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  • Writer's picturedennisharris04

The Masks We Wear

Updated: May 31, 2023

Do you ever wonder what it does to actors who immerse themselves in different roles consistently? Especially the effects that might have over time…

I think there must be a point that going through life consistently pretending you are someone else has to change you at your core.

There are a lot of people that go through life pretending to be someone they are not. Those people put on a mask hoping that it will be more recognizable and acceptable to society. The mask of a put-on persona often leaves me wondering how much of the real person is part of it. Some people consistently put on that mask, while others do it in a moment or at social events. I think some of those people do wear masks that reflect part of their core self.

Ever heard the term game face? When an athlete competes most will come out with their “game face on”. It’s an extension of their inner strength pushed more to the surface to get ready for competition. The mask of a warrior that comes off when the athlete has completed the task at hand. Why I say warrior, is I believe that sports have given us a way to channel the inner warrior that is hard-wired in some of us. I don’t believe any athletes walk around with that mask on until they really need it. It would be crazy if they did, but that warrior must come to the surface to be realized and used more to channel it correctly. Those parts of our soul need to be channeled correctly or they may come out in unpredictable ways. Keeping that in mind, it would be exhausting to walk around in that state of mind and people would probably not want to be around you much.

If we wear different masks, or a particular mask, is it taking from our core values in the sense that we are using them to the extent of not knowing when it’s healthy to use them or not to use them at all? Our values should be able to pull us back and help to keep genuine in who we really are.

So when do we use a put-on persona or do we use one at all? I think that a mask has to become a tool to better your life, instead of using it as security to make you feel comfortable in your surroundings. It should only be used when needed, and you should be in control in the sense that it is an extension of who you are and not a replacement, no matter how temporary you think it is. Beware! It is a caution not to lose who you are completely no matter what you believe the payoff is…You need to channel that energy when it surfaces. What do I mean by that? I spent so many years in survival mode that when I didn’t channel it, the warrior mask would strap itself on and not always in a productive manner.

Now if you're walking around in a mask of pretentiousness, vanity or in a general facade, you are not doing your soul any good. So how do any of us maintain staying grounded to our core? Our soul? I think if you catch yourself in that state, take the time with yourself. Be honest with yourself in that moment, to realize it and ask yourself why. For some that may be a tougher journey.

I think of great actors like Daniel Day-Lewis who completely immerses himself in roles to the point you don’t even recognize him anymore. I wonder if he has lost his true self or if he has figured out how to manage it. Maybe each character is just an extension of himself, or like suggested earlier, a “game face”. If he has the ability to find himself at the end of each, he has both mastered his craft and the ability to return. I wonder if some people have been wearing a mask for so long that they are afraid of the answer they’ll find, that they might be too far gone from their soul. Unfortunately they are the only ones that could know, but may never even realize it.

It’s something special when people meet with no facade, no mask and let themselves be real with one another. That is how long relationships are made. A little vulnerability can create great strength of character. I hope we haven’t given up on being true to ourselves, but I lose faith sometimes, like when I see some of the profiles on Social Media. There has always been a need for some people to fit in with the in crowd, but Media sites have made it so most of us have the option of only putting our best foot forward, and even some of those profiles are embellished. The highlight reel we share is just another version of a mask.

A lot of people text instead of calling these days because it has an ease of connection. Meeting people in person, for some, has become like walking a tightrope without a net. Could you go a day without any online presence where all your communication is in person or by phone call? Is that kind of interaction a lost art? If you wanted to meet someone that you were interested in at a restaurant could you approach them without first being introduced through a profile page? If you did introduce yourself, would that person be receptive?

I wonder if the lines that we have drawn are because we became lazy, perhaps selfish with our time and if our persona gives a security blanket that we would not have in a moment up close and personal. It is probably a combination of all of it. I think it is okay to be selfish with your time, to not want to be bothered by a stranger when you're out trying to enjoy and it is definitely nice to feel like you are connected by fitting in. I hope that people share a piece of their lives in a real way on Social Media because it is a good way to stay connected with friends and family. It is also great to meet people from all over, with unique lives and adventures from across the globe. I also hope that people have not used their profiles to present a mask of who they want to be, instead of chasing after it and making it real.

A mask should be an extension of our personality in a heightened situation to emphasize our best parts in dramatic fashion perhaps in hopes of making an impactful and lasting impression. We should be confident in the quiet moments by ourselves knowing that our intent is to return to our real core values, and know that when the dust settles you have to appreciate yourself to appreciate others and to truly feel appreciated when others show you that

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2 Kommentare

Robert Hale
06. Feb. 2023

Well. I see you have decided to delve into the depths of psychology and human interactions. Masks are certainly an interesting observation of human behavior and I wonder if you would consider that masks are the results of direct interactions with others in our circle of existence? For example: the "mask" we wear at work is as much a defensive mechanism to protect ourselves from failure at the hands of superiors as it is a way of presenting an acceptable front for that arena. Do we not put on another "mask" when in a social settings with colleagues verses the "mask" we might wear when with family? The "game face" you refer to; speaks of a mask you dawn…

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06. Feb. 2023

Love this, great read!❤️

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