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Why Do I Hide My Emotions? 

From a teen in Singapore: Since I was 5, I have the thought that being the oldest sibling at home I need to put on a strong front in order for my mum to not worry about me or just people finding me weak. I don’t know if it’s because of my Father going to jail since I was young that caused it, but i always feel ashamed after crying in front on anyone and I hide all of my emotions except those positive ones.

Thus, others thinks that I’m cold and emotionless and even thinks that I’m living a perfect life since all I dare to express is happiness and I’m just stress about it, I don’t know what to do when I’m on the verge of crying I either just hold it in or go somewhere else. The only time I cry is when I’m alone and the thoughts really really stresses me out.

I’m so glad you reached out to us. Yes, it may be that you learned at a young age not to make things “worse” for your mother by keeping your feelings to yourself. But that was a conclusion that was reached by a very little person. Little kids often don’t make wise decisions. You’ve now been living this way so long that it’s become a bad habit that is cutting you off from others and making you miserable.

I hope you can find a counselor to talk to who can help you reevaluate the decision you made when you were so young. You can learn more appropriate ways to handle your feelings. You can learn ways to interact with others that allows them to see all of you, not just the side of you that is happy.

If you can’t find a counselor, do consider joining a forum here at PsychCentral. People from all over the world give others support and advice.

Do follow up. Your relationships with others won’t be healthy and happy until you do. You deserve to be able to experience and express all of your feelings.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

from Ask the Therapist

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