We All Wear Masks

We All Wear Masks
  • According to Sociologist Erving Goffman, life consists of a series of acts, where we put on various masks, as we believe it is beneficial to hide parts of ourselves or to project a certain image.
  • Every social interaction that we participate in, we are trying to project a concrete, stable image of ourselves.
  • Ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato have observed that drama or comedy does not resemble reality as much as tragedy does.
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Communication

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  1. We don’t let others know how we do what we do. There is no rehearsal footage of us learning the skills that we show to others, and they only get to see the final result.
  2. We cultivate an ‘image’ by hiding the dirty work and projecting only the positive stuff.
  3. We don’t react to insults or show our negative side in public, preferring to deal with the problem behind the scenes.

In a theatrical play, if someone is not knowing how to act, and behaves in the same way on the stage and on the backstage, there is a good chance of that person being discarded from the play, as it can be a danger to the remaining cast.

Life in that sense becomes a stage where we skillfully apply makeup, the appropriate costume and right expressions (surprise, approval or disgust) that are required for social success.

There is a subconscious control going on almost all the time in our behaviour, on how others perceive us, something which is called social dramaturgy.

This behaviour would not be acceptable or palpable for others, if they didn’t participate in this in social environments, resulting in a set of protocols that is agreed upon by all.

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