Thursday, 9 May 2013

In disguise

I pride myself on being honest.  But if I AM honest, there are parts of myself that I hide from some people because I fear their reaction.  I don't feel like I can be 100% myself, 100% of the time.  But don't we all have different hats for different situations?  That's okay, isn't it?

At work for example, you have your "professional self" hat - the one who is cool under pressure; who is friendly and courteous to everyone all of the time; the one who is upbeat and positive all of the time; the one who doesn't cry, even when you want to (though if you slip up you pull it together quicker than you can at home!); the one who doesn't swear out loud, even when you want to; and the one where you don't talk about the details of your family life (who in the office is going to care that after two days of no poos, your toddler exploded this morning and you feel so much happier because of it!  LOL!)

Then you wear your "friends" hat, which changes depending on the group of friends you're with.  The "new friend/I'd like to keep you as a friend" hat, where you usually put effort into your appearance, you keep the conversation moving and light, and you silently kick yourself for saying something stupid.  The "high school girlfriends" hat where you talk about the old days, wonder where certain people ended up, laugh a lot at how old you're all getting, while talking about partners and/or kids and usually drink a few glasses of wine.  There's also your "work friends" hat, where you talk about your jobs and likely moves/mergers, deadlines and budgets and general office chatter - more serious chatter and not usually for long.  Friends may move between categories or border more than one, but the hats stay in place.

And even in your family, where you're supposed to be able to be 100% yourself - the whole, real, uneditted you - don't we all keep something back?   Especially if you live your life a bit differently from the rest of the family.  Sharing or showing that part of you could mean a big fight and no more invitations to dinner!

I got to thinking today about what would happen if I wore just one hat - the "real" me hat that only a very few people get to see - regardless of the situation.  As much as I wish I could, it does make a lot of sense to keep wearing the right hat for the right occasion.  I think it sort of sucks, but I'm pretty sure everyone is doing it - to keep their jobs, and keep the peace.  Just so long as you look good and feel comfortable in each of the hats, I suppose.

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