1. Short responses. That is always a telltale sign.
2. Going to bed with their jeans/button up shirt still on.
3. They have nothing to talk about or don’t give any opinions. It’s a sign that nothing excites or interests them.
4. I look for avoidance behaviors. They’re usually subtle, like canceling plans at the last minute, a usually on-time person showing up late, somebody offering a lot of excuses for why they can’t/won’t do something that used to be part of their typical routine.
5. Even if this person looks very happy you can easily put them down, make them sad or cry. They become very upset when someone is even a little bit rude to them, they can be very loud and happy at one moment and quiet at another.
6. Tired, if they aren’t sleeping well often times something is keeping them up. Also tiredness is a commonly used excuse to answer, “Are you ok?”
7. Hiding in their clothes (hoodies and jackets, hats pulled down).
8. No attention to themselves, how they look, how they’re dressed, what they’re eating.
9. The spend excessive amounts of time on social media.
10. Weight gain.
11. Similarly, weight loss. I can end up feeling too apathetic to even bother making food and wind up a twig.
12. Poor decisions. Sometimes they’re spending all their emotional energy on the basics; when it’s time to eat or make major purchases they do them on impulse, so they get fat and in debt.
13. They always keep the conversation about you even when you ask them how they are doing.
14. Messy room/car. You notice they don’t shower or brush their teeth as often.
15. Emotionally withdrawing, spending time isolated or playing video games all the time to escape.
16. They’re always cracking jokes, those people usually have a lot pent up disappointment that they can’t find happiness so they try to spread happiness to anyone else.
17. They smile at you, because they want to be nice/friendly – but as soon as you look away, the smile falls off their face. Because they kind of put it there, rather than it rising up naturally. Once its job is done, they let it go.
18. Lack of eye contact is a big flag.
19. They don’t put any effort into life.
20. Always on their phone when with friends.
21. Not answering emails and texts is a warning sign for me.
22. They seem too happy, no matter what is actually going on with them.
23. “Always” and “never” are very common words.
24. Shock and odd reactions when someone throws a compliment their way.
25. Dead eyes. When I ran into a friend after leaving my gaslighting ex I told her that we had broken up and why. Her response was, “I knew you were being abused. Your eyes were dead but now they are full of life.”
26. It took me a very long time to realize that ANGER is one of my first responses to depression. I feel like we imagine those gray blobs from the commercials that are listless and distracted and sad but for me, unchecked depression expresses as ANGER. I can’t believe the stupidity around me, I give no one the benefit of the doubt, I assume everything is a slight and preemptively expect slights. As you can imagine, it’s utterly exhausting and TERRIBLE to be around.
27. When they ask you what you’re doing all the time and are a little pushy because they just wanna talk to someone but never say it straightforward that they aren’t happy and that they need some company.
28. They stop engaging in hobbies and activities they used to love.
29. They want to have alone time way more than they usually do.
30. I think a lot of the time people who are secretly unhappy do their best to make the people they care about laugh and feel happy. As they know what it’s like to feel so down and unhappy with the world they don’t wish for the people they care about to feel that way.