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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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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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