I’ve always seen myself as an insecure person. I was a rather shy child, often taking things too seriously. I would put a lot of expectations on myself and when I couldn’t fulfil them, my self-confidence shrank like a balloon losing air. And of course, I would always compare myself. To other kids – usually the best ones in a given field, and I compared myself to how I would like to be. It’s not fair to do this to yourself, I know now. I didn’t know before.
Fortunately you grow wiser with time. You start seeing yourself better then you used to, and you begin to to see others in a different, more sober light.
The game of masks
I realised, for instance, that there are loads of insecure people. I wasn’t alone! But you need to look under the mask to see it. We all are wearing masks when we are among other people. Perhaps your mask is to appear smarter than you are, more generous, more courageous… whatever it is, you’re likely to wear a mask sometimes.
Humans are vulnerable, and depend on the acceptance of others. To hide our vulnerability, we pretend to be stronger. How silly is this mask game we play! The more you observe people, the better you recognise their masks. They are hiding something, almost always.
If we all felt good about ourselves and we wouldn’t mind what others think of us, we would put down our masks. We would be able to show our real being, with all our weaknesses, but at the same time with all the beauty inside us. We wouldn’t have to pretend, as we knew that everyone is vulnerable in their own way, and that’s totally fine.
Humans are pretenders
But for now we are pretenders, we wear masks. When it comes to insecurity, some of us are better at hiding it then others. This was something I realised, and it made me see people in a different light. Moreover, it made me see myself differently, in a fair way.
If you’re insecure and you’re not good at hiding it, you probably blush easily, look down, cross your legs and do all kinds of weird movements with your body, and if it weren’t enough your voice fails you as well. Especially blushing is something very hard to control, it comes as naturally as a sneeze!
The mask to hide insecurity
It’s quite easy to recognise an insecure person acting like I described. But now comes the fun part – what about people who look super confident? Are they really confident and secure? No! Too often it’s just a mask that hides what’s really inside.
I realised how many people I know that overact when it comes to looking strong, courageous and tough in front of others. A typical person that hides his or her insecurity would emphasise all the cool and tough things they’re doing. They would exaggerate their nonverbal language. They would force their voice to be stronger than it naturally is. They often talk a lot and are loud, try to make others laugh. There’s a lot of nervousness. What they are trying to hide the most is what you’ll be able to uncover: vulnerability.
This is just one possible way to hide insecurity, I’m sure that when you start observing people you’ll find many more ways they pretend. And of course, some people are really self-confidence and don’t wear any mask. There’s place for everything.
Vulnerability is fine
Vulnerability is totally fine and normal. But being afraid of judgement and criticism, we’re too afraid to reveal it to others. So we wear masks, and try to fool others.
Next time you compare yourself to others, give yourself some credit. Not everyone is as they seem to be. Not everyone is as secure and self-confident as they pretend to.
A society without masks… how beautiful and pure it would be.