We all have a perception of who we think we are. Most times, that outer person is hugely different from the the one living within. Is that okay? In many instances we need privacy and then it works. It’s not necessary for people to spill their inner self all the time. Also, there are times we need to act differently with various people. For example, it’s rude to make a show of wealth when with people of lesser means.
If role playing occurs in a healthy manner, and we are aware of the different personalities contained within ourselves, then we can deal well with the different personalities. We struggle with who we really are vs. the mask we put on for the public. When unaware of these issues, the results can be devastating. We enter a life-long fight to maintain the facade of the person who we think we are, the one who wants to impress the world.
It is an everyday struggle that might barely be in our perceptions, but is capable of draining spontaneity, humor and warmth. This kind of effort can desensitive a human to the point where they are so emotionally cutoff they become robotic. It can take a superhuman effort to maintain an public image that has been designed by society.
When is this outside persona dangerous? If we don’t question the prescribed modes of behavior that society imposes on us, we can be in serious trouble. The images begin the wiring process from a very early age. Our parents, teachers, religious leaders, employers and just about every institutions have input into our lives.
Not all prescribed behaviors are bad. We learn manners, tact, civility and superficial ways of connecting socially. It gets us through many situatons.
Little boys are especially prey to these forced roles. Society prohibits boys from showing emotion or they will be called wimps. Because there is a deep-rooted fear that boys who identify with their mothers in any way shape or form will become gay, they are pressured to be “tough” and never cry. How ludicrous.
There are many aspects of females, that when adopted by men, make them more secure and free, much more able to make friends with women and themselves. Without that sensitization, relationships with men of that ilk are probably doomed to fail or likely to produce unhappy relationships.
Men will never understand women if they are not allowed to take a fearless look at female behavior and duplicate some of what they see. Maintaining a force-fed persona creates adult men who are totally cut off from feelings and ultimately the human race. They have no ability to display feelings, reveal themselves, laugh at their own foibles and they live in fear they will appear wimpy.
Of course, little girls are encouraged to nurture and play with dolls, despite parents swearing they present all sides of the picture. Thank goodness this is changing because of the real world. Women finally realize they need careers even if they make less than a man for the same work.
Because women are in the workforce in droves, they can identify with masculine characteristics without fear, but if they are too aggressive, they will be accused of needing to get laid or of being Lesbians. But when they, too, absorb society’s created roles without question, they suffer, as well. Often they pray to meet a sensitive man who displays a femine side, but run the other way when face to face with one as a potential mate. They might never realize they are slaves to images imposed from childhood. That honest male who is in touch with his femine side faces ridcule and social ostracism.
So, these facades stay with us until way into adulthood. Even men who are truly sensitive underneath, when they gather in groups, feel they must act like macho dunces.
Aside from gender roles, society imposes rigid rules for behavior on all levels; wealth, religion, social status, economic status, educational status and many others. To be successful is the dominant theme and men who don’t reach the levels dictated by society are made to feel emasculated which can lead to depression, acting out, and even physical illness.
We fear losing control because we might reveal who we really are. We hide beneath masks plastered to our faces. Fear prevents internal exploration so we never discover the real reasons we are unhappy, and we walk around repressed, angry and unsure of the next step.
As adults, we should question images not of our making, those that have been grooved into our brains from infancy. We need to pick and choose the ones that make a good fit and discard those that leave us lifeless. It may make us happy and might help in getting to like ourselves.
Release the buried emotions. If you are honest and straight about who you are, you might be pleasantly surprised and gratified. The real you can command respect and you might regain lost precious emotions that are healing to the psyche. It might come as a big relief when you shed heavy layers of skin and uncover the buried treasure of the real you!
Sexy G (as fellow blogger Jill calls me)