How to Hide Your Emotions–Don't Let Others Know What You're Thinking
Why hide 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 reasons you might not want others to know what you're thinking. You could be trying to:
- manage your anger.
- remain calm in a dangerous or upsetting situation.
- hide your feelings for someone.
- seem less depressed.
- appear courteous when you're shocked or confused.
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 very acts and 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.
It is important to understand that not all feelings should be contained. In some situations, it is much healthier to let your emotions out and deal with them, rather than repress them.
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 include:
- 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.
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.
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.
Here are some common situations in which you might want to consider concealing 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. Some key ways to do this include:
- 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).