Thursday, 3 March 2011

Mask is a Must. Or is it?

Inspired by Emma’s @onatrainagain post “We wear the mask”. Thank you Emma. 

As we grow up, we also learn that there is a good reason for changing our behaviour (mask) depending on situation we are in. I suppose, it is one of the talents of human race for which we can only be grateful for, as there is no way we will make it through without it. In the same body we are many different people with different missions to accomplish: to be a respected and inspirational leader at work, loving husband and dad at home, fun and supportive as a friend in the pub, or to be honest to ourselves…..
Masks - picture source
On one side it is quite obvious that the ability to switch between our masks makes us more or less skilled in what we do; successful; happy….?!? Nevertheless it is the same, switching between our masks what makes us exhausted, and making us to burn out.
How often we wish to bring our real "I" into conversation but being aware of potential damage we all back off (most of the time, anyway). Some might say that makes us civilised. Switching different modes throughout the day can also be seen as creative way of living our lives, where our personalities get a chance to exercise what they are best in. We all want a job which will be fun and fulfilling our expectations. While reality of our success is different we will always do our best to get closer and closer to our dream job (even if we don’t know what it is). 

Taking emotional labour such as costumers' facing staff as an example, there is a monotone list of dos and donts no matter what organisation you are in. And just to make it worse, every employer will tell you to leave your private life at home (although few are starting to realise that actually caring about people makes sense in the long run and that “H” in “HR” means something too). 

The point I am trying to make is that it is not the matter of our choice but rather survival technique which brings us to learn how to wear different masks in different situations. Going even more philosophical we could say that we are all trying to survive by wearing as many masks as necessary while praying for this being as few as possible.

So what is my ultimate goal? The ideal would be waking up as Peter, making business with others as Peter, meeting friends and family as Peter and most of all being appreciated by all for being no one else than Peter.
I know I should probably wake up now…right?

…..I am just saying.

I am asking then. Is Mask a Must? and How good are we actually in hiding our real "I"?


Doug Shaw said...

Bonjour! Great work means not having to check your brains and heart in at the security desk. Maybe they should call it the insecurity desk? One of the most succesful people I know also happens to be one of the most authentic. His lack of mask means he doesnt need to recall which role he is playing. I hope that makes sense?

I wear an eye patch sometimes. But then I am a pirate. Yarr.

Good post really enjoyed reading it

Alison Ashford said...

Good message Peter. The most engaging and inspiring people I've ever met are those who are genuinely themselves - whether shy and quiet, or charismatic and motivational. They're authentic. Others notice when people try too hard to be something other than they're not. We have many facets and assets - so why on earth would we need masks?! Eye patch allowed of course (Doug).

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