The personality we present to the world is called our persona, or more directly our mask.
It isn’t literally a mask although it almost is. We do change the shape of our face, tone of voice and words that leave our lips in order to appear differently to others, and even to ourselves.
If we wear the mask long enough we fully believe that that person we portray everyday really is us. If a psychologist were to ask us what kind of person we are we’d describe that mask in detail, thinking it’s us.
If you’re a pleaser then you might never get angry, and perhaps do what other people want frequently so they can see you as “such a nice person.” Pleasing is a way to get validation which is powerful.
Or perhaps you’re always grumpy and irritable so that when people are around or pass you by they give you a wide berth of space. You’re keeping people away, perhaps to hide some long ago hurt or feelings of anxiety that would otherwise leave you feeling too vulnerable if anyone saw past your mask.
Enter our shadow. The part of us we keep hidden from everyone including ourselves. Emotional growth and healing will never occur unless you become aware of what’s in your unconscious. This can be difficult and is best done by talking it out.
You’ll need other human beings for that like therapists and groups (group therapy) as talking about how you feel works best when you have another body listening closely with interest and care.
Journalling and meditating are other great tools as well to explore your unconscious.
Try this out for a week or two. Ask your brain what kind of mask you wear? Ask like you really want an answer a few times per day and see what comes up. You may get an answer right away or it might take longer.
The point is not to get a perfect answer but to increase your self-awareness, which heals the more it expands.
It also never stops expanding as the process is never finished. That’s fine though, we don’t need it to be perfect to feel much better.
“Horror is the removal of masks. ― Robert Bloch”
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