Often it becomes such a habit to wear a mask when we face the world that even we forget who we are underneath. But our behaviour can reveal the truth.
We often hide who we are out of fear that we are not good enough. Sometimes, we may think that our true selves are unlovable, or stupid, perhaps even mad or bad! We put on a mask to hide who we are and make ourselves acceptable to others.
But there are some attitudes that reveal the truth behind the mask. These ways of thinking and behaving tell a lot about a person, some good and some bad. So, if we really want to understand what makes us tick and who we are behind the mask, these 5 behaviours could shed some light on our darkest corners.
1. How we think and speak about others
Our approach to others reveals a lot about ourselves. If we often think negatively about others or gossip behind their backs this shows a lack of understanding and respect. Compassionate people rarely make nasty remarks about others because they understand that we can never truly know the path another has trodden. The Native American saying ‘Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins’ is great advice. You can never know another person’s suffering, so it is best not to judge. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take action when people are behaving badly. It simply means you should try to come from a place of non-judgement. This will help to heal the situation rather than making things worse.
2. How we treat those who have less than we do
The way we treat those who have less than us is also significant. If we look down on people because we think they are, or have, less than us, we reveal a lot about ourselves and it’s not so good. Understanding that we are equal and that everyone has different gifts to bring the world is more enlightened than criticising and looking down on others. In addition, if we help others with no expectation of receiving anything in return, it shows a lot about our character. If, on the other hand, we only give when we know we will receive something back, or be made to look good in front of others, then it is not altruism but a kind of greed.
3. How we behave when no one is looking
What we do when there is no one around to judge us is very revealing about who we are. It is easy to be good when someone is watching, but the choices we make when we could get away with being less than our best hint at the darker side of our personalities. If, when we know we can get away with it, we lie or cheat it is obviously wrong. But being who we are means living our lives authentically whether anyone is watching or not. It can be just as false to be too good and too nice, agreeing with others on the outside while squirming within. Being who we are means standing up for our beliefs no matter who might see.
4. How we deal with mistakes and failures
The way we deal with mistakes and failures is very revealing. When we avoid taking responsibility for our mistakes and look around for someone to blame, we are showing that we are not very mature. Everyone makes mistakes; it doesn’t make us bad people. However, laying the blame on someone else is not a sign of a good character. Equally, we must acknowledge when failures and mistakes aren’t entirely our fault. We should be confident enough not to take the blame for everything that doesn’t work out in our lives. Often it is a combination of factors that lead to a failure. We need to be clear about what is our responsibility and learn from it, and equally clear about what is not our fault.
5. How we behave when we are upset
Being angry or upset is a natural part of being human. There is nothing wrong with getting emotional. However, if we use our emotions as an excuse to behave angrily, aggressively or violently towards others this reveals a character that needs some growth. But we shouldn’t hide our emotions either. Squashing down our emotions for fear of criticism from others is not authentic behaviour. Often, we need to take the time to think through our emotions and then attempt to have a mature discussion with whomever we are upset with. Having said this, we are not angels. Becoming upset and even shouting at someone doesn’t mean we are bad people. We should apologise if we behave unreasonably, though and try to keep our cool in the future as far as we can.
Often we hide behind our masks out of fear of revealing who we truly are. However, to live an authentic life we have to reveal ourselves to others and become vulnerable. We don’t have to do this all at once. We can start by thinking things through and admitting to ourselves when we are being inauthentic. Eventually, we can reveal more of ourselves to the people we love and trust and from there begin to live a more authentic life.
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