We all wear a social mask to hide our true personality so as to conform to social norms. Whenever we go out in public, we always project a good image that exaggerates a version of ourselves. We do this most especially in front of people that we want to impress such as someone we like or a boss. We hope that by doing so, we make a good impression on them. The character that we play in front of others is our persona. So, how will you describe your persona: what is your social mask?
Your Social Mask
Are you the cool guy or the social butterfly? Or are you the bully or the control freak? Or maybe you are the martyr or the people-pleaser? What is your social mask? Think of yourself as a character in a drama, then analyze what kind of a character you are playing. How will you describe your personality when in front of others?
We wear masks to protect ourselves and to conceal something. The new normal entails us to always wear masks to hide our nose and mouth to protect ourselves and others from the virus. The Phantom of the Opera wears a mask to conceal his hideous face. In the same way that social masking is the role that we play in different social situations in order to meet societal standards. But is that who we really are?
We all have a social mask, right? We put it on, we go out, put our best food forward, our best image. But behind that social mask is a personal truth, what we really, really believe about who we are and what we’re capable of.– Phil McGraw
Behind the Mask
When we are alone, we tend to do the opposite. We do things that are comfortable. We act based on our emotions and impulses. That is because there is no one to impress. So, there is no need to act. We are free to do anything that we want. That is actually our true personality. It is how we behave when no one else is watching.
Have you heard of people saying that a particular person changed when that person became rich, popular or powerful. Well, the truth is that that person did not change at all. What you have been seeing is the mask that that person was wearing. Who that person is now is actually that person’s true personality.
Money and success don’t change people. They merely amplify what is already there.– Will Smith
The Yes Man
The problem with social masking lies when we become too engrossed in our roles. We begin to identify ourselves too much with the role that we play that we lose our sense of self. When this happens, we become a ‘Yes Man’. A Yes Man is someone who agrees to everything. This is dangerous because it leads to other people’s abuses. The Yes Man ends up sacrificing himself for others simple because he does not have the courage to say no.
You wear a mask for so long, you forget who you were beneath it.– Alan Moore
The key is balance. Having a persona is good for it allows us to adapt to our environment by conforming to certain standards in society. However, becoming too engrossed in our roles is no longer good because we lose sight on who we really are as persons.