“Like icebergs, people normally expose only a small part of themselves, and generally just the part they wish to show.”Nikki Yanofsky
I’m sure everyone can resonate with the quote above in some way or another as it seems to have left a deep cut in today’s society. We’re hiding behind a mask of some sort. From being someone to who we’re not, faking that perfect lifestyle to hiding a mental illness to being a troll whether it’s online or offline. There is a stigma where you are praised and accepted if you’re living that “instagrammable, perfect” life, yet are looked down when you’re battling an illness or just emotional. Imposter syndrome had just come straight to mind. And as for trolls and (cyber) bullying,
Not being you
“We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.”Patrick Rothfuss
Behind the computer, we can portray whomever we like. It’s easy as 123. But why is that? Hiding insecurities, boredom, trying to blend/fit in, receive other’s approval or possibly trying to find oneself. A lot of people are afraid of being judged for who we truly are. Does that mean it’s bad to be authentic?
Once we portray a certain persona for a long time, this “persona” becomes embedded both behind the screen and in real life. In the end, it’ll most likely be unattainable in the long run, resulting in losing yourself. By then, it’s too late to discard this so-called mask. It must be both mentally and physically tiring having to put up that front. What happens when you’re caught and exposed?
As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”
“Behind every mask there is a face, and behind that a story.”Marty Rubin
We need to bury the stigma that battling your own inner demons is frowned upon and to realise it’s OK to reach out without feeling scared, embarrassed nor ashamed. It’s OK to not be OK. Depression isn’t easy to detect. It can be masked behind a normal lifestyle or a simple “I’m good” response. You can be the most sociable to the most quietest person, yet it is still undetectable. It’s easy to hide rather than opening up.
You could be the happiest and bubbliest person in other people’s eyes, but on the inside, you’re struggling.
You could put on a tough exterior and not having a care in the world, but you’re actually scared, weak and vulnerable.
You could be pretending that everything is OK, but in reality, your world is falling apart.
Remember, you’re not alone.
Hiding behind a mask could be a sign of weakness but it could be a way of protecting ourselves.