Some people look so happy all the time, that it’s an absolute shock to discover that they’re dealing with a lot of negative feelings privately or they’ve experienced a tragedy in the past that left them traumatized, probably for life.
Because the truth is, the saddest people always look the happiest, that’s why it’s important not to judge a book by its cover. And no matter how close you might be to someone, you might never know exactly what they’re dealing with behind closed doors. After all, you only know as much as they’re willing to share with you, and we all know it’s not always easy to share your struggles.
However, if you take a look at the untreated depression and suicide rates in the United States, you understand why it’s so important to look out for the ones you love. But how can you tell if someone is unhappy? Read on to discover the 10 signs someone is secretly unhappy and find out how you can help!
Make sure to also check: How You Should Talk To Someone About Their Toxic Relationship, According to Experts.
1. They’re deflecting serious questions.
The first thing you notice about someone who’s secretly unhappy is that they’re trying to deflect serious questions, by using sarcasm, humor or being dismissive. Someone who’s unhappy will likely prefer not to talk about anything important that’s going on in their personal lives, mainly because they don’t feel ready to share, or because they feel ashamed.
If you have a good friend that used to tell you everything, and now they’ve stopped confiding in you out of a sudden, it might be because they’re dealing with a lot of dark feelings privately.
And even when you know what they’re dealing with, such as a complicated breakup, their parents’ divorce, or losing their job, they still can’t open up about it. They will joke about it in order to make it seem like it’s not a big deal, but secretly, they’re unhappy.
2. They’re always cracking jokes.
Don’t get fooled, someone who jokes a lot isn’t necessarily happy, even though it might seem like it. However, these people might try to hide their struggles by trying to put a smile on your face. Someone who jokes a lot and can’t have a serious conversation is often using humor to avoid serious questions.
They will often tell you that they’re ok with a big smile on their faces, but you better not believe them.
3. They stick to short answers.
Someone who’s secretly unhappy will also try to deflect important questions by giving short answers, as they try to avoid opening up to you. That’s exactly why it’s important to pay attention to how your loved ones behave, and if you see them talking less than they use to, it might be because they’re dealing with something behind closed doors.
According to American Psychological Association, disinterest and apathy are the first signs of depression, so you need to ask yourself the following questions: Is my friend being more quiet than usual? Have they stopped calling or texting you out of a sudden? Do they stick to short answers?
If the answer to these questions is yes, you need to find a way to be there for them and try to make them open up about the problem. Or, if they don’t feel ready to share their struggles with you, seeking professional help is vital.
4. They avoid eye contact.
People dealing with depression or those who are secretly unhappy due to various reasons often try to avoid looking directly in other people’s eyes because they feel like the other person would see directly through them and know that something is not right with them.
Therefore, they try to avoid serious conversations while also avoiding eye contact. People also tend to avoid eve contact when they don’t want to share their struggles with other people, but they’re also not very good at lying, so they try to pretend that everything is fine, when in fact, it’s not.
Here are 10 Signs Your Partner Is Lying to You, According to Studies. CLICK HERE to find out more!
5. They cancel plans.
Has your friend started canceling on you out of a sudden? Have they started missing work or skipping school? It could be that they’re going through a rebellious phase, but it’s also a chance that they’re going through something privately.
As a good friend, it’s your job to talk to them and try to find out what’s going on. And even though they tell you that everything is fine, you need to look out for them as they might want to hide their true feelings.
Additionally, if they start canceling on the things they really love, such as going to the cinema, or attending a recital they’ve been rehearsing for months, it’s definitely a sign something is not right and you should keep an eye on them. Because even when they don’t want to share, they still need someone to be there for them, they just don’t realize it.
6. They sleep all the time.
As you might know already, sleeping way too much is a sign of depression, but so is insomnia. According to the American Psychological Association, any significant disturbance in a person’s sleeping could be caused by a psychological reason, such as depression.
Depression makes people sleep more than usual because they want to avoid feeling lost and empty for a while, and sleep is the only way to do it. Feeling unmotivated to get out of bed is also a red flag that shouldn’t be ignored.
Additionally, even though depression makes people sleep all day, they still wake up tired and exhausted, without energy and the will to live.
Read also: 8 Ways to Attract New People, According to Experts.
7. They prefer being alone.
When your loved one tries to push you away, you might feel like they don’t want you in their life anymore, but in reality, it could be that they’re dealing with depression. They often start with not sharing things with you anymore, then they cancel on you, and over time, you never get to see them anymore. And even though they might tell you that nothing is wrong, that they’re just busy or tired, it might be something more serious than that.
If you see your loved one not posting on social media anymore, not calling or texting you, and not even leaving their home, it could be that “they are emotionally withdrawing and isolating themselves from others as a way of coping with the unhappiness they are struggling to repress” (Taylor, Nguyen, & Chatters, 2018).
What You Should Say to Someone Who’s Feeling Lonely. Read more HERE!
8. They’ve become shy out of a sudden.
If you know them from a while now, and they used to be funny, confident and easygoing, and now they seem shy and very private with their life, it could be a red flag that they’re secretly unhappy or dealing with depression.
And even though they try to smile all the time to hide how they’re really feeling deep inside, their smile is no longer authentic and seems fake. Maybe they don’t care about their appearance anymore, they’ve stopped dressing up or even gained weight, as it is normal for those dealing with depression.
They’ve become very quiet and prefer being alone, instead of having people around. If your loved one does all these things, it’s important that you do everything you can to help them.
9. They get upset very easily.
Last, but not least, someone who’s dealing with depression will get upset very easily, even though it’s uncharacteristic of them. This is definitely a red flag, especially if this person used to be calm, level-headed, and mild-mannered, and out of a sudden, they become easily distressed.
Depression can make people very irritable, quick to snap at other people and cry over minor things. And they might still tell you that everything is fine, but you better not believe it this time.
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10. Someone who’s unhappy will try their best to look happy.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but unhappy people always try to look happy, just because they don’t want to let other people know what’s really going on and how they really feel. So, by putting a big smile on their face, they feel like other people won’t know that they’re not ok.
Also, unhappy people make other people laugh and smile all the time, just because they know how bad it can be to feel down and have no one to help them get up. Therefore, if you see your loved ones struggling, or showing each of the signs above, don’t hesitate to help them, because they probably need it the most.
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