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Friday, December 12, 2008

Wearing a mask part 2

After reading the replies to my post here , I came to realize that I never really defined what a mask is.

Are we wearing a mask if:

we dress in clothes we normally wouldn't wear?
Laugh at jokes that aren't funny?
Smile at someone we don't get along with?
Congratulate someone when we are envious of them?
Attend a function that we really don't want to go to?

Reading through these examples, and thinking about many others, I tend to believe that there are two things we can define here: Masking (wearing a mask) and Phoniness.

I think masking is something we do to be respectful, social, helpful etc. We may mask our feeling to tell someone to go to hell at a family gathering. Or even when we feel contempt, we don't show it. In other words, something outside of ourselves.

Phoniness on the other hand, is something inside of us that we're not showing. We'll gossip to person A about person B, but then gossip with person B about person A-phoniness.

I know I'm being a bit philosophical here, but I'm just trying to figure stuff out. I mean, when we go on dates we change what we wear (jeans or sweatpants) into nice dressy clothes. We tend to be more polite too. I think this type of behavior is acceptable, and in many cases, even expected.

So, to be a little more clear about my previous post and this one, I believe we all wear a mask at times which is normal. Yet when we portray something about ourselves to a date that isn't true, then I think we're being phony.



  1. Good point there. But I think, if you want to be pedantic about it, we all wear maskes all the time because we react differently and almost become different people depending who we're with.

    However, I would define the mask/phoney thing slightly differently. Phoney is just phoney - pretending to be something we know full well we're not simply to gain an advantage. Wearing a mask certainly involves a degree of phoniness, but it is being the person we CAN be and perhaps wish we were most of the time. It's not who we naturally are, but it is a part of us, or we are genuinely capable of that behaviour - just not automatically and all the time.

    Does that make sense? :)

  2. I wouldn't do none of the above, then again I don't like to do what other want me or expect me to do. Being philosophical is good trait :) Nothing is black and white. Perhaps I'm wearing a mask too, maybe a tiny thin one, if social settings is needed. But in my mind "wearing a mask" means the person is pretending to be someone else or do things that they don't like. Being respectful is not masking, it's social behavior, I think. Either way, you're right :)

  3. Thanks CJ and Jessica! I think both of you made the points much clearer, at least for me, and pretty much I think the topic falls into social behavior.

    I guess as long as we're not phony in a negative way, we're doing pretty good :)
    Thanks for defining mask/phony in a much sharper way guys!

  4. I believe it's just human nature to want to belong.... that's why we laugh at jokes with everyone else even if we personally don't think it's funny.

    I also believe in choosing my battles. We can all get consumed in making others see our point of view when it takes less energy to be polite.

    However, when it comes to dating.... pretending could lead you to a whole lot of trouble and misunderstanding in the long run. In order to find the right one, you need to find someone who is into the same things you are. If you have to pretend to be something else you are not, then he/she is not the right one for you.

  5. I also believe in choosing my battles. We can all get consumed in making others see our point of view when it takes less energy to be polite.

    What a great thought Sharon!
    I guess keeping things as real as possible is the best solution when all is said and done.



Thanks so much for your comment and input! :)

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