Why do I feel like I have to shut down when I'm upset?

13/11/2022 - Actualizado: 26/10/2022

We all have days where we feel sad, scared, or angry. When we’re feeling those emotions, it can feel like there’s no safe way to express them: If you’re upset about something at work and lash out in front of your co-workers, you risk looking unprofessional. If you talk about your personal life with your coworkers, they might think you’re unserious and not take your job seriously either.
If everyone feels the need to guard themselves constantly when talking about their personal lives or feelings — even with close friends — then what is the right way to deal with upsetting situations? Do you have to just grit your teeth and get on with things? Can you ever admit that something makes you unhappy or scared without coming across as weird or unprofessional?
Finally, do we all need to be so careful not to offend anyone by revealing our true selves? Or are there some places that are safe enough that we can let down our guard and be more open about how we really feel?

Why do we feel the need to shut down?

The desire for people to shut down and avoid confrontation is pretty common. It’s the reason that people often keep their opinions to themselves in order to avoid arguments; it’s not just about keeping the peace. It’s about trying to keep everything at a safe distance.

People who shut down often feel like their emotions are too intense or too much to deal with. They don’t want to put others on the spot by making them feel uncomfortable.  They don’t want to stand out in any way that could make them an easy target for bullying.
When you shut down, you’re basically trying to make sure that nothing gets to you. You’re putting your guard up to protect yourself from any and all possible threats. You’re staying silent so that you don’t inadvertently make others feel bad. You’re hiding your true self to avoid standing out.

What does shutting down look like?

If you’re shutting down, you’ll probably feel like you need to hide your true feelings. You might try to avoid conversations about your feelings or any topics that might make you feel uncomfortable.

You might also try to downplay your skills and achievements to keep from standing out. You might be an introvert, but shutting down isn’t just an introvert thing. You might also be someone who is just trying to avoid a situation where you feel like you’ll be pressured to reveal too much.
You might change the subject when other people talk about their lives and feelings. You might try to keep your personal life to yourself as much as possible. You might also try to avoid certain topics at work because they make you feel too vulnerable.

3 Reasons You Might Feel Like You Have To Shutter Up

  • You feel as though you have to be perfect at all times. You’re afraid that if you let your guard down, you’ll make a fool of yourself.
  • You feel like you don’t fit in with the people around you. You worry that if you show your true self, you’ll be rejected or pushed out of the group.
  • You feel like you have no support system. You don’t have anyone you can talk to about your feelings or ask for help with your problems.

2 Reasons It’s Still Important To Express Your Feelings

  • You have a better idea of what factors are causing you to shut down.
  • You can learn to be more self-aware and recognize when you’re shutting down so you can change your habits.

As you become more self-aware, you’ll have a better idea of what you need to change in order to feel more comfortable. You can also learn to respond differently to upsetting situations so you don’t feel the need to shut down.

1 Reason You Should Always Express Your Feelings — Even When They’re Upsetting

You might get tired of people telling you that you need to “express yourself” or “be yourself” like it’s some easy thing to do. Being honest with yourself and others can be really scary sometimes.

There are probably some people in your life who are willing to listen to anything you want to talk about. But you might not be willing to open up to them because you’re afraid of what they might think of you. You might be afraid that they’ll think you’re too emotional or weak.
There are some people in your life who you have no reason to protect. They’ll love you no matter what. You just have to take the risk of letting them in.

We’re all social animals, and we need each other. We’re not meant to go through life completely alone. We crave connection and open communication.
When you put on a happy face and try to avoid all the negative stuff, you’re basically trying to trick yourself into thinking that you’re satisfied with your life. It’s okay to feel disappointed or upset sometimes. It’s okay to not be happy all the time.

If you constantly try to avoid all the negative stuff, you run the risk of becoming isolated and depressed. You don’t really have anyone to talk to about your problems. You don’t really have anyone who understands you. You don’t really know who you are because you’ve been hiding your true self from everyone else.

If you were asking Why do I feel like I have to shut down when I'm upset?, also you can find more answers in the articles from General topic.

Summary of the article

Alvaro Saez

CEO of Chuiso and TeamPlatino. Marketing enthusiastic and spanish entrepreneur based in Madrid who combines his work as a teacher at Teamplatino with his passion for online marketing, artificial intelligence and real estate investments.

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