World, Writing, Wealth discussion

69 views
World & Current Events > Ourselves or wearing masks?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 62 (62 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments There are a lot of cultural and other layers that influence how we interact with each other. More often, we go with what's expected and acceptable rather than what is true and real.
The result? Lots of phony stuff, conversation, emotions, minimum of real ones. The real ones are told to a shrink, who prescribes prozac or similar stuff.
Behind cool and enthusiastic countenances, sometimes sits a little frustrated or sad or different real person.
'Hey, what's up?' 'Excellent, yourself?' 'Couldn't be better' How's your wife?' 'Doing great'
Can this dialogue contain not a word of truth? But, of course. Empty, meaningless questions, and corresponding answers.
A guy who just filed for a bankruptcy, would still answer 'great', when asked how his business was doing. If it's not 'great', you might come across as a loser. Nobody wants that.
There are places, where it's almost unacceptable to answer 'so-so' for example, when asked how are you.
A friend of mine from far away tells me that almost every conversation there ends up with 'do you have plans for a weekend?' But nobody's really expecting you to share your plans. If you do, they'd freak out -:)
Candid people may often be deemed rude.
Coming closer to reading and writing, this 'niceness', for example, makes me wonder sometimes whether a person awarding my book 5 star review really thinks it was great or just being nice. Especially when I see a person doesn't continue reading the series -:)
So, what do you think: what's the ratio between masks and real?


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments I think the mask is more prevalent than the real. But many people see no reason to let the mask slip when the truth will be met with indifference or unconcern. I think the question is does a person hide his true self because no one will care or do people not care because no one will show his true self?


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments That's a good question. Maybe on a deeper level we are encouraged to project 'all is cool' and stepping astray exposes a person to an unknown, possibly overbearing reaction


message 4: by Jen Pattison (new)

Jen Pattison | 409 comments Well, there is the old saying, 'Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone'. I think it's very difficult to let people know that things are going belly-up in your life, unless it's a very close friend. I do have a friend who tells me how things really are and I love her to bits, but - she can dwell so much on the negative and it drags me down too, though she says that she always feels better after talking to me as I lift her spirits. I sometimes feel that there are times when I just can't deal with all that negativity. Be honest with yourselves, if you have (or had) a friend like this, what do you feel about it?


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments Jen Pattison wrote: " I sometimes feel that there are times when I just can't deal with all that negativity. Be honest with yourselves, if you have (or had) a friend like this, what do you feel about it? ..."

I think it's not only patting but sometimes slapping (verbally of course) could be of help -:) A friend is a friend, but I think there should be a place to say when you think s/he annoyingly exaggerates, doesn't matter negatively or positively...


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Jen Pattison wrote: "Well, there is the old saying, 'Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone'. I think it's very difficult to let people know that things are going belly-up in your life, unless it'..."

i have had several friends that fall into this category and it is exhausting. I would always try to be the shoulder to cry on and provide insight, perspective and a listening ear. Eventually, however, you realize that people like this have no real intention of trying to solve the problems they speak of. They do not want to feel better and they do not want solutions. Professional victims like these are okay with sucking all the energy from others and many of them don't feel better until everyone else around them is miserable.

In contrast I have a very good friend who does have rough days every now and then and she doesn't hide them from me but she is doing so to gain perspective and get things off her chest. She not only moves forward to face her challenges but she is equally willing to help me with my issues and concerns. She gives as much as she takes and overall, would rather talk about things that lift both our spirits. When she calls me with a problem I know it is a real problem and I'm ready to be of any assistance I can. We are stronger friends because of it.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Nik wrote: "That's a good question. Maybe on a deeper level we are encouraged to project 'all is cool' and stepping astray exposes a person to an unknown, possibly overbearing reaction"

I think for the most part people know who they can trust and so should only let the mask slip for them. Also one never knows what another is going through in his own life so why bring him further down with your issues? What can he do about it anyway?


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments For me this is really not anissue because if someone doesn't already know what is going on with me they aren't close enough for me to care what they think. If they matter they won't mind and if they mind they don't matter.


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments Tara wrote: "What can he do about it anyway?..."

Not sure, it's a good idea to break in tears in front of the other and would just feel awkward, but I equally think that artificial excitement when one feels rather sad is also kinda strange -:)
Creates a lot of artificiality in our lives, maybe like new Amazon policy where you can 'expect' a review, but not lure it with a free book -:)


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Nik wrote: "Tara wrote: "What can he do about it anyway?..."

Not sure, it's a good idea to break in tears in front of the other and would just feel awkward, but I equally think that artificial excitement when..."


I see what you mean. Since we don't all have the luxury of staying under the covers when we're having a bad day I think it is possible to have a little middle ground. When someone says how are you you could respond that you've had better days but you're looking forward to a relaxing weekend or you're so-so but hey that's life, right? With a smile on your face it is easier to tell your truth and also let in a bit of positivity and sunshine.


message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments Tara wrote: "respond that you've had better days but you're looking forward to a relaxing weekend or you're so-so but hey that's life, right? With a smile on your face..."

Sounds like a perfect approach! But how often do you encounter someone with it? -:)


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Nik wrote: "Tara wrote: "respond that you've had better days but you're looking forward to a relaxing weekend or you're so-so but hey that's life, right? With a smile on your face..."

Sounds like a perfect ap..."


Very often. I live in NYC! Here if you say everything's absolutely great people think you lack humility and you're tempting fate. So you say that your son is doing alright but he never calls his mother instead of he's at the top of his medical class at Harvard and he's dating a world famous model.


message 13: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments Tara wrote: "Very often. ..."

Then, there is hope -:)


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Always hope, Nik ;)


message 15: by Jen Pattison (new)

Jen Pattison | 409 comments Tara wrote: "i have had several friends that fall into this category and it is exhausting. I would always try to be the shoulder to cry on and provide insight, perspective and a listening ear. Eventually, however, you realize that people like this have no real intention of trying to solve the problems they speak of. They do not want to feel better and they do not want solutions. Professional victims like these are okay with sucking all the energy from others and many of them don't feel better until everyone else around them is miserable."

Yes! That is so true Tara, energy vampires! I really don't mind listening to people's problems if they are genuinely seeking a solution. I would never turn away from a distraught friend either; I once bumped into a friend in town, she said everything was fine but I could see something was wrong. I dragged her off for a cup of tea and it turned out her partner of several years had ditched her, she was really distraught.

Yes, it really is true about the British - tea and sympathy works wonders. :)


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments That's a great story. I think it also speaks to out instincts about people's emotional state and sometimes we get it right and know when to help. But some people have an extremely low tolerance for the feelings or concerns of others and with people like that one just learns to say 'lovely' when they ask how everything is going.


message 17: by Mehreen (last edited Oct 07, 2016 03:34PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Nik wrote: "There are a lot of cultural and other layers that influence how we interact with each other. More often, we go with what's expected and acceptable rather than what is true and real.
The result? Lot..."


Deception is rampant. People would wear several hats in one day alone.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments It may be stoicism or a desire to guard one's private self as opposed to a desire to deceive.


message 19: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Deception and stoicism are not the same thing. However, people can wear a mask for several reasons.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Mehreen wrote: "Deception and stoicism are not the same thing. However, people can wear a mask for several reasons."

Yes, that was my point - that it may be stoicism as opposed to deception. But agree that there are multiple reasons why some don't want to show themselves for who they really are.


message 21: by Mehreen (last edited Oct 07, 2016 03:53PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Tara wrote: "Mehreen wrote: "Deception and stoicism are not the same thing. However, people can wear a mask for several reasons."

Yes, that was my point - that it may be stoicism as opposed to deception. But a..."


Maybe they don't even know themselves who they really are.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments This could be true as well, especially for people who have lived their whole lives for other people.


message 23: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Tara wrote: "This could be true as well, especially for people who have lived their whole lives for other people."

I totally agree.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Mehreen wrote: "Tara wrote: "This could be true as well, especially for people who have lived their whole lives for other people."

I totally agree."


I should add and for ideals other than their own. It is an unintentional self-deception.


message 25: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Tara wrote: "Mehreen wrote: "Tara wrote: "This could be true as well, especially for people who have lived their whole lives for other people."

I totally agree."

I should add and for ideals other than their o..."


That maybe true too.


message 26: by Jen Pattison (last edited Oct 08, 2016 12:26AM) (new)

Jen Pattison | 409 comments Tara wrote: "It may be stoicism or a desire to guard one's private self as opposed to a desire to deceive."

I can certainly relate to the privacy aspect myself, I think I inherited that from my mother who was also a very private person.


message 27: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments It's not solely about oneself.
Why asking friends and family about your book isn't such a good idea? Because you are unlikely to hear candid opinions, unless someone among them is a real diplomat and knows how to deliver critique without hurting the author. Friends/family usually won't hurry with criticism..
It continues to flattery/sucking up to your boss at work, to a clerk in some office, party leader and so on...
Candid becomes rare?-:)


message 28: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments What's your view?


message 29: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments No one beyond my close friends/family really wants to hear the truth about my life, so I say to acquaintances that I'm fine. I tell my elderly parents, who are interested, only partial truths - the positive things in my life. Why worry them? With close friends, I still edit out things that I'm not comfortable talking about. So I wear a mask all the time. Don't we all, even with those closest to us?


message 30: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments Scout wrote: "Don't we all, even with those closest to us?..."

Don't know if 'all', but many. A little phony world where everything's seemingly 'fine', 'great' and 'awesome'


message 31: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10653 comments Scout wrote: "No one beyond my close friends/family really wants to hear the truth about my life, so I say to acquaintances that I'm fine. I tell my elderly parents, who are interested, only partial truths - the..."

Maybe, but do others really want a list of our grouches for the day? A list of aged aches and pains? In my view, no.


message 32: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments Ian wrote: "Maybe, but do others really want a list of our grouches for the day? A list of aged aches and pains? In my view, no. ..."

I'm not sure, it should necessarily be that drastically opposite -:) One doesn't have to complain and share all the details of what's wrong, as an alternative for constant pretense


message 33: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10653 comments I guess, Nik, I tend to make my points by going to extremes :-)


message 34: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments I don't think I wear a mask. Lol I'm an open book!


message 35: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments Maybe "all" was an incorrect assumption on my part, but I know that dropping the "mask" completely isn't something I do. I don't want anyone I care about to have to deal with my worries. It's not fair to them, as they have worries of their own. I saw a therapist a few times years ago, and it made me feel better. I told him things I wouldn't want my people to know about but, even then, I didn't tell him everything.


message 36: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments I think there is a flip side of the coin. So many go to shrinks because they don't have anyone to talk to as a result of similar to the above deliberations, for one, and because the pretense builds expectation, for two. If you hear from all around that everyone's doing great, one can kinda develop a self-doubt that there is something wrong, if s/he doesn't..
Sometimes we may feel lonely surrounded by friends, family, colleagues and caring politicians and government officials -:)
Not proposing to cry at each other's shoulder right after the handshake though -:) Just not a big fan of pretense


message 37: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments But, Nik, don't you withhold information about yourself from your children or, if no children, then from those you care about or with whom you work? I'm not a fan of pretense, either, but I have my doubts about anyone's being able to function in society without some pretense.


message 38: by Belle (new)

Belle Blackburn | 16 comments Susan Howatch has a book called Glittering Images that has a lot of psychology in it. The glittering image is the persona you put forth to the world. The psyche is like an onion and you start peeling away the layers and you finally get down to the basic core you, which is a stranger to even yourself usually. I think she probably was right.


message 39: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments Scout wrote: "But, Nik, don't you withhold information about yourself..."

Sure, I do and rarely share personal things. However, I don't pretend all is fine when it's not or don't say that business goes great in times when it doesn't, for example. At that, I don't let the conversation focus on my troubles -:)
Some folks need alcohol to open up a bit and it's amusing how all the things that were 'awesome' half-a-bottle before suddenly become a little less shining...


message 40: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments Belle wrote: "I think she probably was right...."

I think so too..


message 41: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments So, it's all truth all the time, sparing no one's feelings.


message 42: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10653 comments Scout wrote: "So, it's all truth all the time, sparing no one's feelings."

Ha ha - I don't believe it. The man who never lied never said anything.


message 43: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments Yeah, truth all the time maybe an overstatement, some would add: "especially for lawyers" -:)

I think sparing feelings and delicacy in general are important.
However, why my doing so-so, for example, should upset anyone, especially if I myself not upset? -:) It's just life: bad periods, good periods, so-so periods, etc...


message 44: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10653 comments Sometimes you may not want to lie, bu not tell the truth either, so you avoid saying anything and try and deflect the topic. :-)


message 45: by Scout (last edited Apr 07, 2017 07:38PM) (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments Nik wrote: "Yeah, truth all the time maybe an overstatement, some would add: "especially for lawyers" -:)

I think sparing feelings and delicacy in general are important.
However, why my doing so-so, for examp..."


I'll take that: "sparing feelings and delicacy in general are important." That's all I was saying. The function of the mask can be one of protecting others, not hiding yourself.


message 46: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments So is your environment candid or mannerly adapted ?


message 47: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10653 comments Since I live alone, I don't usually have a problem, and when I get to see people, candid. Mainly because with people like tradesmen you have to be fairly explicit or you don't get what you want done done properly.


message 48: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments The degree of truth we tell others is governed by the degree of intimacy of the relationship, our desire to protect ourselves, and our desire to protect others. A stranger asks how we are, and we'll say, "Fine." A close friend asks how we are, and we'll probably truthfully share some of what's going on in our lives. A boss asks us how we are, and we'll present ourselves in the best light, maybe even lie. A parent asks how we are, and we'll probably share the good things and spare them the worrisome details. I don't think anyone tells the truth all the time.


message 49: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14868 comments The title of the thread kinda acquired a new meaning under the circumstances :) Invisible masks turned visible


message 50: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 3646 comments Persona: Social Role and Personality One creates the other and is in turn molded by it, so is there a difference?


« previous 1
back to top