. I will start practicing these things and try to get my girl to do so as well. It could be dangerous though. My gf already has heart problems from holding in emotions from the constant abuse for 19 years, and anger problems (understandably so). I just cant wait for us to escape and start living our lives together in an actual healthy environment. I almost cant take it after just 4 months, i feel so bad that she has had to endure this at a worse degree for her whole life
Saffron Ridlington-white on April 30, 2019:
Hi this is really helpful one question I am about to go to school and I am really not wanting io go to school what causes that?
Hero on April 17, 2019:
This is nice it is really gonna help me a lot especially when it comes to my friends,parents, sibling and
Michael on April 15, 2019:
Thanks for your advise it really worked! My parents were mocking me and it helped me to not cry! Thanks again.
william on March 14, 2019:
thx for the advise it will healp me in high school alot and some other times
Fern on March 09, 2019:
Thanks will help me alot..
Ashlynn on March 03, 2019:
Thanks I need this because I always get hurt by everyone
Ellie on February 25, 2019:
Thanks for this, i really needed it. I get mad at a few people way to easy.
Lbear on December 10, 2018:
Thanks for this. Just as others said, I keep my emotions in and I'm like just now exploding and all anybody does is make it worse. This will definitely be super helpful.
Angel Deshotel on November 06, 2018:
I get mad easily. I break down crying way to easily. I guess it's because I keep everything in 24\7, which isn't good. I get bullied at school, so I searched this so here I am. My temper is easy to mess with...
vale on November 05, 2018:
I suffer from a low temper, the easiest things tick me off, affecting my affection and association with my family. My dad is always there wanting to know how I feel and sometimes I break down even though I don't want to tell him, so this would help hide how I'm feeling
Anger Management on September 18, 2018:
Thanks for this. I have serious anger management issues and so far, it's helped pretty well! A few weeks ago I had found out that someone that I had trusted had been spreading rumors about my friend and I blew up and started saying some disturbing things. I can only remember up until My friend was starting to take me to the wellbeing teacher but that's what my friends had told me.
123 on April 17, 2018:
This is, honestly, what I needed. It's like I've been bottling up all of my emotions for so long that, I'm just now blowing up. I thought that my way was effective, to be fair I've probably been doing this for 5 years. And now that I exploded, people are offering me help, but I shouldn't need help, I didn't before, why now? Anyway, thanks for the article, I'm sure I speak for every one when I say, we all really needed that
KittyKat666 on April 12, 2018:
I like it I might even try it
Rakesh sawane on February 11, 2018:
not so sure on August 25, 2017:
sometimes it is easier said then done
Steph on May 14, 2017:
Hay thank u for the advice it really helped me and hope it helps others in the same way x
Aneesa on November 05, 2016:
Useful advice and interesting read.
Susan Bailey from South Yorkshire, UK on June 15, 2013:
Voted up, useful and shared. I find it so hard to hide my emotions
Doug Ocean from Ohio USA on June 15, 2013:
Projecting body language is very effective, just the way you stand can change the course of a conversation.
Lynsey Hart from Lanarkshire on June 13, 2013:
Voted up, useful and interesting. I have always hid my emotions well, and have been called heartless at times, but I would rather deal with things in my own time, rather than in public. Great hub!
Yves on June 11, 2013:
This is actually very practical advice. All your suggestion can work quite well in so many professional settings. The only thing I would add is that sometimes we can get so used to doing this, that we may come across as too aloof. My emotional pendulum has swung the other way now, and I'm more like my true, more emotional self.... but this hub is a good reminder for me of how important it is to match the face with the situation, and to try to maintain some balance. Voting up.
RTalloni on June 07, 2013:
These are good tips to think through for those times that it is important not to express feelings when interacting with other people.
April Olshavsky from Somewhere between California and nowhere on June 03, 2013:
Thank you for this! I thought I was the queen of dissociation, but now I am rethinking that. People are always asking me what's wrong, when really, I just prefer to sort things out myself before I burden someone else with my emotional baggage. I'm going to try a few of these tips. :-)
Grace-Wolf-30 from England on June 03, 2013:
I understand why you have written this hub, but there are ways of expressing yourself without hurting other people. I agree that there are some people who you would not want to know how you are feeling, for example, somebody who wishes you harm, however, in day to day scenario's, if you don't express yourself your feelings get pent up and they can come out at a later date in the wrong way. I really like the tips you have given, and they are very relevant methods of calming down, but I think it is also important to return to a situation and speak your mind honestly and openly, and allow those who you are talking to speak their minds too. In this circumstance, you can use unconditional positive regard. This is listening to someone elses point of view without judging them. When you use unconditional positive regard, the people you are dealing with will feel more relaxed with you and will unconsciously use the same method with you. Open communication is nearly always the best way forward in resolving conflict and stress. When you communicate openly, but without high emotions, everyone knows where they stand with each other, and from this point you can plan positively for the future. Thank you for your hub, it is a useful read.
Marilyn L Davis from Georgia on June 02, 2013:
You are correct about the eyebrows. I opened and ran a women's recovery home and when doing groups, had to make sure that my facial expressions stayed neutral while someone was sharing, but the eyebrows seemed to have a will of their own; let me bangs grow to "hide them".
viveresperando from A Place Where Nothing Is Real on October 14, 2012:
As a person who has always been told I show my emotions on my sleeves..... lol. Found this very inciteful, thanks for the share.
meloncauli from UK on April 16, 2012:
Interesting hub. Thanks for sharing.
Dahlia Flower from Canada on January 23, 2012:
This is a good topic. There are situations in most of our lives that come up where we need to look composed. In situations such as poor or rude service, for instance, when we make the effort to compose ourselves into a peaceful space, we soon feel what we are trying to portray. Thanks for the good tips.
Neil Sperling from Port Dover Ontario Canada on January 22, 2012:
Great points. Self control is a skill anyone can develop - you laid out a nice ground work here. Great Job.
Tonette Fornillos from The City of Generals on January 21, 2012:
Thank you for this princess. I think keeping a straight face when you need it the most is most challenging. It would end me up talking to myself "I'm FUNNY!!" :-) Loved this hub. Interesting and voted up!
Rob from Oviedo, FL on January 21, 2012:
Hi Princess; I'm an expert in this. These are good suggestions.
FloraBreenRobison on January 19, 2012:
These are important things to remember. Thanks for these.
PhetsyDutchko from West Point, CA & Shelby, NC on January 19, 2012:
This would be a good article to give to college grads just starting in the professional workspace.
Tina Siuagan from Rizal, Philippines on January 19, 2012:
Thank you for sharing this. When I want to hide my emotions, I kind of talk to myself on doing it. It's like making the inner 'you' to cooperate and the rest follows. Then I can hide what my true emotion is, on a certain situation, and people will never find out... even until now. Hahaha!
Beautiful hub. :D