The Masks we wear

   How genuine are we when we interact with other people? What about the times we interact with ourselves? How do we behave? Why so? Is it because of the social rules? Is it different from one set of people to another? Which of those behaviors is more like us and which is just a façade?

   I’ve noticed that there aspects of myself I let out in the open to some of my friends, while with others I keep them shut with some little fear that they’ll find out. And it’s not even an conscious effort. I just do it. The first time I’ve noticed this was when those two sets of friends were in the same room. I was kind of stuck because I didn’t know how to behave. 404 – brain not found.

   When I encountered this I started to wonder if I’m a superficial human being. The answer I came up with was no, because I wasn’t doing this consciously. So there must be another explanation. The idea behind this is that we behave differently based on the “rules” that apply in that situation. With closer friends, there are different “rules” compared to acquaintances. One of these rules is how comfortable we are with them. The more comfortable we are, the more “parts” of ourselves we let out in the open because the fear of being judged is lower. This applies because we spend more time with certain people so they get to see more parts of us then other people so when we f*ck something up, we won’t get judged based on that because they know we are not like that. When we’re in public with people we barely know or we don’t know at all and we f*ck something up, they judge us based on that particular action or behavior. Yes, it’s not right, but that’s how most of us work.

   Of course, there are people that do it on purpose. They say to someone that they love potatoes if that person loves it too, and they say to someone else that they hate potatoes if that someone else hates it too. They probably do it because one of their core beliefs is to be liked by everybody. The question is, at the end of the day, do they know which is real? Because if they do, they’ll create a stronger connection to that person with which is on the same page.

   If we think about it, each mask is like a computer program. It can be Paint and we show a sketchy side, either an Antivirus and nothing goes through, or Windows, the whole operating system that can show you everything if you are the right user.

   What do you think about this? Which program do you put up front?

55 thoughts on “The Masks we wear

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  1. Definitely not superficial, but I’m also not sure there is just one “real us” under the masks. When we’re around other people, our connection with them determines how we interact with them…and it’s rare that all aspects of our personality will connect with all of theirs…so we’re only using certain parts of our personality depending on which are meshing with the other person. Not sure that made sense outside of my head, but that’s my theory anyway.

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    1. Yes, it does make sense. Depending on our relationship with those people we’re using certain parts of our personality. The thing is that sometimes we use our imagination to invent some parts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When I’m around people I barely know, I mostly just listen. When I’m around aquaintancens, I mostly engage in chit chat. When I’m around friends, I open up a little. When I’m around family, I open up as much as they can tolerate. With my inner circle of people, I can be fully myself.

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  3. I’d like to think I put it all out there no matter the situation, but I definitely don’t. I can say as I’ve gotten older I do a much better job. However, with particular people I just keep myself reserved. Sometimes I remove myself from the conversation. Mostly so I can avoid any drama. Oh and that fear of not being “approved of” gets in the way. It’s interesting to step back and self reflect on that. At the end of the day, I want to be transparent. I believe you connect better that way. Not sure that rambling made sense…

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    1. Yes, it does. We want to be transparent, but with the right people. Otherwise we might get hurt for nothing. Those masks have a purpose. If they are created from parts of ourselves, it’s ok. I believe it’s not ok when we insert parts we don’t have.

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  4. It is so terribly complicated. I endeavour to be my true self to all, but that true self does change depending on who I am with. Maybe there is a sort of mirror effect? When with my parents, I am a daughter… an adult, but also their child. I do not want to disappoint and I do not want to worry them, so there are things I unconsciously hide. I also probably want to lean on them a little, which adds to the bundle of contradictions. I am who the other needs me to be a lot of the time. And I do so “truly”, but it leads me to think that I am a multitude of selves…

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    1. Actually, I believe there is only one true self, but it’s very very complex. It has multiple parts (like you said, the child, the adult and so on) and they surface depending on the situation. All of those parts are us, but we cannot be the whole us all the time. We’re not the whole us even when we’re by ourselves. We are very complex and I find this incredibly powerful. This is one of the reasons we often hear that we can do anything we want. Because we can, we just don’t know how because we cannot realize what’s inside us unless there is the right context for that.

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    1. Awesome! I believe we need to see more happiness around us. I’m so glad if you manage to do it. I just hope you have some happiness in yourself too. 🙂

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      1. It’s a combination of things. I don’t like to answer personal questions in some situations. Also there’s still a lot of sigma and misunderstanding associated with mental illness. Not always a conversation you want to have with people you don’t know well or in the workplace.

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  5. I used to be quite open in a lot of different situations. However, with things that have happened in my life I’ve become a lot less trusting, so seeing the deeper parts of me is more like a privilege that someone needs to earn.

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  6. “It’s a saying they have, that a man has a false heart in his mouth for the world to see, another in his breast to show to his special friends and his family, and the real one, the true one, the secret one, which is never known to anyone except to himself alone…” James Clavell,

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  7. pity, I often play other game, when I meet road-rage thug, I am doing road rage. When I meet a beggar, I feel myself Croesus. We are provoked to be somebody.
    Probably, people less provoked have something in them like Charisma.

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  8. I always try to be authentic in front of others, whether it’s a person I barely know a friend or a person of my family. It might be easier to feel safe with those who are really close to you… I totally agree that for most people it is easier to connect and to feel free if they are surrounded by wellknown friends and relatives. But let me tell you something very important: people will not stop judging. And with that knowledge you should learn to not care about the judgement of others anymore. The most important person in your life is obviously you! That is why you should not play a role nor wear a mask in order to fit into a certain society or a group of people! By being 100 percent who you are—- you might take the risk that others feel afraid, surprised or not certain in front of you, but then you know who cares and is important in your life. Never ever sell yourself for something or somebody’s sympathy. If someone is enjoying your company you will feel comfortable next to that person. By listening to others you can easily find out which stuff is important to that person. Being mindful and kind is a good attitude. But it does not mean to push yourself in situations where you feel as you need to restart your system or wearing a mask. At the end of the day the judgement of yourself should be the most important. If you are who you really are you might seem to be vulnerable. But I personally don’t like people with a mask on because I am so emphatic that I most times feel how they are really like in their inside. That is why it’s like a bad theater which is played in front of me. And that is not fun, it’s like a boring movie which you started and lost the hope to be impressed by!

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    1. I totally agree with you that we shouldn’t care about other people’s opinions, but for this to happen we need to have a very good knowledge of ourselves, which I believe it cannot be found that often in society. So wearing a mask is a defense mechanism which we think it protects us from other people’s judgment (which is not true; they’ll judge what they see, hence they’ll judge that mask which they believe it’s us) and that judgement can hurt us.

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      1. Every single person has that selective perception and will interprete others, places as well as actions very differently. I think if you know that people always react to you, that judging does not target you personally. For example if somebody feels bothered by a speech of mine I can feel bad about it or interpret that the person feels angry because my speech triggered something in that person! Do we really need to defend ourselves anymore? What will hurt you? Their reaction? If you know your own truth their reality can help you to explore more insights about yourself…if you are certain about your reality or searching for your own reality you will feel bad to wear a selfprotection tool as a mask! I don’t like to simulate something to fit into a group. Then I prefer to be a lone wolf

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  9. Thank you for your insights I always feel happy about your overthinking thoughts. It’s amazing that people can develope through their own self-reflections! It’s great that you publish your thoughts and impressions and share with others so they will open their hearts for their own feelings and thoughts! Go forward

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  10. Same thing happened to me. When my college friends met my work friends, I didn’t really know how to act around them. I realized that I do put up different parts of my personalities depending on who I am with at the moment.
    I did felt a little superficial after that, but my best friend helped me realize that it was normal for everyone. Human instinct is to fit in and be part of the group. It is when we feel more comfortable with the person/s that we slowly reveal more of ourselves. I still find it strange, though, that I am much more closer and comfortable with my best friends than with my family.

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    1. In my opinion, the best thing is that you’ve realized how different is your behavior around different groups so you can now be a little more prepared. Yes, it’s normal in our society and I believe that once we realize what is happening, it is a step forwards towards knowing ourselves better. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Definitely antivirus and nothing goes through mostly. Except for some friends. Infact I am not sure if my antivirus is turned off. Maybe not 100% enabled, but still… Not superficial, but powerful firewall: a lot of things go out, chosen information but good quantity (that’s why I am perceived as lively and smiling one when not the chatting one), but barely anything gets in. By the way, Paintbrush is my favorite program and the first thing I learned to do in computer- that one got heart ❤😊

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  12. Some people bring out certain qualities in us we would rather avoid.. where as there are few who would bring out our better versions… i guess we need to explore who we can be and who is the real us….. i would behave in a way i dont like with few simply coz i dont like them… where as with those i really like i would help them out🤓

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    1. It depends of how thick that mask is… with strangers it might be helpful because we cannot know for sure what intentions those people have. With friends it’s tricky because sometimes we wear different masks with different friends…

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