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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 November 5, 2019

12 Powerful Habits of a Lifelong Learner

12 Powerful Habits of a Lifelong Learner

Formal education is something everyone has to go through to a certain degree, and the knowledge it offers isn’t always that practical in real life. Life long learning is how you improve as a person, bit by bit and day by day.

Life long learners recognize the importance and joy of growth so they never settle for what they currently know and always seek for improvement.

Here are 12 habits of people who value lifelong learning have in common – see how many of them you recognize in yourself.

1. They Read on a Daily Basis

Whatever problem or dilemma you currently face, there’s definitely at least one decent book that discusses it and presents a variety of solutions.

Reading is a great way to open up new horizons, train your brain and revolutionize your life. I can’t even count how many times books completely transformed the way I view the world, and it’s always a change for the better. Through reading, you can connect with successful people and learn from the lessons they share.

Life long learners love to get lost in books and do it regularly. Bill Gates knows that reading matters a lot; on his personal blog, he reviews plenty of game-changing books.

Due to technology, you can access a bookshelf of the wealthiest entrepreneur on this planet.

2. They Attend Various Courses

Whether it’s online or offline, there are countless courses you can participate in without spending a dime on it. These are great opportunities to connect with clever and like-minded people and learn from them.

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Because of the advanced technology, you can now gain knowledge from online programs, starting from coding through self-improvement to programs from top universities.

There are literally endless ways to thrive. What life long learners have in common is squeezing as much as possible out of these opportunities.

3. They Actively Seek Opportunities to Grow

Instead of spending your free time laying on the couch and watching TV, you prefer doing something creative and practical. You know every wasted minute is gone forever.

That’s why you’d rather practice your language skills with a native-speaker you’ve met, engage in local meet up or attend a class that teaches something you always wanted to learn.

Life long learners stay up-to-date with growth opportunities in their areas and participate in them frequently.

4. They Take Care of Their Bodies

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” — John F. Kennedy

A clever mind combined with a body in a great condition is the best asset you can have. Our bodies were designed to run, walk, jump, swim, lift and much more. Leading a sedentary lifestyle harms both your physical and mental sphere.

Life long learners know the body is your temple. In order to make it flourish for as long as possible, they train regularly, move a lot and eat healthy.

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5. They Have Diverse Passions

Among Steve Jobs’ wise quotes, there’s one I like especially. It’s about connecting the dots:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” — Steve Jobs

Each dot is some event or skill in your life, and it’s only when you go through these elements that you know how to combine them into something great.

Having a variety of passions indicates that you love to progress. By practicing different skills, you give yourself an advantage over the rest of the people. During hard times, you are more likely to to act intelligently and solve your problems with less effort.

6. They Love Making Progress

If behind the efforts, there is passion and a deep desire to grow, your chances of success are way higher, compared to when you are forced to learn.

Life long learners love to experience the constant growth and improvement. The breakthrough moments help them to notice the impressive change that took place because of the learning process. Any milestone serves as a driving force for further headway.

7. They Challenge Themselves with Specific Goals

In order to keep growing, you clearly define your goals. Smart goal setting is one of the tools to ensure constant growth.

Since you love challenges, a difficult goal doesn’t scare you. Quite the opposite, it keeps you motivated and engaged.

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Research showed that precise and ambitious goals increase the performance of an individual. As we already agreed, life long learners are people who care about their performance, hence they never stop improving.

8. They Embrace Change

A complete change can lead to incredible results. This is especially visible on the example of successful companies.

Oftentimes, it’s that transformation which created space for their so-called overnight success. Twitter was originally created as an internal service to serve Odeo employees. Currently, it has over 300 million monthly active users and is considered the second biggest social network.

As a life long learner, you know a change can lead to extraordinary results so you welcome it and stay open minded about making a shift.

9. They Believe It’s Never Too Late to Start Something

Some people tend to think after a certain age, they are no longer allowed to start something and become successful. The truth is, it’s just a lame excuse not to leave the comfort zone.

Opposite to common misconceptions, there’s no wrong age to begin something. Henry Ford was 45 when he invented the Ford Model T car, which is considered as the first affordable automobile.

Sure, for some domains like becoming a professional athlete, starting early is required. However, to learn and improve for its own sake, you are never too old.

10. Their Attitude to Getting Better Is Contagious

“We now accept the fact that learning is a life long process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.” — Peter Drucker

There’s nothing better than to see your surroundings getting involved in what you actively participate in. Oftentimes, the best way to achieve that is to inspire them and be the example. As Gandhi would say, you need to be the change you want to see in the world.

As a life long learner, you are extremely passionate about the constant growth and people around you can sense that positive attitude. As a result, they start acting similarly.

11. They Leave Their Comfort Zone

Is it really better to step out of your comfort zone? The answer is always yes.

You always embrace discomfort as you know the path to success leads through hardship and countless obstacles. Instead of being afraid of facing them, you challenge yourself to overcome more and more difficult handicaps.

Every time you get out of your comfort zone, regardless whether you win or fail, you learn something new. That’s the part you love the most!

12. They Never Settle Down

“Knowledge is exploding, so you need to commit yourself to a plan for life long learning.” — Don Tapscott

A sense of being clever enough is something you don’t experience. Without a doubt, you appreciate what you already know, but that’s never a reason to stop. You just know once you stop learning, you lose the amazing privilege humans have, namely an ability to a never-ending intellectual development.

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Featured photo credit: Christin Hume via unsplash.com

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