“Why does my cousin always seem to know when something is bothering me, even when I try to hide it or or even smile & pretend I’m happy?…If something’s up she’ll ask me if I’m okay, I’ll try not to say, and she’ll then ask again and keep probing until I eventually tell the truth. How can she read me so well? I sometimes find it bothersome coz I don’t like sharing things. She’s the only person who can always tell if something’s wrong.”
Question Asked on Quora
Answer by Ella Louise:
Firstly, be grateful you have someone close to you who cares enough to ask and knows you well enough to notice when something is up. She can read you well because you clearly spend a lot of time together and you may not be as good as hiding how you feel as you might think.
I can always tell when one of my close friends is having a rough day or feeling a bit low. She is similar to you (and me) in that she likes to hide this and a lot of people would never know. I have always asked, and probed, but a few years back we discussed it in length and she told me that sometimes she doesn’t want to talk. So we came to the agreement that I will continue to ask, but if she really isn’t up for talking she will give me look that says ‘back off’.
She doesn’t use it often but when she does I change the subject and act like there is nothing wrong. 9 times out of 10 she will open up to me in her own time either the same day or a few days later. It works for us and is a possible solution to your issue.
It is worth speaking to her about it. Thank her for always having your back and caring enough to ask when she thinks there is something wrong. Then politely explain that occasionally you would do better not talking about it. She may not have ever realised that this bothers you and moving forward she will hopefully be more considerate.
I would suggest having this conversation on a day when you are feeling good and there is nothing bothering you. This is simply so she doesn’t assume you are trying to brush her off like normal and she knows this is something that you are serious about.
On another note. As I mentioned earlier, I am also a lot like you in that I tend to bottle things up and don’t like to talk about it. Honestly, I did that throughout most of my childhood, teens and 20s and I was a master of disguise so no one would ever know.
However, as I have gotten older I have discovered how important it is to talk about what is going on. Bottling up your feelings, especially negative ones, can be lonely and physically draining.
I find that simply saying it out loud to someone, anyone, without expecting a solution is helpful in itself. Even writing on Quora can help when you don’t feel comfortable talking to those closest to you.
I hope you are able to speak with your cousin, and I will say again, be so grateful to have a loved one in your life who cares so dearly about you.