18 Struggles Of Being Outwardly Unemotional But Secretly Having All Of The Feelings


1. People assume that sad movies and sad books don’t affect you, simply because you don’t cry while you’re experiencing them. The problem is that you’re feeling all of it, deeply. You’re distraught for days afterwards, unable to stop replaying the saddest moments in your head over and over again. But all people want to talk about is how they cannot believe you didn’t cry during The Fault In Our Stars!

2. Your friends love telling other people about your “strange” emotional habits. Sometimes, it’s someone you’ve barely just met and your friend is already telling them about how you apparently don’t have any feelings.

3. Sometimes the fact that you don’t cry easily can actually be physically painful, because you don’t get the release that you need. When you experience something extremely sad or upsetting, your chest constricts and you feel extremely wound up. For most people, they are able to experience some form of release through crying or even sobbing. But for you, that constricted feeling just stays in your chest, no matter what you do or how hard you try to cry.

4. Your friends like to give you flattering nicknames, such as Ice Queen.

5. More than one person has made a joke to you that you’re totally like Elsa from Frozen. And in reply you wish that you could conjure an icicle out of thin air and throw it at them.

6. Usually you find one person that you feel like you can actually be emotional around (typically a best friend or a significant other), and you end up basically vomiting your feelings all over them, because you don’t feel comfortable enough to talk to anyone else. To quote a very special lady from Bridesmaids, it all starts coming out of you like lava.

7. When you and your friends all get together to watch something sappy or depressing, your friends will sometimes watch you during the saddest moments, just to see your reaction. And afterwards, they’ll go on and on about how you were sitting there like a stone. Little did they know, on the inside, you were feeling ALL OF THE THINGS.

8. Your friends act like they’re putting a burden on you if they need to talk to you about an emotional problem or they need advice about something. You hate when they begin a conversation with “Sorry to bother you about this, I know you hate emotions, but…” because it makes you feel like you were their last resort. And that you’re a robot.

9. At Christmastime, more than one person has made a Grinch reference about your heart growing three sizes and thought they were the first person to ever do this. And you were like, bye.

10. If you ever actually do cry or get outwardly upset or show some kind of emotion, people practically panic. They’ve never seen you like this, and all instincts they’d normally have about comforting another human being go out the window, because all they can do is stare in shock with their mouths hanging open while you cry or hyperventilate or simply just talk about a feeling you’re having.

11. Your friends “affectionately” tell you that you have a black soul. Or they make jokes like “It’s colder than your heart outside! LOL!” And you never know how to respond to this sort of thing. Because you aren’t LOL’ing.

12. People occasionally confuse being “outwardly unemotional” with “having no feelings” or “having no insecurities.” So they sometimes feel like they can say something offensive to you without any consequences, and then they’re confused when you actually do get offended.

13. Sometimes people will ask you how many times you’ve cried in the last year, as if you’re going to pull out a journal that lists the date and time of every breakdown you’ve had in the last 12 months.

14. Because you tend to be private about your feelings, people sometimes confuse this with you being shy or introverted or not interested in being social. Maybe you are shy and introverted, but not necessarily. There are plenty of outwardly unemotional people who love socializing with other people, or goofing around, or embracing their extroverted tendencies. They just prefer not to talk about their deepest fears and issues with the whole world.

15. You get stressed out when you see other people crying or getting upset. But it doesn’t mean you’re heartless. You just don’t know the best way to comfort them.

16. Occasionally a movie will come along that DOES make you want to cry. But you feel a ton of pressure not to cry because if you do, you’re just going to freak everyone out and distract people from the movie. So instead you look everywhere but at the screen, your leg starts twitching, and you casually lean your head against your hand so you can secretly wipe away a tear without anyone noticing.

17. There’s a difference between being emotional and being comfortable showing emotions around others. Most people don’t understand this, and end up labeling you and judging you for seeming cold-hearted.

18. There’s usually a reason you aren’t emotional in front of people. Sometimes it’s because it just takes you a while to warm up. Sometimes it’s because you feel things so intensely that you only feel comfortable discussing your feelings with one or two people. Sometimes it’s because you’ve gone through something really difficult in your life, and your coping mechanism is to keep your thoughts and emotions to yourself out of self-preservation. Whatever the reason, it can be frustrating when people just think you’re a freak of nature instead of a normal, human being who prefers to express their emotions behind closed doors. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Kim Quindlen

I’m a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

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