Ironic isn’t it, although we admire legitimacy, honesty and consistency in those around us, none of us really display those traits to the fullest extent of the words. The truth is, as multifaceted beings and individuals, who and what we are, differs greatly on those we surround ourselves with at any given moment.
This isn’t to say that we are not being ourselves or that we are not exemplifying any of the traits mentioned above, merely that there are different facets to our personality that are only revealed on prompt. To give you a brief example, you can have the most coarse and verbose sports fan be an absolute cretin to the opposing side whilst at the arena or stadia, yet at home that fan could be the most soft-spoken, unassuming, polite person you could possibly have ever encountered before.
Our behaviour is determined by our environment, by our surroundings, likewise our personality adjusts to the people that we surround ourselves with. To my colleagues, I am often the talkative yet eccentric guy who is family orientated. To my family, I’m the loving yet firm father who can verge from hilarity to serious when the need calls for it. To some of my friends I am the consummate football (soccer) fan who often raves a bit too much about the technical side of things. To those closest to me, I’m a comic book, gaming, wrestling, football, poetry loving melancholic male who can go off on a tangent almost on cue.
The interesting thing is, I am all of the above and more, yet not simultaneously as it depends on the company I am keeping at that precise moment. This aspect often confuses me, since it makes me wonder just which facet of me is the one I would define as my true self. True self, that in itself is an odd notion for me, since there are times where I find myself completely unsure as to what constitutes the definition of my true self.
When I sit back and reread some of my poetry, I am often surprised at the level of dark imagery that sometimes flows out of mind and unto this blog. I oft go into a phase when writing where a couple of words will give me the inspiration to commence a poem, but it is almost like I am not fully cognisant of what I am writing until I have seen it to completion and then read it for any grammatical or spelling errors.
Clearly these words stem from something deep within me, yet I had not known that I myself was writing these words, I would have been quite shocked as to what lies hidden beneath the surface. I am well aware of the pain and abuse that I have had to endure growing up, yet I was unaware of just how permanent that pain was, and how I still carry it with me to this very day. It is an odd thing to describe really, since this seems to be a facet of me that I don’t even seem to fully share with myself.
This brings me to quite an odd paradigm, because on one hand, I am as open as anyone can be about my past, yet one the other hand, there are things that I seem to have buried deep within myself and I either struggle to recall them, or simply refuse to discuss them with anyone at all, regardless of how close they are to me.
There are things that I have discussed with close friends over the years, that I have not shared with my wife, hell, there are moments shared with some people in my past, that I have not shared or spoken about since, with only those involved knowing of them. Nothing illegal or to be condemned, but unspoken for an unknown reason to myself.
So I wonder, are we as open and honest with others as we truly like to state that we are? Or are we a bit more guarded than we wish to admit, and merely adapt to the environment and social circle, allowing only a facet or ourselves to show? Then again, is this truly a bad thing? If your social circle does not appreciate nor share your love for all things comic books, then why would you display that facet of yourself, especially when that social circle has a preference to football? This is an example of course, but you can see that on some occasions it makes sense to display one aspect of yourself rather than another.
What it comes down to really I suppose, is just what is our definition of open honesty. There are some thoughts and secrets that none of us will ever share willingly, even with those we love the most, for reasons known only to ourselves. Is this really a bad thing? Or should we be completely open and honest with those we surround ourselves with? I have come to the conclusion that personally there are three aspects of myself, there is the open me, which is the one that my family oft sees, there is the showman version, which is the one oft on display to my friends and colleagues, and there is the hidden me, the one I keep on display only to myself. The three are all me, all individuals, sharing different facets and aspects of myself, yet all connected parts of my soul.
Clearly this is the case for all of us, but I wonder why we as a society developed in such a way. Was there ever a point where there was total and brutal honesty displayed at all times and did we shy away from it? Or has it always been this way, have we always only shown aspects of ourselves in order to attain and find societal acceptance? I suspect the latter to be the truth, which perhaps reveals to us, just how important societal interaction and acceptance is to the human psyche after all, irrespective or whether we personally considering a vital aspect of our lives or not.
Until next time,