Impressions.

                   I happened to read a quote on Facebook that said,”Inside every person you know, there is a person you don’t know.” How true is that!  Some times, when we are going through a rough patch, we look at  all the happy faces around us, and long to switch places not knowing if the picture is really as rosy as it appears.  Every person here has a world that we all see, and a world that we don’t. Every person here is not the person we really know!
The lovey-dovey couple, holding hands while walking down the street, or in snapshots of their vacations, may as well be living a loveless life, their marriage on the verge of a breakdown.  The display of affection may be just that – a display, a show put up for the world to notice them and nod its head  in approval and amazement at a life filled with joy. We see the smiles on their faces and feel the pinch, when we find our own lives bereft of that love, that companionship. But, do we look closer, to see if their smiles reach their eyes?
The sunshine girl at your office, perpetually cheerful and full of energy, may be fighting demons of loneliness and despair, Your most chattery friend, who  enlivens the atmosphere at your friendly meets,  may be battling frustration due to an unsuccessful career.  The  neighbour, who overwhelms you with her love and attention, may have  a terrible life behind those closed doors. You never know!
We, the social beings, rarely if ever, exhibit our true selves to the world with whom we socialise. And not just the world outdoors, but also the world we live in close proximity with – our family, our close friends. Our parents know us, but to a certain extent, and so do our siblings, with whom we grew up. Our partners often claim to know us, but, really, do they? Our closest friends, with whom we share our innermost feelings  think that they know us well, know our secrets well, but do we really share every story of ours, every scar, every tear with them, either?
Impressions can be deceiving, is a  line that  often comes to  my mind, especially when I look at photographs shared on the social media.  True. All that glitters is not gold. Every smile may not bloom from the bottom of the heart. It may just be pasted  up there, on the face, for effect.
So, why is it that we  hide our true selves  from our people?  Why do we forget that we are all humans, with our own set of weaknesses, our idiosyncrasies, our handicaps?  We all have a different life, a different story, which is not perfect in any way. Then, why the constant effort at putting up a facade of a perfect life?  What is it that we would gain from this falsity?  I think, it is the fear of losing out on affection from our loved ones were they to see our true sides, that keeps us from sharing ourselves wholly with them. We  believe in the maxim, laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone  so much, that we fear being alienated lest we  reveal our true selves.
I wish we could open ourselves up, to the people who care about us, who share their world with us. Hiding behind a mask can be  taxing. Living our entire lives wrapped up in a garb of pretence can leave us fatigued. Not only that, after a period of time, the line between reality and make-believe blurs, leaving us confused, muddled up.  Why can’t we accept  our life as it is, and be proud of it? Why don’t we stop pining for  a perfect world? Attain a perfect us? Life would be a lot easier, a lot clutter-free and a lot more genuine. But, the question is, do we have it in us to ‘come out of our closet’ ?

7 Replies to “Impressions.”

  1. You've nailed it, Shilpa. I remember while going through a rough patch, one thing that lifted my spirits when my friends would share pics with kids and cheerful pics. It's true that there are certain things that we would be unwilling to share since it forms part of our identity. The fear of being judged is always present, though our actions shouldn't be guided by that.

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  2. A very valid point or argument you have there Shilpa. It is a great question and one that we can only determine for ourselves what best to do. I think in part it is out of expectation as how would others cope if say, we were most often sad/depressed for example. Anyway, it is great food for thought…time to reflect and pause. 🙂 ❤

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  3. It's the age of pretense, what with Facebook selfies and other forms of social media. True, people around us are all putting up a show… some because they don't want to acknowledge that anything is wrong in their lives and some because they don't have any real friends who'd care to listen about their problems, forget about actually wanting to help.

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  4. Thank you, Elly, for sharing your thoughts on the post. Yes, we do fear people abandoning us were we to share our sorrow with them. We prefer impressing them with our smiles, than burdening them with our tears. Maybe that's why we prefer to hide our true selves!

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