There’s a quote that states that introverts tend to, “act differently around different friends so that they can appropriately tend to their emotional needs”. This is me. In most situations, I tend to have two ‘default’ settings, or masks, if you want to call them that.
When I’m around those I love and trust, I’m 100% myself. I don’t hide anything, these people have seen my joy, and my sorrow. And while I adapt myself depending on who I’m with, they still get to see the real me. They bring out my social side and I want to spend hours with them. I know that they accept me for who I am, and I feel safe sharing the more intimate details of my life. They know my quirks, idiosyncrasies, weaknesses and strengths. We have so much fun laughing for no reason, or we can sit in companionable silence together.
My other “setting”, or mask, is who I am in public. Its the way I am at work. Outwardly I appear cheerful and positive all the time, even if I’m frustrated inside. When people ask me how I’m doing, I always say good, and they don’t question that. In this case, I don’t show people all of my personality. I appear quiet and reserved most of the time. They might get to see 25% of who I am. And they only see the part of me that I choose to share.
As an introvert, I’m always looking for a deeper connection with people. And I wish I could show my true self to everyone. But the truth is, at least for now, I’m too sensitive to do that. And it also takes a lot of energy. Throughout my life, especially my school years, I’ve experienced a lot of bullying and gossip. So hiding my true self from others, until I trust them, is probably a defense mechanism. Until I know that someone is truly interested, they only see what I show them. And that way, only those who are actually interested in me, get to know me. I’m not saying that this is a good thing, but its how I’ve protected myself. I have a goal to become more open with people, even those I’ve just met. But I’m not going to spill my life story, until I know they’re interested 🙂
What kinds of “masks” do you wear?