Love Self

The Mask or the Person

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

The majority of us want to be liked by other people. We do things every day that aim to impress others. What exactly that takes depends on the other person. The process has side effects, positive or negative. Rather than do things that make us impressive, we look outwardly at whatever we think makes us so. Flashy clothing, elegant jewelry, fancy cars, big homes, and further education are all used to project an image of who we are.

When we meet someone for the first time, we start observing their behavior. We pay close attention, listening to the way they talk and what they say. We see their body language and where they live. From there we start building a picture in our minds about who that person is, similar to a character in a story. As this image becomes clearer to us, we are stuck with a question. Is this a mask or the person?

From the beginning of our lives, most of us have been misled, lied to, treated badly, and had a host of other bad dealings with people. Those that exhibit these negative traits do not always outwardly express them, especially early on. Typically, it takes time to figure out someone’s motives. During this investigation, we keep them at arm’s length just in case it is only a mask they are wearing. No one ever likes to be surprised at what they find underneath a mask.

In dating life, we experience some of the biggest upsets of all time. Whether knowingly or not, people are often manipulating one another to get a desired reaction. When the intentions are not pure and sincere, it leaves emotional damage that can leave a scar. Sometimes in trying to move on from past hurts, we hinder our own selves by projecting past mistakes and hurts onto someone who had nothing to do with them.

In my experience, as I have gotten older, wearing a mask seems less appealing than ever. The truth about who you really are is always going to come out, it is just a matter of time. “Be yourself” is an old cliché, but there is a great truth to it. Unless you are a person with horrible behavior, the advice seems reasonable. It will save us all a great deal of time if people were not fake. If you think you can hide everything, you are only fooling yourself. A potential mate deserves to have a truthful relationship. An employer deserves to have an honest employee who can do everything they claim to be able to do.

We need to be able to see each other at face value. Stop pretending to be something that you are not. Throw the mask away and be yourself. If you do not like who that is, then change. If the world does not like it, recognize not everyone will and that is okay. Genuine people are a lot more accepting of other genuine people. We do not need duplicates running all over the place when the world was filled with one hundred percent originals.

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