Jonathan Puc


The art of not being yourself.

Ever caught yourself in those brief moments, noticing your personality now shined in a certain light, while earlier in the day or perhaps brief moments before, it was under a completely different light?

How the transition was in parallel with and began to change as the individuals and your environment changed?

No, not the kind of transition where individuals move from casual to formal talk in business contexts.

The kind where your persona just, changes.

The kind of thoughts you have are on a different frequency, your attitude changes.

I’ll provide an example.

I’d be a certain way through the most of the day, but as soon as I’d jumped onto my Playstation 4 and enter a chat group, people that I wouldn’t usually spend much time with, things begin to change inwards.

My choice of words are different, the worries I had before, no longer have the same priority. Sometimes my self-esteem changes which goes on to affect the tone of my voice.

Should people who have a tendency to do this be seen as fake or deceptive?

The alteration of the persona.

Is it the sign of an individual who isn’t confident in who they are?

Is it a sign of weakness, trying to fit in to a particular environment rather than owning it with their attributes and characteristics?

Or is it a skill?

Are you a human chameleon?

The ability to adapt to your surroundings should not be taken lightly.

The ability to conceal your natural self is used in professions that aren’t easy to master.

Salesmen talk and convince you into buying a product that they probably don’t even believe in.

Psychologists submerge any form of judgement and display a great sense of impartialness, any slip ups could result in a loss of trust from their patients or a session gone sour.

Entertainers spend hundreds of hours trying to perfect the identity of a character in order to entertain and please the audience.

Heath Ledger in what many believe to be his best performance, The Dark Knight.

A practical way to think about this is outfits that you wear according to different occasions and activities.

You wouldn’t wear a tank top and polyester shorts to a wedding, unless you were trying to get back at the groom because in a game of dodgeball at high school you took a bullet for him but the very next match he was nowhere to be seen when you needed him most (I really need to let that one go).

No, you’d most likely be wearing an outfit like that for the gym.

Comfortable, light and the ability to stretch and flex like your middle name is Elastigirl.

These guys clearly weren’t wearing the right gear for said activities, you know what happens next.

You put on the outfit that is most appropriate for the occasion, the getup that provides you with the best possible outcome according to the environment.

Back to my example about playing Playstation 4, my persona changes to one that is nonchalant because I’m seeking temporary escape through entertainment. What fun would a gaming session be if I had worries lingering? This nonchalant behaviour, albeit temporary and not what I’m accustomed to, allows me to maximise my enjoyment in a video game with others.

However, if you’re saying and feelings things feel contradictory and something just doesn’t feel right in your gut, you probably are just being fake, and to your own detriment.

Being able to conceal your natural self is an art.

Not being yourself on the other hand, is not.

Please, take a minute or two and try recall a time when you had an experience like this. Is this more of a conscious or subconscious thing that we do? Let me know what you think.

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