I wonder why it takes us so long to finally acknowledge and allow the ‘real’ person within us to come forward? Even more perplexing is why some of us never allow that person to come forward? It’s a very, very personal condition, not least because from the outside most people wouldn’t know that the person they interact with is maintaining a façade. This façade could be quite thin, maybe it’s the ‘professional face’ we keep on in a work environment or at the other extreme, there could be a thick veil of concealment through which the external observer cannot pry.
It’s natural to assume that if someone is concealing their real character that their personality or their intentions must be somewhat shady. But, are there ever any good reasons why someone should conceal their true character?
I pondered this for quite some time and decided that maybe there could be some good reasons. For example, if someone is naturally introvert and shy but aspires to work in the world of media for example, then they might train themselves to appear more gregarious than they actually are. This of course would present a major energy drain for the person concerned as keeping up an emotional façade is hard work.
Of course there are then the situational personalities that we cultivate. Have you ever phoned a friend on their work landline and when someone answered you didn’t recognise the voice on the other end? I’m sure in such situations we all have, to some extent, a ‘telephone voice’. A professional manner that we want to portray to our customers etc. And so it is with our various personalities. We are, I believe, not only different things to different people but more importantly, we also conduct ourselves differently when we are with different people. I suppose this makes perfect sense as the different people in our lives fulfil various needs we have and (hopefully) complement the various roles we play.
But what of the various needs that maybe we feel aren’t fulfilled? I have to acknowledge at this point that no one is ever ‘owed’ anything from anyone else. We are all makers of our own lives and consequently, the behaviours we ‘put out there’ into the real world will attract the attention of those who feel drawn to those types of behaviours (and therefore you). By extension then, if we are attracting others into our lives by our behaviour, then it’s plausible that if we’re not presenting the real ‘me’ to the world then we may attract the ‘wrong’ people.
Now before I continue, just let me qualify the use of the phrase ‘the wrong people’. I don’t mean that anyone is wrong or bad or mean or any other negative connotation which could be applied. No, the meaning I have in this context is that someone we are attracting into our lives is ‘wrong’ for us. They don’t fulfil a perceived need we have or complement a role we play, in fact they may effect changes within us causing us to act out of character.
This has implications when we consider the phrase ‘birds of a feather flock together’, meaning that, we tend to group or congregate with those we consider to share similar interests and aspirations as our own. On the surface this phrase is easily acceptable, since we are most comfortable spending time in the company of those we consider within our social or professional groups. Indeed, there is a belief that we actually are very similar in interests, aspirations and financial means to the five people we spend most of our time with. I’ve read this in a number of places, but have nothing to corroborate that this is in fact true, however, there does seem to be some sense in the idea.
Consider your own group of closest friends and family members that you spend a fair amount of time with. In order to remain ‘accepted’ within the group, certain behaviours or personality characteristics must be conveyed. When we step outside this range of acceptable behaviour, we are chastised by the group in some way and, in general, we will bring our behaviour back within the realms of group acceptability.
The difficulty with this type of conduct is that if we no longer feel we are a good fit with the group, maybe our aspirations for health, wealth, fun, etc are different, then we have to subdue these differences in order to continue to fit and be accepted.
Of course, this may not always be the case. Maybe our group would accept us, along with our changed lifestyle, but even if this were the case, many of us would prefer not to take this step into the unknown. And so, we exist in our semi-real world where the person who turns up is not the person who really wants to arrive. We all know and accept that looks can be deceiving, but many of us fail to realise that this can also apply to ourselves.
So is it time to consider whether we are presenting our true selves when we turn up in the various situations and circumstances of our lives? And more importantly, should we be deliberating on whether we’re happy with this person? I guess as long as we’re living our true values and moving our lives in the direction of the accomplishments we wish to achieve, then that’s ok, but if not, what changes do we need to ‘out’. What parts of our personality are we hiding and ultimately not fulfilling?
So who are you hiding? Only you can answer that.
Over to you! Are there aspects of you personality which remain secret? Would you feel happier if you could share? Please leave a comment and let us know…if you dare!
Photo: Frank Kovalchek