How Many Masks?
How many masks do you wear during your day? Are you aware of when you put one down and pick another one up? Can you see when individuals are wearing different masks? Think of the friend you know who’s always a bright, happy and spreading cheerfulness yet you know on the inside she’s breaking down daily as life hasn’t been very kind of late.
Yes, that mask. The mask that attempts to portray to others that she’s doing okay, but really she needs a good cry, a box of kleenex followed by 2 panadol, water and something to help sleep the night away. The unspoken observations around masks we all wear is that everyone can genuinely see when we are not alright. It’s only as individuals that we choose to live in denial about our masks.
Think of walking into a room and you can immediately perceive the emotional room temperature, especially when someone is angry. No one has to say a word and the entire room knows who’s angry and bottling up a load of unspoken words. Even if the individual has a happy face mask on you can still tell. Emotions speak without words.
These unspoken words can shut down a dinner party. Everyone shovels the food in, trying not to say too much, and too full for dessert as they rush out the door to escape from the unspoken words. Imagine if we all felt confident enough within ourselves that we could address this toad on the dinner table. The ability to express concern, to sit with another person as they process their emotions, and to feel empathy even when we haven’t walked a mile in their shoes.
How do you think dinner parties would unfold if we took time for each other? Would you be able to help put strategies in place for the upset individual? Do you think it’s possible to turn the emotional atmosphere around to everyone enjoying themselves? And what do you want to do about wearing your masks daily? Is your preference to be able to live without your masks and live as authentic, messy, lovable you?