I am clearly aware that different people have different personalities.  But which is the stronger and which is the weaker – showing or hiding feelings?

In my life, I have always shown my feelings and opinions in whatever situation possible though there have been times when I did not open up for I did not feel appropriate.  Especially, when I’m going through some emotion, I never hid my feelings: I cry, I laugh, I crack jokes, I get crazy and even angry.  Like I have always said, I like expressing things, expressing myself and letting others know things.  Most of the ones who like me like me because of this.  On the other hand, some others say that is a weakness and I should get rid of that weird habit or freaky tendency tendency.  But I am not willing to change myself for any reasons whatsoever.

I know different kinds of people … though not a lot.  Some make very impressing first impressions; some, I have to learn to like gradually; some, misunderstood for quite some time to have a certain personality which they later prove to not have; and some, bitter form the first sight and I can never get along with.  I learn to know about these kinds of people by letting them know about me.  I value “Love and Trust”“If you want somebody to trust you, you’ve got to trust that person first,” somebody (who later claimed I never trusted him) told me when we first met.  When I meet somebody new and if I like them on the spot, I make myself a point that that person is going to like me in return and we are going to find out something real and interesting about each other.  I do that by expressing myself fully – as far as words or actions can take me.  And I always succeed in that.

That is my first (kind of) step in making a new friend for a firm relationship.  If somebody I met is somebody I will have to work together with for some time or somebody in whom I find something special, I take another step.  I try to find out their values – I ask them what they value in life, what they want from life, what they want from what they do and what they expect from me.  Everybody finds that a bit odd when I have such conversations with them and often refuses to tell me their insights.  Since somebody’s got to make a move for further things, I give away my profiles.  It’s no big deal!  There’s nothing lost and yet you can even have them opening up and telling you things.

With my close friends, I don’t keep anything from them.  I tell them what I’m going through – good or bad – when it comes to my mind.  They listen and we usually work things out together.  Everything works out in the end … though not every close friend is a reliable confidant or a good friend.  Among my friends and acquaintances, whenever they have something wrong anything bugging them, I strongly suggest them that they bring it up as some kind of discussion.  I like to get my problems solved in a group and I like having other people’s problems solved.

Some lovely feedback I get back from my behaviour of being open and frank is “Ooh, have you no shame bringing this problem up to be solved by a whole group?”, “You gotta be more self-dependent – get it over yourself!”, “You are always telling others how you feel or think: that is so emotionally weak and socially immature.”, etc.  It’s not that I don’t agree with these words, but I also must say they are not always right.  Anyway, I try to fight these things back and the discussion whether to show or hide feelings still remain unfinished.

Very frequently, I tell others that I AM an artist and I create and present or express new things or things that come to my imagination.  Therefore, as encouragements for my nature, I get things like “No, you’re not weak; that is so artistically strong!”, “I like that.  You always tell me what’s on your mind and so I can tell you my feelings, too.”, “You’re such a gentle person.”, etc.  People who say these words are usually my kind of people and I especially like them.  At the same time, I try to get along with people who don’t agree with me and learn to like them.  At times, they seem stronger mentally than us unquestionably.  They seem to be able to withstand tough things by themselves, which is impressive but by which I’m not impressed.

I think that “emotionally enclosed” people are usually misunderstood to have a personality that they don’t really possess.  They are believed by most people to be heartless, insensible, robotic or inhumane in some way.  Generally, most of them have pretty good reasons as to why they hide what they feel.  Some have certain mental trauma, some just like to be alone, some used to be expressive but found out that it doesn’t work for them and so on.  One of my closest friends has had little love and care from his parents and doesn’t know well how to express love, care or other feelings well.  He just puts a stern face on as if he’s trying to prevent people from harming him.  (He must have had some trauma but I’m not sure.)  There is another friend – a girl – who is regarded by many to be heartless for she is an extreme bookworm and studies all the time.  She has a very restricted social life with only a few friends.  As I came to know her, she opened up little by little because I kept poking her to tell me more about her.  And later, it turns out that she admires my perspective of things and is fond of me and what I do.  That’s how I form relationships.

This whole thing is like the Dashwood sisters form Jane Austin’s Sense and Sensibility.  I came to be more aware of this issue after reading the 11th and 14th chapters in A.J. Cronin’s Adventures in Two Worlds.  I couldn’t finish reading the Jane Austin novel because I lost interest in it and it got boring enough for me to stop.  But Cronin gave me the message that even though we may look tough on the outside, we have the same kind of soft tender hearts inside prone to getting hurt.  My inference is that we become either soft or hard on the outside, i.e. whether we show or hide our feelings, depends how we reflect upon what comes from inside.   We should not condemn people who openly express their emotions: they are just being sincere.  And we should not be hard on those who look tough: they have the same kind of hearts inside which could break.  Letting others know what you feel has its own good points and bad points.  We just need to act upon the situation.