What Does Hiding Look Like
People hide to stay safe. It's typically shame driven and comes from the deep fear that if others see who we really are, they won't like us and will abandon us.
The truth is, it hurts us because not only do others not get to know us, we don't get to know ourselves.
So our whole lives are spent creating a vision of someone that we're not to satisfy someone who may not be a fit for our real selves or might like the authentic version better!
Let's Look at Some Examples
She ended up having sex with people that she didn't really want to because she just wanted company.
In all of these examples, the person who is hiding is trying to maintain connection and peace, but the things they are doing to get it actually create stress, isolation, and interfere with true intimacy. It may even push people away.
How To Break Out And Show Yourself
Start small. You didn't get here in one day, so give yourself time to get to know yourself slowly.
Speak up. We all have thoughts. It's okay to share them. Talk about yourself. If you have an opinion share it - especially if it's different from someone else's. If you have something that can save someone time, effort, or headache, offer it. Ask for what you want. It's okay to receive, too!
Ask yourself questions. What did I mean by that? What would I like? How did I feel about that? What is it about that that scares me? Is it in my best interest to do that? What am I trying to accomplish?
These types of questions can help you become more clear about your motivations and desires. They can help you get to know you. You can't be you if you don't know you.
Put yourself first. People who hide tend to be people pleasers. They put other's needs above their own. Consequently, it rarely gets to be their turn.
Put yourself first. I know this won't be easy, and it may feel selfish. Do it anyway. It's not selfish. It's self love. It doesn't mean others don't matter. It means you do, too.
Tell the truth. Everyone doesn't need to hear it, but you do need to speak it to yourself.
Be receptive to life as it is. Hiding is a way of protecting yourself from life. This armor keeps out the good and the bad. Let it all in. You can handle it.
Good comes with bad. There is no inside without an outside. Every beginning has an end. The only way to have life is to embrace it all. So, let it in. You don't have to keep the parts that aren't yours and you can move through the ugly bits that are yours. Just keep swimming.