Our personality masks are designed to protect us, but they can also literally suck us dry. Why should we put them down?
We all wear masks, every day, in every situation. Whether we talk to our family, our partners and friends, our superiors… These masks protect us, give us support and security, especially when we have been injured or think we have to put them on to avoid a situation to be defenseless.
And so personality masks are justified in any case, but the protection that we expect from them can also cause damage in us: Namely, when we constantly hide our true self. What masks are there and why we should dare to take them off more often.
Why we wear personality masks and what they look like
Loud a study Over half (64 percent) of respondents hide their true feelings from other people so often that they are sometimes not sure who they really are. In an interview with “Express”, psychologist Kerry Daynes explained the phenomenon as follows:
“It can be hard to share your thoughts and feelings with others, and the steady growth of social media combined with prolonged periods of isolation has undoubtedly increased some people’s sense of the need to hide their true selves behind a protective persona. ”
Although it is healthy to put on a certain persona or personality mask – especially if you have to drag yourself through a difficult day – however, these masks can also ensure that we withhold important information from our counterpart. For example, that we are not doing well. Because the emotions that are hidden the most, according to the study, include fear and sadness. The mask, which acts as if everything is fine, is used regularly by 40 percent of those surveyed.
We wear our masks in a wide variety of situations, such as at work, where we put on an “aspiring mask” and strive for perfection in order to receive recognition and praise. Or the “mask of philanthropy” we wear because our self-esteem depends on other people’s acceptance, which is why we do whatever it takes to make sure those around us are happy and content with us.
In interpersonal relationships, some people tend to wear the “victim or martyr mask” of taking no blame in conflict to protect their self-esteem. Instead, they blame other people or things in the outside world for their failures and problems. Wearers of the “control mask” try to control their fellow human beings and the outside world in order to gain a feeling of security.
Those who wear the “avoidance mask” tend to withdraw into themselves for fear of rejection and judgement. Such people may avoid engaging in deep conversations with others and may keep others at a distance out of fear.
Let’s show the real me under the mask
Each of us can have good reasons to put on a mask for society and often it can certainly be of great help to us in certain and particularly challenging moments. After all, no one can really reject us who doesn’t know our true selves.
But constantly keeping your true feelings and thoughts to yourself, wearing a mask all the time, can be tiring. It takes an awful lot of energy to consistently or repeatedly repress who we really are, who we are, because we feel we have to. The burden of this imaginary mask can become unbearable if we ignore it for too long.
After all, while no one who doesn’t know our true selves may be able to really reject us, neither can anyone get too close to us, andns love and appreciate for who we are.
We should ask ourselves why we feel we need to wear a mask – and maybe this can help us gain the self-awareness that keeps us dropping our masks, (re)discovering our true selves .
Of course, under certain circumstances, this can mean that we are no longer liked by everyone, that we offend and that conflicts arise. But we will get to know other people who value us for ourselves and we will emerge stronger from the conflicts, knowing who we are, what we value and what is important to us.
You may find it difficult to let go of your masks – some of them we may have worn for years and don’t even know who is underneath. Then it can make sense to talk to someone close to you or even seek professional help. For example, therapy can help you find different—and healthier—coping strategies for yourself and your worries and fears.
Sources used: express.co.uk, psychcentral.com