The keynote speaker at a seminar I attended made this statement: “We all wear masks.” As I pondered the possible meanings that statement might have, I realized that this is a general summary of humanity. Regardless of who we are and at different times in our lives, we all wear masks.

So what is a mask? Generally speaking, a mask is a covering for the face. It is a covering for part or all of the face, which is used to hide the identity of a person. It is a grotesque or humorous face that is used in carnivals, masquerades, etc. Everything that disguises or conceals (for example, pretending), is a mask. A person can be suffering a lot and hide it with a big smile – masks! Psychologists say that if a person tells you several times during a conversation “I am not lying,” they are usually lying. More expensive! Many people have different masks for different days, and perhaps for different occasions. Masks are those things that allow us to assume that we are different from other people.

I read an article in Psychology Today titled “The Truth About Lying” written by Peter Doskoch. In it, Peter cited a study by psychologist and lie expert Bella DePaulo, Ph.D, who had conducted research and concluded that “occasionally a person will insist that they can be completely truthful for three to four weeks. But no one Is successful “. “Everyday lies are really part of the fabric of social life,” says DePaulo, a university professor. He thinks it’s “because people want to be accepted and because sometimes saying things the way they really are can hurt people’s hearts and relationships, so people stretch the truth a bit, some more often. what others”. However, the problem arises when the liar begins to believe that he is telling the truth. He is seriously delusional, while the people around him, except him, can see that he is being false and, perhaps, cunning. Usually it won’t be long before most people discover masks. While some lies damage relationships and destroy trust, other lies serve important interpersonal functions, such as easing uncomfortable situations or protecting fragile egos.

But how often do people lie and when do they lie? DePaulo and his colleagues asked 77 college students and 70 community members to keep a diary detailing every lie THEY told. It turned out that the students admitted to lying, an average of twice a day, while local residents lied half the time. Among the other findings of the study:

* Community members lied in one fifth of their social interactions; students, a third. * Lying was more common in phone calls than in face-to-face chats. * One lie out of every seven was discovered, as far as the liars could tell. * One-tenth of the lies were mere exaggerations, while 60 percent were outright hoaxes. Most of the rest were subtle lies, often by omission. * More than 70 percent of liars would tell their lies again.

No one has managed to tell the absolute truth for three weeks in a row! So what is it that makes lying an attraction, a possibility, or indeed a part (or fabric) of social interactions? Wondering about this, I asked a friend from Cork in Ireland.

Everyone operates under Maslow’s general pyramid of needs. The masks, therefore, would fall under the need for social acceptance. Maslow posited that after being fed, drunk, and housed, the need to be socially accepted becomes an urgent basic need. This means that a hungry helpless tramp won’t give a dime whether you accept it or not. You don’t have two pennies to rub (as the Irish would say). It will eat the crumbs off your table, if you’re not too stingy to drop. He will sleep in your dog’s kennel, if your dog is that friendly. He doesn’t care who’s looking or laughing as long as he can have something (anything) in his stomach and a hallway to rest his head.

But why is it necessary to be socially accepted? The wearing of masks is a social disguise, effectively used by all except the hungry and the destitute. People wear masks to hide their true identity, to hide their true emotions, their true feelings. Some people have fixed fake smiles, which look like photocopies, on their faces. The smiles are perpetual, it makes you wonder if people are really that nice. Masks are used to win or secure friendships. In these, we all wear masks. Sometimes wearing masks becomes a necessity because you don’t want to tell people the truth about themselves or yourself. In the books of society’s mask-wearers (who are often pompous and arrogant), it is usually a world of dogs eating dogs. When people are afraid of actually being themselves around you, you force them to wear masks. Many people go out of their way to ensure social acceptance for various reasons, damaging other people’s psyches, hearts, emotions and lives in the process, not caring whose gored ox is, changing their mask from “Jack- the-lad “by giant blood – sucking on” Dracula “masks.

While discussing people’s masks with my very close friend, Richie Dayo Johnson, this is what he said. “Well if you ask me I’d say, let dogs eat dogs in their own world! Stay away from those who want to tell you where to jump and keep running until you find the ones who will tell you where to jump!” clowns and masquerades who wear masks professionally have to take them off sometime. If you constantly find yourself surrounded by people who want to have you for breakfast, lunch and dinner, keep running, until you reach those who are applauding you. There is that, in all, that must be celebrated. No one should be forced to wear their masks perpetually.

Regardless of who is taking notes, share jokes with yourself and laugh out loud until it hurts. Pick a time to laugh or smile, even in public. Look for something funny about yourself regularly and laugh about it. When someone tells a joke at your expense, look on the funny side and laugh. Their job is to laugh at you and spread your guilt. Your job is done. Find someone who can help you fix the problem and go fix it.

Keep learning and keep improving. Nothing of who we are today came to us in one day. Nothing we have learned has come to us since we were born. I first heard from Dayo that we are all born with two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of strong blows. All the other fears we picked up on the road growing up. Everything has been learned and progressed over time. No one has the power or ability to change anyone, except if they feel a need and choose to change for themselves. We are who we were made. Do not wear other people’s masks. You don’t know what their pain is or who they are trying to impress. A mask is used in a masquerade, you don’t know what face they are on. Enjoy the person they made you, no matter who is looking at you.

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