The Truth about Hiding Ourselves – Why Do We Do It?
Whether it is our feelings, some painful events from our past, our mistakes, our mental health, our life choices, our desires, we all have something that we don’t reveal and don’t talk about. Why do people hide things? The reasons are countless. People hold up the truth to protect their reputation, hide mistakes, conceal poor performance or simply look better.
Why Do We Hide?
However, there is more to why we hide the truth about ourselves. Here are some of the common reasons we conceal the truth.
We are Ashamed
Some of our habits, actions, or feelings can cause profound feelings of shame. While we know these behaviors, thoughts or feelings don’t make sense, they are out of our control and we can’t avoid them. at the same time, we feel embarrassment at the thought that other people would know about this aspect of ourselves.
We Fear Judgment
No one likes being criticized, blamed or judged. Also, people often tend to judge our choices without knowing about our reasons. Therefore, we often fear that other people will become upset and angry with us if we reveal clandestine parts of ourselves. Moreover, we are afraid that we will lose connection and intimacy: the other person may become critical, judge us, or leave us if they know the truth.
We Want to Please Others
We all want to be loved, respected, and accepted. Sometimes, the patterns learned in childhood strongly affect our adult relationships and behavior. For many people, the only way to manage their anxiety in a complicated world is to be nice, accommodate others, put others’ needs ahead of their own, and conceal their true selves. Approval-craving and desire to please others lead to a habit of hiding the truth.
We Have Self-esteem Issues
Sometimes, we believe that, if we disclose to others who we truly are, people will see us as incompetent, unlikable or despicable. So, we hide our true feelings, actions, or beliefs in an attempt to uphold a good picture. In addition, we may be extremely self-critical and believe that we don’t deserve what we have or that we are not good enough.
It’s Too Painful
Sometimes, talking about certain experiences, feelings, or thoughts is too painful. For example, you may refuse to talk about a traumatic event because even thinking of it creates unbearable anxiety. So, you struggle to find words to portray your inner world.
How to Open Up
If you feel ready to stop hiding, here are some suggestions on how to demonstrate honesty:
- Try not to sugarcoat things, but rather say it how it is.
- Keep a journal – write down your thought and feelings.
- Think before you speak and then say what you mean.
- Accept responsibility for your words and actions.
- Take baby steps towards sharing your secrets with person/people you trust.
Revealing what you have been hiding will help you feel less intimidated by the world, more self-confident, more connected, and more in control.