You Are Just A Mask Of Your Real Self

What are your actions and behavior when you’re with your family? (In the context of a young adult.)
What are your actions and behavior when you’re with your acquaintances?
What are your actions and behavior when you’re with your friends?
What are your actions and behavior when you’re with your best buddies?
What are your actions and behavior when you’re with your significant other?

Ahhh. You’re already starting to get my idea, right? Masks determine our behaviors and actions. The American Psychological Association says that Personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. Who are we to argue the experts on the matter? With this definition in mind, try thinking of MASKS. and take note of the definition – DIFFERENCES.

People usually ask me: “Are you like that when out with other people?” That question actually cultivates a number of arguments like the idea of conformity and social norms, but I want to discuss more on personality itself.  Let’s talk about those other things later.
Well, it does seem like it has a lot to do with conformity and social norms now that I think of it.

man-wearing-guy-fawkes-mask

I like to think of a person’s personality as a closet of masks.  Everyone has a set of masks ready for use at moment’s notice.  Each one of these masks represents the person’s chosen personality for a specific situation, and each one of these masks could symbolize a certain emotion.  It all depends on how the person wears them.  The interactions within the situation and the emotions themselves can also affect the kind of mask that the person might wear.  For example, a man suffers great loss and tragedy.  He loses his wife and only child in a car crash (situation).  It is now up to the man if he is to be overcome with grief or be strong and firm (emotion).  This interaction can somehow “predict” the kind of mask that he is going to wear. He could wear a grieving granny mask(I coined the name): be full of sorrow and not recover from his present predicament.  He could wear a bamboo mask: mourn for his loss but when the situation calls for a “change in wind”, he could willingly carry himself up and recover from the incident as a better person (bamboos just sway with the wind, not against it). He could wear a cloistered shell mask: tough-looking on the outside but full of pain and unreleased tension – a softy- in the inside.  These are just MY examples of masks that can be worn during specific situations.  There are countless more possibilities and selections of masks that one could wear.

masks

But let us try to bring it down a notch, giving it a flavor of a more familiar context: young adulthood. Friends usually bring out the best in us. Let’s look at my previous questions earlier:

What are your actions and behavior when you’re with your family?
What are your actions and behavior when you’re with your acquaintances?
What are your actions and behavior when you’re with your friends?
What are your actions and behavior when you’re with your best buds?
What are your actions and behavior when you’re with your love interest?

Each of these questions all have corresponding masks of no less than two (if my calculations are right, “no less than two” because there can be no definite and absolute mask for a specific situation. There is always the possibility of choosing another mask.)
Back to these questions. If I would answer them myself, I would say:

1. I’m lazy when with the nuclear family, but I try to be respectable when with aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
2. I try to be respectable though I give a little hint of “craziness” to lighten things up.
3. I try to be a good friend (a gentleman to girls and a bro to guys) but can be a jerk sometimes, if needed.
4. Bitches, please. Hahaha. It’s total mayhem. Need I say more?!
5. This is when I get to be a gentleman.

These are just samples of the masks I wear.

Amidst all of this talk about masks, one can observe that…these are masks. nothing more, nothing less.  What is the face that hides behind that mask?  It is something that even I can’t answer yet. Some people don’t realize that what they call a mask is actually their face or what they call their face is actually their mask. Some people wear their masks for such long periods of time that they start to become their new face (a possibility. An entire change in personality. A life-turner, so to speak.).

Wanna know what I believe?  I believe that a person’s real face is one that he is most comfortable with, and one that others close to him are most comfortable with.  Much like the upper left quadrant of the panels in Johari’s window.  For those that may not be familiar with Johari’s window, it is an exercise created by two American scientists, that helps people understand their relationship to themselves and to others.
But does it really matter what mask he’s wearing?

Here’s something to really ponder. What masks do you wear?

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