6 Reasons Why Introverts Hide Their Feelings
From not wanting to upset others to not wanting to be the center of attention. Introverts have different reasons why they hide their feelings. They get their energy by introspection, contemplating and processing their own thoughts and feelings while alone or in a small circle of friends.
They tend to reside in their inner world which they value greatly. Due to this tendency, they are more often than not private people. But what are some of the reasons that introverts are discrete? Let’s dive in 6 Reasons Why Introverts Hide Their Feelings.
6 Reasons Why Introverts Hide Their Feelings
1. Introverts hide their feelings, because they don’t want to upset others
Introverts are regularly more soft-spoken. They reside in their inner worlds and often developed their capacity to introspect greatly. Although they recuperate after a busy day by reflecting and contemplating, this habit to self-reflect isn’t always a picnic. It can be quite painful sometimes to discover the flaws of your own character, even-though it’s crucial to grow as a person.
It is one thing to discover your own shortcomings, and another when someone else tells you what your shortcomings are (ouch). Sometimes it’s needed to tell how you feel, because someone crossed your boundary, for instance. Introverts may hesitate to tell how they feel, because they don’t want to upset anyone (unless they really have to).
As introverts may get more easily overwhelmed by emotion, they might be anxiously anticipating a heated argument when they tell someone what’s bothering them. Unless there is no other way, arguments are things that introverted people try to avoid at all cost, because it could lead to overwhelming emotions which makes them uncomfortable. But not wanting to upset others has also to do with their gentle-nature.
Why would you tell everything you feel about someone that could possibly upset them, if that isn’t needed or perhaps irrelevant? Introverts are rather tactful when it comes to revealing how they feel, because they believe it’s better to keep a relationship unscathed than to risk unrepairable damage by disclosing all that they think or feel all the time.
2. Introverts hide their feelings, because they don’t trust others (yet)
The inner world of introverts is often an intimate place of carefully contemplated concepts, ideas and feelings about themselves, their social environment and the world. They nourish themselves by tending to that inner sanctuary and are quite good at that. Their innermost thoughts and feelings are authentic and very personal.
They may take pride in the carefully crafted opinions and perspectives on life, which they’ve accumulated in their lifetime. However, because these things are so personal, they could be a vulnerability as well. A nightmare scenario for the introvert would be that their often well thought out ideas are blatantly challenged or ridiculed in a group setting. For instance, while in a meeting with a group of co-workers.
Engaging in a heated discussion is probably overwhelming enough, let alone if some of their personal beliefs is unexpectedly under public scrutiny. That could really hurt. That’s why they first want to make sure that it’s safe for them to reveal their personal opinions and feelings. Introverts hide their feelings, because they don’t trust others (yet). They tend to open up gradually to the people they don’t really know, like in a work situation with new co-workers.
What type of people am I dealing with? Are they open-minded? Close-minded? Do they think before they speak? Or do they just react to everything that’s being said, because they can? Do they seek to resolve conflict or incite conflict out of enjoyment? Introverts are looking for answers on these types of questions when they meet new people, and carefully take mental notes about someone’s character over a long period of time. It’s their way of testing the temperature of the pool’s water, to make sure it’s just right before they jump in naked.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels
3. Introverts hide their feelings out of modesty
As much as introverts keep their inner worlds a secret because they don’t trust others yet, they also tend to hide their feelings out of modesty. They might be very much invested in contemplation and incubating interesting concepts/ideas. Introspection might lie at the basis of how they view the world and choose to live their lives. Chances are they value those carefully crafted beliefs greatly, which they could even consider as answers to life’s great questions for the time being
Pretty profound right? Yeah, well at the same time they may think that no one else would be even interested in those same profound beliefs. Introverts may hide their feelings out of modesty. They may truly think that no one would take interest in what they deem to be worthwhile, because surely it isn’t all that deep or original, right? While thinking that, they hide their interesting ideas, unless someone sincerely asks. Ideas which perhaps many others would find interesting as well.
4. Introverts hide their feelings, because they aren’t asked the right questions
Which brings us to the current reason, which ties into the previous one. Introverts keep their feelings or thoughts to themselves, because many times they aren’t asked the right questions that would make them consider sharing them during conversation. Normally, introverts are perhaps more accustomed to asking questions when engaged in conversation. This usually comes out of sincere interest in the other’s perspective or opinion on a certain topic.
Extraverts are people who get energy from stimulating environments like a busy office where a lot of different things are going on. Extraverts also get energy by talking to others and the stimulation those social interactions bring. The introvert that is asking the extravert questions, is perhaps a clear example of how the two different types of personalities would be in their element (until the introvert had enough stimulation and retreats). This doesn’t mean that extraverts never ask others questions. Of course they do.
However, it seems that in general both the introvert and extravert operate on two different types of assumptions when in conversation based on how their own personality works. The first one is that the introvert who tends to sincerely ask questions out of curiosity timed with tactful precision, assumes that the extravert (or other) will ask the introvert questions as well, if that person really wants to know. The second is that the talkative extravert assumes that the introvert (or other), will share whatever’s on their mind if they really want to share. Perhaps the following analogy could clarify this.
The Conversation Restaurant Analogy
Think of a conversation to be like a certain type of restaurant to the extraverted and introverted personality. The favorite restaurant of the extravert would be one with an all you can eat buffet. You can eat all you want and it’s expected of you to self-serve, meaning that when you want to eat, you just grab your plate and get whatever you want (the extravert talks/shares all he or she wants and assumes you do the same).
The favorite restaurant of the introvert would be one with a menu. You see what’s on the menu, the waiter comes to ask which dish you would like to eat and later brings it to you (the introvert asks you questions and assumes you do the same). In general introverts, don’t like small talk, so they pick their moments to speak and what to say more carefully. They don’t like to speak just to hear themselves talk.
Introverts, could often have been misjudged for being too private at moments where they actually were willing to share something personal, but didn’t because they weren’t asked sincerely what their thoughts were on a certain subject, and concluded that the other just didn’t want to know. What’s more is that to the introvert, unwarranted oversharing is a big no-no in social etiquette.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels
5. Introverts hide their feelings, because they haven’t processed them enough yet
Knowing how we actually feel and think about something is not always as easy. When the matter is complex, it might take some time to contemplate the different aspects before we can begin to formulate an honest opinion. That’s why introverts hide their feelings, because they haven’t processed them enough yet. They tend to be a little perfectionistic and want to make sure that when it comes to elaborate subject matters like politics, ethics, global warming and social problems, their opinions are well thought-out.
Some introverts might find themselves in an escalated group discussion at work or with friends about a certain hot topic that’s in the news, but may feel hesitant to already take a certain stance. The reason is they haven’t had enough time for research and processing of the information so they rather keep quiet. Where others might be able to come to an opinion more easily (perhaps as greatly formulated as the final version of the introvert’s opinion), introverts tend to really want to make sure they’ve got it right and take their time.
As you know introverts are more prone to carefully choose when they speak. Due to this tendency they also want to be sure that what they say has some weight to it. The last thing they want is to start talking about a sensitive societal problem in the midst of a group and say something stupid, because they actually don’t know what they’re talking about.
6. Introverts hide their feelings, because they don’t want to be the center of attention
It’s well known that in social interactions introverts could get overwhelmed more easily by the stimulation it brings. Therefore, hanging out in small groups or in an one on one fashion is more their style. Introspective prowess often comes with the price of being too self-conscious at times. When is this self-consciousness the strongest? Well, whenever the spotlight is on you and a large group of eye-balls is gazing at every micro-expression of your body language.
These situations are an introvert’s kryptonite and can lead to crippling or even paralyzing self-consciousness. Speaking during a large company meeting, asking questions during a lecture with a large audience or having an argument with a cashier while a long line of people is waiting behind you in silence, are just a few examples. They tend to hide their feelings here, because they don’t want to draw any attention that makes them feel self-conscious, ashamed or overwhelmed.
Many of the reasons discussed could be considered as an integral part of being an introvert, but that doesn’t mean every introvert experiences the same or is doomed to always be a certain way. On this blog I talk a lot about personality types, but remember that it’s used to describe traits, tendencies and experiences, not to put a definitive label on our personalities.
I believe we can always grow and experiment with different ways of interacting regardless of our personality type. Some preferences may always remain of course, but exploring those areas of your personality kingdom that the sunlight doesn’t touch so to speak (Lion King reference INSERTED), could be a very character growth enhancing experience and I will always challenge you to do so!
Food For Thought
1. Which other reason could introverts have to hide their feelings?
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