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Is being hard to read a bad thing?

Community Member

Im feeling a little frustrated and confused. A person in my life is saying to another person in my life that i'm 'hard to read'. Basically this person always checks with the other person (who im closer too) if i enjoyed myself, how I feel etc because they 'never know what im thinking'.

On my end, I feel frustrated because I dont see what else I can do to show im having a good time. I talk to people, I involve myself in activities, I take photos. Its not like i sit on the sidelines with a sour look on my face. If something is funny, ill laugh. If something makes me smile, I smile. If i feel sick, ill quiet down for 5 minutes. Its not like I completely suppress my emotions. This is a complete side note but what really bugs me is if your feeling sick and you go quiet for 5 minutes and someone will say 'do you not like talking or something?'... its like maybe ask if the person is okay instead of judging them? Cos thats what id do.. if I saw a quiet person on their own, id ask if they were okay. If i quiet down around any of my friends theyre always like 'whats wrong'? Acquaintances usually judge.

Anyway, these people just label me as 'quiet' and 'hard to read', its frustrating and I dont understand why. No one in my life besides these people have ever said that, my friends and family know who I am and made an effort to get to know me. It seems as though these people havent otherwise they wouldnt be saying this?

I will gladly share my thoughts and opinions if a topic comes up that I am interested in. If someone asks, I will gladly share also. I dont understand why this person says this about me. I know who this person is, i understand their personality and I like them. I would be there for them if they needed me. I care about their family. I made an effort to pay attention to them and get to know them.

Seems as though this person hasn't done the same for me? I do know that this person does care about me, but I wouldn't say we have the closest relationship. I would like to be closer and I think they would too, I just wish the person would make an effort to get to know me on the level that my other friends and family have instead of saying that im hard to read. The way i see it, its a 2 way street.

Does anyone have any other insights? Im trying to understand this situation.

3 Replies 3

Community Champion
Community Champion

Auschic welcome to the forum,

Thanks for writing this post which many people including me can relate to your thoughts.

I can understand how frustrated you are when you feel you are easy to understand yet one person has decided you are hard to understand.

I often find it annoying when people say to me why don't you smile , things cannot be that bad.

I smile but when I am thinking I have a serious face and when I am resting I have a face that doesn't smile.

I am someone who often talks so if I am not talking people say am I ok, whats wrong etc. The truth is I often just listen and probably just listen more than I talk. When people decided you are a talker and you are not talking they figure you must be sick.

I am not sure what the answer is. You understand that those close to you understand you and I suppose that is all that matters.

So maybe it is just that not everyone can really get us .

How would it make you feel if the person who does not get you, gradually grew to understand you?


Community Member

I get that "hard to read" judgment all the time. I think it's probably true. It's a defense mechanism from hiding depression for so long. I am/was hard to read because I didn't/don't want people to know what I'm really thinking. If people know what I'm thinking they will realize I'm not worth talking to.

I often get told in quiet also. I'm quiet because I don't feel I have the right to impose my thoughts and opinions on other people, even in a social situation. It's something I'm working on. For this reason I've always been so grateful to the few people who have taken the time to talk to me.

I've recently gone through a period of wellness I can see in old pictures that "look". It's hard to explain. In more recent pictures I don't have it. I just have a more open face. I think it's just a subconscious softening of features.

Sadly, I think it's traits I picked up very young and when I am nervous, scared or feeling unwell it is what I revert to.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Auschic and welcome to the forum.

It's an interesting topic you have. I thought I was easy to read unless I made a specific effort to show nothing, which is rare. And yet I have been told that people never know if I am serious or not and some people are scared of me?????? Wow, what can I say.

Since you know the person who cannot read you, have you thought of chatting with him/her? I gather you know this person quite well if not as well the the third person in this conversation. Why not invite him/her for a coffee somewhere and talk about how you feel you portray yourself and how this comes across to the other person. So many miscommunication happens because we do not check that what we hear is what the other person said.

It's particularly frustrating I agree when an assumption is made on the basis of how much talking you are doing. Like you I enjoy being part of a conversation but I also like to sit back and listen. Maybe because I'm tired, perhaps because I know little about the topic but am interested to learn. There are so many different scenarios that we cannot learn them all and must rely on asking. Perhaps that is something you can mention to your friend.

I think it also depends on how people have been brought up. A controlling parent who does not encourage conversation at the table for instance, could be teaching their children that silence is being forced to be quiet rather than having not much to say. Families who enjoy jokes may see the funny side of many events but not someone brought up without much laughter. I think these children grow up without being able to enjoy laughter and recognise when you are joking. This is a bad habit of mine, too many jokes with someone who just does not get the idea that some things in life are funny.

I hope that helps.