It’s frustrating to have a resting face that exudes disinterest and sadness when I am with other people. It feels like a pressure to consistently imitate the emotions that best fit the circumstances that you are in, whether that is spending time with friends or meeting new individuals. This confronts the question surrounding why I cannot freely express my emotions; I have complete awareness that I can express myself, but why am I not capable of freely showing my expressions in a social setting?
It may be easy to get lost within our thoughts when asking ourselves ‘Why am I like this?’ or ‘How can I do better?’ while forming insecurities on how uncommunicative we are. However, you should try to understand that being emotionally reserved is normal. At the basis of it all, the development of our emotions and how we express it are formed by our social settings. Many people are brought up in cultures that do not show intimacy and nurture through expressions of idealized love; and others may be fostered in an environment that does not frequently show intimacy, such as hugging or professions of love, and thus are potentially more emotionally reserved
Furthermore, being closed off may be a defense mechanism to gauge the emotions of other individuals in a social setting. We may have anxiety on how while having a one-sided dialogue in our mind on whether we should open up to a new person in order to be their friend. There is also a lingering fear of rejection, where we try to avoid the circumstances of being abandoned due to finally opening up ourselves and our personality.
Throughout my life, I have personally been antagonized for not being able to easily show my emotions. I had a family friend who did not want me to attend a New Year’s event, as they believed that my dull resting face and ‘sad aura’ would bring them bad luck throughout the year. Although I was being picked on due to my closed off demeanor, I knew that I was capable of organically showing emotions. I cried while watching ‘A Walk to Remember’ and I ended up in heaps of laughter when spending time with my closest friends. I do, in fact, have the ability to show empathy.
People who appear to be emotionally reserved are not being standoff-ish and judgemental, but simply trying to express themselves in an organic manner. I have found numerous tips on how to accept myself, that I believe may be useful for you.
I hope that this helps you to feel accepted, as this realization has also helped me process my emotions better. By living with the awareness that we are in-tune with ourselves, it helps us organically show our feelings. By living comfortably, we are showing the best versions of ourselves and it is a gift to show it to others.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.