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Faking It…

Do You

Wear A “Mask?”

by Cheryl Lakes

March 13, 2018

The world at large is filled with people who don a mask daily to disguise their true identities.  They usually strive hard to camouflage the real person for several reasons.  Fear, low self-esteem, deceit and insecurity are but a few.  What about you?  Do others usually see the real you, or the face you put on?  Do you know any of these people?

Millie exists only to be married and taken care of by a man.  Her home is scattered with cookbooks and she has mentally consumed every available book on etiquette.  She is dependent by nature, yet she has cultivated the art of playing “the independent woman.”  When she meets a man, she makes up a life that consists of being “much sought after” and highly regarded, yet she suffers from severe loneliness.  She wears the “I am somebody” mask, but deep down she feels passed over, denied and inadequate.

Ron is handsome, and when in public, he is always “on.”  Each statement or action is calculated to be clever and charming.  He enjoys the roar of the crowd and all eyes on him.  He struggles for approval and the source is irrelevant.  He worries about being viewed as dull.  He wears the “I’m worth your attention” mask.  When he’s alone with a woman and he’s certain of her affection, he becomes sullen, withdrawn and bored.  He is constantly in search of admiring eyes.

Jan is very attractive, but feels because she thinks what she thinks…her actions give total access to her mind.  She is paranoid and lacks confidence in her appearance and natural ability, so she wears a defensive shield of armor to ward off expected rejection.  In relationships, she works feverishly to create the impression that she is interested in platonic encounters only, because she believes she is unacceptable.  She wears the “I don’t have time for love” mask, but she owns practically every romance novel that was ever printed.

Frank knows he has a lot going for him.  His rugged good looks and gregarious nature give him an extra boost, but he also knows that the magnetism of a guy who is good-looking and “apparently” ignorant of it, or unaffected by it, is unlimited.  So he feigns unawareness of his appeal, to in fact, enhance his appeal.  It is difficult for him to admire a woman’s beauty because he’s too busy admiring his own.  He never gives compliments, yet he solicits them.  He wears the “I’m special, but it’s no big thing” mask, yet he spends a lot of time, effort and money to garner the “oohs” and “aahs” of the female population.

Barb resents the social stigmas attached to being black, so she scurries to rid her environment of all stereotypical connections.  She views the mention of an African heritage as an insulting reference to a barbaric civilization.  She spends time grooming herself and her values to fit what she views as Anglo expectations.  She prefers a white mate or “light-skinned” substitute who’s in the market for an “exotic” beauty.  She wears the “I’m tan, but I’m not one of them” mask.  She wears blonde hair and blue contact lenses, and speaks with a West Indian accent on occasion.

Nate is attractive and understands the power of a sincere and sensitive nature.  These traits are high on the request lists of single women everywhere.  He is also aware that fear and apprehension play a major role in forming new relationships.  Therefore, he exerts tremendous energy in being the ideal Mr. Nice Guy…until the conquest is assured.  He lures his victims into a false sense of security by pretending to be a head above the crowd, and then he dumps them, but not until he has mentally and physically abused them.  He collects women as a hobby, yet he wears the “don’t worry, I won’t hurt you” mask.

Tony appears outgoing, but he adjusts his personality to fit the occasion.  He says and does what he thinks is appropriate for the company he’s in and the occasion.  He has been pretending so long to be an all-around Mr. Everything,  that he finds it difficult to remember who he is anymore.  He wears the “I do what it calls for” mask, because he is more concerned with pleasing others than pleasing himself.  No one knows what he really thinks, and he’s not sure either.

Look around you at the people who dare not wear a mask.  Some shudder as they watch them in action.  They appear to have no fear of exposure.  They like who they are.  They are indeed the “real” people and they are in an exclusive club that requires only a healthy self-esteem level and the strength to be one’s self to qualify for membership

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