When entering a room full of strangers, when part of a social gathering or for some of us even when we are with our own friends, we tend to put on a mask. We do this to hide our true identity, our vulnerabilities our imperfections and our worries. But we tend to hide our best assets as well in the process. For some this implies playing the role of the social butterfly, talking to everyone but keeping conversations superficial, with no real intent. For others, wearing their mask simply means hiding shyly in the corner, away from others’ looks and judgements. Some would even side line themselves to make their own judgements on the people in the room.
For sure a few people who are comfortable in their own skin and don’t worry about what others think will remain themselves but I’ll take the risk to say a lot of us have already been in this situation of in-authenticity. Some of us would do so as a way to protect ourselves from others, and others because they consider these strangers not worthy of seeing their true persona.
But in the process of protecting yourself from others judgements are you not also protecting yourself from making the most of these encounters? If you meet someone and neither of you like what they see then that’s fine you can move on with your lives with no hard feeling. And if you find common interests and hit it off then this could be the start of a friendship or even in a short term you could obtain some valuable tips on things that would be of interest to you right? However if everyone is pretending to be someone they aren’t then how can they have a true exchange? Sure some of us may have enough friends and not be interested in meeting more but who’s to say the next person you meet can’t lead you to discover a new restaurant, put you in for a new job, share some interesting story, help you realise that vulnerability is actually an asset, or simply have a laugh with you, in other words influence your life in a positive way? But if you don’t open yourself to get the most of that interaction how can you allow this to happen?
So maybe next time you are in a room full of strangers, try to set yourself the goal to find out something you didn’t know when you came in, whether it be about yourself or something else, enrich your life in some way and to not be scared of revealing who you are. If you have a secret sense of humour, joke away, if you’re curious, ask away, if you are passionate about a subject, how odd it may be, make sure you speak to someone about it!
So, have you recently been faced to such a situation and what did you get from remaining true to yourself?