Cold Hands, Warm Heart

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    A description of someone who does not outwardly show feelings but, inwardly, is very kind and loving.

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    This phrase is used to describe another person—perhaps a stern boss who is caring on the inside. This may be said about any person who is secretly emotional or caring. It describes a person who does not appear to be sentimental on the outside but secretly does acts of kindness.

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    • Cold hands, warm heart.;

    Cold and warm are both used figuratively to refer to unwelcoming and welcoming people, respectively. He might be emotionally distant, or her might seem to not care about others feelings.

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    He has a pleasant personality that attracts those around him. The phrase may have come from German, as there is an identical German saying: The researchers believe the effect relates to childhood when emotional warmth given by a parent was often accompanied by the physical warmth of being held or hugged. The Yale University research seems to disprove the old saying 'cold hands, warm heart' which has generally been seen to describe how a cool exterior often disguises a kind heart.

    To test the theory the scientists, who reported their results in the journal Science, carried out two studies involving a total of 94 undergraduates. For the first they presented half the unwitting participants with a hot or ice cold coffee and then asked what they thought of a stranger after a brief meeting. They found that holding a hot cup of coffee led people to judge the stranger to be a "warmer" person, in terms of traits such as generosity and kindness, compared to a group of people who held a cup of iced coffee.

    In the second study the researchers had people, who thought they were evaluating a product, hold either a warm or cold object - hot pads or cold pads as used in muscle therapy- and then given a choice of reward for participating in the study: The study found that people who held the hot pad were more likely to choose the gift for a friend, and people who held the cold pack were more likely to choose the reward for themselves. His co-author Lawrence Williams, who has since moved to the University of Colorado, said he thought the effect related to childhood.