Learning how to be yourself can be a serious challenge. Social settings can bring out a person you don’t recognize in yourself.
It may cause you to feel uncomfortable with yourself and the surroundings you are in.
Many people don’t realize it – on a conscious level – they are wearing a mask that doesn’t project who they truly are.
Rather, they use the masks to project an image of themselves to others they meet and interact with.
The act of knowing how to love yourself and be confident is such a gift.
Everybody has a mask collection they use to help themselves get through life.
These masks are developed throughout life based on how you feel about yourself.
They serve a self-interest, usually for situational purposes. The masks vary in their shapes, sizes, and needs – nice guy, shy one, conformist, aggressor, etc.
If you want to be yourself, you need to be aware of the masks you are using, why you are using them and address the problems.
This will help you to feel freer than you have ever felt before.
Why The Façade?
The experience you have in life will lead to the different masks you wear.
They begin in childhood through the desire for love.
This deep desire for love means people continuously change to the environment and develop new strategies to fulfill the need.
Looking at what works to help children attain their parents’ love at a young age becomes a massive part of their personality.
The thought becomes, “How to work on myself. This is me, and changing who I am is difficult.”
But, sometimes you have to plan on losing yourself to find yourself
7 Kinds Of Masks People Will Wear
- Aggressor – This person is always angry and feels superior to others as a way to get the attention they desperately want.
- Bragger – A lack of self-esteem often leads to praising themselves to others for the hope of admiration and love.
- Conformist – Children who are loved and encouraged by their parents will conform to their way of thinking. It is this thought that going against the norm of a group is not in one’s best interest.
- Critic – This is the person who is constantly looking for problems with other people to hide their own faults.
- Diplomat – A diplomat keeps their real feelings to themselves and is looking to foster an air of contentment among everyone. This is a person who hides who they are really are because they feel they may not be lovable.
- High-Performer – When children exceed the expectations of their parents, it enacts the idea that performing well is how to attain love. This may cause a person to exceed others’ expectations as well as their own. When these expectations are not met, it can lead to disappointment in oneself. It also leads to the feeling of expecting more from others, causing the judgmental feeling.
- Poor Me – With this façade, the thought is that being bad gives them the attention they so
All the masks are connected to your personality and play a role in your life – be in relationships, social settings, work, etc. A person who is considered a high-performer will be a workaholic or perfectionist. With the Poor Me façade, it’s constantly all about trouble. The critic never comes across as happy in how things are done.
Every one of them is a suppressor to your real feelings. See them as emotional baggage, an incomplete part of you that keeps you from experiencing life to the fullest.
How Can You Be Your True Self
William James said it best, “There is but one cause of failure, and that is a man’s (or woman’s) lack of faith in his true self.”
Even though your subconscious drives your behavior, you don’t have to let it limit you. You’ll need to make the conscious decision to be who you really are. This means showing your true feelings and being honest with yourself and others around you. If you’ve ever had to resort to ending a relationship to find yourself, you know what I mean.
If you’re trying to learn how to find yourself spiritually, you’ll need to connect with your true inner self to realize that you are worth love and can love others. From there, you get the courage that helps you to demonstrate your real feelings and thoughts without worrying about how others are seeing you.
Social neuroscientists firmly believe social interactions are a critical aspect of human life and that four out of five thoughts involve how people relate to each other. According to an Emotional Intelligence expert Richard Boyatzis, there is a fear of being socially rejected, which is a huge cause behind stress. However, people who are true to themselves feel more confident, won’t hide their feelings and feel better emotionally. They also feel more powerfully mentally.
Mark Twain once said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” Truth also helps people to ask others for help and show vulnerability. Truth is the language of the soul and helps you learn how to become yourself again.
There are two steps to the process:
- Knowing who you are
- Being the person you are
When you know who you are, it means you spend time looking deep within you and why you used the masks in the first place. You ask your self ” how do I become myself again”? and work on that. When relationships are stressed, there may be a feeling of unhappiness within your own heart.
The key to solving it is to examine yourself and the belief system you have within you.
People must be willing to learn who they are – to realize how perfect and whole you are – This increases the ability to love yourself and quit doubting the worthiness you have to attain love from others. You have to learn how to be happy with yourself again
When you are yourself, you start to become responsible about your habits and traits. You give yourself the ability to express yourself honestly and thoroughly. You become more mindful about your choices and become the person you are really without worry about your actions or words.
When you are yourself, you become a more vibrant person, leaving the emotional turmoil you feel inside behind. You stop wondering ” how can i be myself again” because you are grounded and confident in being your true self.
What Does Be Yourself Mean?
When it comes to being yourself, you don’t have to be the same person every single time. You can be one person for your family, another person for your co-workers and another person for your friends. This is known as social intelligence, where you change your behavior based on the circumstances.
Be yourself means being aware of your opinions, feelings, thoughts, ideas, etc. – all without a mask. You are free to be who you are.
It can be scary to be this person because you may be worried about what others think or feel. Everybody desires to be accepted, which is why people hide who they indeed are.
If you are fake, it can come at a price. The longer you are fake, the harder it is to maintain, and the more it affects your self-confidence, self-esteem, self-love and self-worth. While the fake persona may look great on the outside, inside of you is a scared little child. You cannot fool other people, but you can’t fool yourself.
For you to be you, change how you see yourself, how you view others and how you see the world itself.
5 Questions To Ask Yourself About Masks and Your Feelings
Do You Feel Wrong?
When you pretend you are someone else or hide the person you actually are, it makes it feel like you are wrong. But, are you wrong? How wrong is it if someone does not like you for what you believe in, love or like?
How Real Is It?
When it comes to worrying about what other people do or say, ask yourself if the fear is justified? Many times the drama people feel is happening is taking place in their head only. Reality is much more different.
You cannot read a person’s mind; you don’t know what they are thinking. To keep yourself in reality, you can write it down or talk to someone about it. Once the thought is out of your head, you can realize how crazy it all sounds. On the journey of learning how to be yourself again, a journal is going to be such a huge tool for you.
How Much Do They Care (If At All)?
You are the center of your universe, but people often feel as if life has them under a microscope and that other people are closely scrutinizing them. However, the reality is that people don’t care so much what other people are doing. They’re too worried about what people are thinking of them. Although people have some opinions, it won’t mean it’s right what they are thinking.
Who Is Saying Things?
Are you really worried about the opinions of others and what they are thinking of you? If you choose to do something, other people who have never been there may not understand what you are doing. Again, people have opinions, but their opinions may not be right. You are learning how to be yourself again. So you have to put down the masks and stand in your truth.
How Does It Feel To Pretend?
When you are someone you are not, pretending can be very tiring. And, it will make it impossible to learn how to be yourself again. A person may expect something out of you that you cannot always give them. When you fail to keep up the façade, it may cause them to look at your differently. So, if you fall in love with someone and they you, if you are pretending to be someone, how can you ever be truly honest with them?
8 Tips To Break Yourself Of Using A Mask With Others
Quit Constantly Judging Yourself So Harshly
It’s natural for people to think other people think as they do. When you are not hard on yourself or others, you may feel that others are less critical too. However, when you start judging yourself, consider why you should care if others are judging you. Ask yourself if they have a reason to judge or criticize you? Practicing affirmation is a great way to be more kind and loving to yourself. These are some of my favs
Recognize How You Feel and Think
You cannot be yourself around other people because you do not know who you truly are. Since so much time has been spent putting on a façade for other people, it has kept you from learning and recognizing yourself. How can you reclaim who you are?
Make the commitment to learn who you are. Keeping a journal is one tool in the arsenal that can help. With a journal, you’ll learn the values you have and that you care a lot about. You can also ask yourself questions; make a list of things you do, and give them numbers about whether or not there is something you genuinely enjoy. Write down things you’d rather do and go out and do them.
Be Mindful To Yourself
Many therapists, in their line of work, will tell you that being mindful of yourself is the best tool in the box. when it comes to learning how to be yourself again. It allows you to know how you really feel and think. Being mindful of yourself means you get out of your head and into the current situation.
Forgo The Assumptions
When people are acting unlike themselves, it’s often due to the assumptions they have made about others. Such assumptions include them being more intelligent than you, better than you, more fun than you, etc. You then assume that you have to change you to be liked.
Everybody is insecure in some form or fashion. Each person has problems of their own, even if they come across as confident. If you recognize that, how hard when you try to be liked?
When you are you, it may help them feel less stressed and be who they truly are.
Acknowledge That You Are Okay
Low self-esteem often hinders people from being their true selves and relaxing, giving the impression that who they are is not enough. They are not enough in smartness, interests, looks, etc.
Instead of kowtowing to this thought, acknowledge that who you are is enough. Being compassionate to yourself while you learn how to be yourself again will help increase your esteem. When negative thoughts creep into your mind, push them aside with the thought that you’d never tell your friend what you are telling yourself. Would you treat a best friend so harshly? No, you wouldn’t, so why do it to yourself?
Recognize People For Who They Are
When it comes to being who you are and learning how to be yourself again, who you surround yourself with often dictates if you are your true self or putting on a façade. When you suffer from low self-esteem, you don’t think you should be treated well. This means you choose people who are wrong for you emotionally, mentally and even physically. This only reinforces that terrible feeling.
When you can recognize the people you surround yourself with, you can learn if you are being who you truly are or not.
Remember The Goal
It can be difficult to be your true self around others because of how they may react. They may be happy with the façade you show them, but showing them the real side of you may scare them. Some may even decide you are no longer friends.
The key is to be who you are. The more you are yourself, the more attractive you become to other people. You find people with whom you do have things in common and want to be around you. The more you are around them, the less time and energy spent acting as if you’re someone else. You’ll feel better about who you are and won’t be so anxious about how others look at you.
If you’re having a really hard time being who you are, reach out to someone. While it may be acceptable to talk with a trusted friend, consider a professional counselor or psychotherapist. They will offer a safe place for you to open up and give you ideas on how to better relate with others. Implement these ideas into your social life and relationships, and see things flourish.
Remember, people only pretend because they want to be liked and respected by others. If you wear a mask and think it’s working, you’d be surprised to know that it’s not. There are going to be people who see right through you and your demeanor. They are going to be people who cannot stand you being that person.
You’re in a lose/lose situation.
You cannot please everybody, and someone is always not going to like you or approve of you. It doesn’t matter how many versions you have of yourself and show. Since that’s the case, why would you not want to be the person you really are. It’s a natural part of life.
If you’re looking for an amazing book on how to do this work, I strongly suggest that you check out Integrity by Martha Beck.