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13 Things People Who Are Tough On the Outside But Soft On the Inside Never Told You

13 Things People Who Are Tough On the Outside But Soft On the Inside Never Told You

Have you ever met people who are like eggs? They are tough on the outside but soft on the inside. Initially, they seem rather unapproachable and cold, but as you get to know them, you discover that they have a warm side too.

People who are outwardly tough are easily mistaken as rocks. They are respected for their strength and confidence, but at the same time, other people feel intimidated by their achievements or feel incompetent around them. Some might even mistake their confidence as arrogance. They are typically not the first people you approach to be friends with.

However, some of these people have a heart of gold. If you take the time to understand them, you might find a friend for life. Not only are they warm and caring, they have the mental toughness to help you resolve your problems. If you have a friend who is tough on the outside but soft on the inside, treasure them.

Here are 13 things to help you get to know them better, so that you can be better friends with them.

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1. They don’t know how to talk about intimate feelings.

Tough people are easily mistaken as cold because they don’t express their feelings much. But it’s not that they don’t have any feelings. It’s just that they find it difficult to express their emotions in words. Don’t force them to talk about their feelings. It’s just not one of their strengths.

2. They are blunt because they care about you.

Tough people have a different approach when it comes to caring for others. They are usually very honest and direct with their words. Sometimes, they may sound harsh and critical. But they are not trying to be mean. They genuinely want to help you. They are just not someone who is soft in their delivery.

3. They get hurt by unkind words too.

Although they are blunt, they mean well. If someone else was to misunderstand their kindness and call them offensive names, they do feel the pain inside. They might act like nothing is wrong on the outside, but it hurts them as much as it hurts you in the inside. They are normal human beings.

4. They don’t listen to your troubles when they know they can’t help you.

Again, it’s not because they don’t care. It’s because they know they can’t help you. They understand that the key to a better life depends on the individual. If you don’t want to change your life for the better, there’s nothing they can do about it. So they don’t waste time listening to you complain about stuff that you don’t wish to change.

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5. They have problems too.

They aren’t supermen or wonder women. Just because they are tough doesn’t mean they have no problems at all. They don’t complain and whine to others because they know that complaining and whining don’t help the situation at all. So they prefer to spend time alone thinking how to resolve their problems themselves.

6. They need help from other people too.

Tough people are self-sufficient and independent. They can do a lot of things on their own. But they need help from other people too. Sometimes, they may not know how to approach others or feel shy about asking others for help. As a friend, you should offer them help once in a while even if they are silent about it.

7. They are afraid to appear weak.

One reason why tough people don’t display their emotions publicly is because they are afraid to be seen as weak or pushovers. They are afraid that others might take advantage of their vulnerability, so they prefer to hide their feelings away from public view.

8. They build walls to protect themselves emotionally.

Tough people have their insecurities too. They find it hard to be vulnerable and emotionally close to another person because they might have been hurt by others in the past. So they put on a strong front to protect themselves from getting hurt again.

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9. They have a hard time opening up themselves.

They feel deeply but they have a hard time opening up themselves to others. They only open up to friends they trust and keep new people they meet at a safe distance. It takes time for them to trust other people. So be patient with them and allow them to reveal themselves to you slowly.

10. They don’t trust their emotions that much.

Although they are softies inside, they don’t really trust their emotions. They believe that showing emotions is a sign of weakness. They are also afraid that their emotions will guide them wrongly. So they prefer to rely on their logical thinking and mental toughness to make those hard decisions.

11. They are much harder on themselves than on others.

If you think that their expectation of you is high, think of their expectation of themselves. It’s so much higher. As bonding with others wasn’t their best strength growing up, they focus on achievements and working hard instead. Being tough is how they get to where they are in life. They see the value in it, so they keep challenging themselves to higher standards.

12. They take their relationships seriously.

Tough people with a tender heart tend to be selective with their friends and choose their relationships carefully. They have fewer friends but they are close with their friends. They are supportive and loyal to their friends despite appearing uncaring.

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13. They need love and connection like everyone else.

They might appear uninterested in love and relationships. But deep down inside, they wish to find a loving partner and want to be loved. They can be really shy about dating. And their independence might push potential partners away. As a friend, be there for them and talk to them when they feel alone.

Conclusion: Be Kind With Tough People

Next time you meet a tough person, be in their shoes and be friendly towards them. Understand that some of them are just protecting their tender hearts with a strong front. And if you are friends with tough people, keep in touch with them. They might be independent, but they need friends too.

Featured photo credit: young beautiful short blue hair hipster woman with headphones music in the city via shutterstock.com

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Yong Kang Chan

Self-Help Author (Writes about Self-Compassion and Mindfulness)

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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