Social Question

silverangel's avatar

Is there a moment in the day or in one's life where every hidden feeling inside one's self is revealed unintentionally?

Asked by silverangel (933 points ) February 15th, 2012

For example, when a depressed person is always smiling in front of other people to hide his depression, or a lonely person acts friendly and in a lively way to hide his loneliness, suddenly gets his depression or loneliness revealed unintentionally and without this person’s awareness, as if the mask that person was wearing melted there for a moment… Is there such a moment? Does it exist?

And if there is such a moment, when would it be?

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12 Answers

lemming's avatar

Hope not! This is known as the transparency illusion…people tend to feel that people can tell how they are feeling much more than they do, spotlight theory is also relevent here I think, and that is when you think there is much more attention on you as an individual than there actually is…even if you wanted to reveal your true feelings, chances are no one would notice:)

Hain_roo's avatar

I think the moment would be when at last they’re alone. (at least it is in movies)

digitalimpression's avatar

It’s difficult to tell with strangers, but with someone you know the signs should be fairly obvious regardless of their attempt at incognito.

Blackberry's avatar

Yes, sometimes you can tell when someone is faking emotions.

janbb's avatar

3 a.m.

“losing love is like a window in your heart…”

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think that there is such a moment. People are complicated and they can smile when they’re depressed.

thorninmud's avatar

Maybe it really comes down to the attentiveness and self-awareness of the observer. Masks are effective at concealing feelings from those who aren’t particularly interested and/or have little insight into their own feelings.

To a careful observer, masked sadness doesn’t look like happiness; it looks like exactly what it is: masked sadness. I’d say that the real feeling here isn’t just plain sadness, but something more nuanced—a sadness that one finds dangerous in some way. The mask, then, actually reveals something about the feeling.

You could say that our real feelings are constantly on display, just as they really are. But they’re like poetry in that what’s there to be seen requires more than a cursory glance.

Coloma's avatar

I parrot @thorninmud

The vast majority of people are predominantly un-self aware. If one is completely unaware of their own emotions they are certainly going to be oblivious to others. In order to be aware of the subtleties in another one must first be aware of their own. So I would answer that for the relatively self aware person yes, there would be daily contact with the true self and recognition of any hidden emotions, but for the unaware, most likely they will just come home and pour a few stiff ones, take a pill, stuff their face, to keep the lid on the repressed and unrecognized.

zensky's avatar

@janbb From Graceland. Good song.

Rock2's avatar

Are you asking this because you want to find out someone’s secret feelings or because you don’t want to reveal something about yourself?

Either way, there are ways to read people at any time however some mentally ill people are impossible to read. What are the consequences of reading someone wrong?

yankeetooter's avatar

My co-workers and family have no idea that I have been depressed for quite some time now. So either your premise is not true, or they don’t care enough to notice…

dabbler's avatar

I think it’s rare. “Every” hidden feeling? Most of us would get arrested.

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