We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.

Mask

Every so often I meet someone that makes me pause and think; makes me want to be someone they could like and relate to. It doesn’t matter whether I like them myself, it always matters more that they should like me, and see me in the best possible light. This often leads to inner struggles and anxieties like ‘Should I have said that? Will they think less of me now? I was a little too candid perhaps, and now they’re going to think I am heartless and overexerting… Should I have defended less and agreed more with them?’  I had always been under the illusion that I was self-satisfied and never did anything to seek the approval of others. Turns out I was wrong on both counts.

Recently though, realization struck and epiphanies were had as I became aware of my feelings.  As I was talking to someone I had recently met for the first time, I found myself agreeing to their points of view even though I know I felt otherwise. We talked about experiences and people and I was of the opinion that it is always quality over quantity that matters. They said it was not the case, and that quantity means greater access to quality (which I still dispute), but I silently fought within and expressed agreement with them at the end of their monologue.

How many times have we all done this? Why? Is it to keep the peace? To keep a perfectly amicable conversation going in the same flow, rather than upsetting it? To show that we are intelligent enough to hold our own and accept other points of view? Or is it to seek and find the approval of someone by agreeing to their every thought and opinion? What purpose does that serve? We begin to stop being true to ourselves and keep wearing masks to conform to people’s views. When do we exhaust our masks? When do we finally say ‘Enough! This is really me’, while stripping off every costume -elaborate or subtle – to show and share who it is you really are?

Or are the masks we wear so well-sculpted and glued on to us that it becomes difficult to separate reality from illusion?

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One response to “We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.

  1. Its all about Introvert and Extrovert in my point of view.

    I am an Introvert myself and I tend to act like what you just said.

    quote”As I was talking to someone I had recently met for the first time, I found myself agreeing to their points of view even though I know I felt otherwise”

    “How many times have we all done this? Why? Is it to keep the peace? To keep a perfectly amicable conversation going in the same flow, rather than upsetting it? To show that we are intelligent enough to hold our own and accept other points of view? Or is it to seek and find the approval of someone by agreeing to their every thought and opinion?”

    I can definitely agree in all of the above and the answer is Yes. To have yourself conform to someone although in reality you would perhaps disagree. So that you have something in common, to keep peace and to have someone like or approve of you.

    I am not gonna lie I am like this in front of “new” people I just meet be it from a workplace or a friend of a friend. And I bet 80% around the world are also like this (just an estimate lol). In front of people I just met I tend to act differently and more silent, I am an introvert and introvert people are like this.

    (Although when I do get close to people and make them close friends, I am more open and I do show my “TRUE” self without really being scared of how they look at me. i.e. if I am a pervert I would show it to them if they are close to me. But if its with a new person you just met, the last thing you want is show them that you are a pervert. If you catch my drift).

    Extrovert people in the other hand don’t even care what people think of them so they just do what they want or say what they want regardless of how it affects there self image from others (my older brother is like this and he makes a lot more friends, go to many events, parties etc).

    And everytime I do or say something. Almost all the time in my mind ..I stalk myself asking “did I do the right thing?” “what did I just say” “I think they will hate me now” “‘Should I have said that? Will they think less of me now?”.

    And just like you s said, its not even a matter of You liking the other person. But rather, Its “YOU” being wary about how they look at you or something, how they perceive you (worry of your self image perhaps). I am like this no doubt.

    But in the other side of the Pond.

    Is the other me (might be the Real me but with a slight inclide to more Mean and more Hate).. Basically behind a computer commenting on something like a Forum, or a comment section of a video, or a song or a comment section of a website. But not this comment, this comment is basically me saying what I think of this matter.

    Almost everytime when I am behind a screen commenting in the comfort of my home. When I find something that triggers my mind that I disagree with. I would 100% comment against it. If I know someone’s comment or opinion is wrong, I would comment back and talk about how I disagree with their opinion. I don’t even care if I get any flak from the opposing side. And my urge to win the argument is so strong it can turn into a mudslinging swearing battle. When I know I have to disagree with something I will say it loud and clear and frank.

    So basically I am like this behind my computer screen…. when I get triggered. But why?

    One of the main reason is “Anonymity” and then “Being behind a computer screen” and in the comfort of your home.

    Unlike in person, where you act friendly and tend to conform to other people’s opinion. This is probably because subconsciously without even thinking about it, your brain just “clicks” and you automatically do things that will try not to Damage your self image to others. When you meet someone new, you want to be seen in a certain way, perceive in a certain way, to be approved, and to be liked. So you try to conform with them by agreeing with what they say (even though you might not), or try to say make it look like you also do what the other person does (have something in common) and many more.

    In the other hand when you are commenting something online while being completely anonymous. The fact that you are anonymous and no one will find out who you are in real life. You don’t have to worry about your Self image to others. Hence people even me, tend to act more aggressive, have more hate or literally disagree with someone. If I find something I disagree with. In person its different, people tend to conform or agree etc..

    Ofcourse if you have something like Facebook and comment on stuff online, because you have your image and real name on your facebook account. Just like in “person” you try to act more civil and good mannered. Unless if you put a fake picture and a fake name, you can go all out and insult other facebookers. 😀

    But yes… Keywords for this topic in regards to “Why we do it”.

    Introvert – Anonymity – Self Image – Recognition The biggest of all?

    One of the seven deadly sins. “Vanity”.

    It is definitely bad to succumbed to this illusion that you mentioned. The illusion that I was self-satisfied and never did anything to seek the approval of others. Because just like you said… I was also wrong on both counts.

    Nowadays I do try to stop myself from succumbing into the illusion. Specially on facebook, where everyone tries to share any stuff on facebook.

    Like a family friend of ours not really a close one, just post stuff like new BMW car, new expensive jewelry etc. Vanity at its best. They want to be perceived as someone that is rich etc. But not really showing what really is happening from behind the scenes. I shy away from that now, I don’t even post anymore nor log in on facebook. Its a place that Breeds VANITY.

    In real life I also try to fight that illusion. Although at times my brain just wins and I tend to conform to people just to get them outta mah face.

    The best thing really is to do what you want and what you need to do. Without caring what other people think. I found that its the easiest way to break the illusion. If you seek on trying to show off every little thing or try to get this fake image to show people that you are this or that (even though you are not) then you basically succumbed to the illusion.

    Man this really triggered me so I had to right this wall of text!

    English is not my first language so pardon if there are mistakes. But if you read it, you will get where I am coming from. 🙂

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