Tearing Down the Walls
Last week I wrote a post about folks who alter their appearance with excessive amounts of makeup or plastic surgery. Today I want to say a bit about another kind of cover up... the kind where people create bigger-than-life personas to hide the fact that inside is a kinder, gentler, more sensitive soul - and a more vulnerable one.
We've all known folks who are just over the top with behavior, who will say or do anything to draw get a laugh or draw attention to themselves, often in negative ways. They are usually loud, boastful, and sometimes downright obnoxious. A little bit of being around someone like this goes a long way; it rapidly becomes tiring. If you're subjected to it on a regular basis in the form of co-workers or friends-of-friends, as I have been from time to time in my life, you have my sympathies.
In a well-known poem called Desiderata, Max Ehrmann says to "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, for they are vexations to the spirit." Amen to that! The energy they emit is disruptive and can easily distract you from being the kind of person you'd like to be. Let's just say it doesn't bring out the best in bystanders!
What I've learned, is that these folks are often not nearly the pompous buttheads they appear to be. If you watch and listen carefully, and take time to get to know one a bit better, you just might discover that underneath that bold, egotistical exterior, lurks a gentle soul and a marshmallow heart... carefully concealed and protected by a wall of self-generated hype.
There is nothing wrong with being a little loud or a little crazy, or even with being an entertainer of the masses... there's just a time and place for it. Sometimes the people who behave like that forget to take the wall down now and then and just be themselves. Maybe they think it's too risky. What if folks didn't like them as much the way they really are? What if no one wanted to be their friend?
We are all vulnerable, and we all use different means to avoid getting hurt, but sometimes we do that to the extreme, and to our own detriment. The blog world is a place where I've seen some amazingly well constructed walls come tumbling down, first with a tiny peep hole in the bricks, then sharing enough of themselves to allow us to get a glimpse, and maybe finally tearing down that wall and replacing it with a doorway so we are free to exchange the true depth of our thoughts and feelings.
Blogging affords a small degree of anonymity, and a safety valve in that you don't have to see how the other person responds if you say something very personal and they think you're a complete idiot, or worse. We tentatively offer bits of ourselves, then maybe more, and at some point realize that there are folks who can relate and who yes, really like us just as we are... warts and all, maybe even clown suit and all!
If you're tired of putting on that show for the world everyday, give us a chance to know the real you, you just might be surprised at how positively folks respond.... and anyone who doesn't respond kindly to the "new you" probably wasn't a real friend to begin with, they were just riding on the coattails of the show.