Keeping Up Appearances

“There’s a face that we wear in the cold light of day –
It’s society’s mask, it’s society’s way,
And the truth is that it’s all a façade!”

Wow – it’s been ages since I started a post with a song quote!  I used to do it all the time when I first started the blog.  Maybe I should get back into the habit?

For some reason, I’ve currently got this song going over and over in my head.  It’s taken from the musical “Jekyll and Hyde” and it’s all about how people hide their true selves and instead put on a front for the outside world.

Let’s be honest – it’s something we’re all guilty of.

Bloggers are famous for cherry picking parts of their life that are shareable, and keeping quiet about the parts that aren’t.  We edit our photos with a knowledge of what looks the best, choose our words carefully to have maximum impact.  We sift through our daily lives, mining the moments that are blog worthy and discarding the moments that aren’t.

But it’s not just bloggers or social media experts who filter what they show to the world.  Nearly everyone shows off the good and hides the bad.

Mums plaster photos of their precious offspring on Facebook, praising their school achievements or good behaviour.  They’re probably less likely to post about the time they got in trouble at school for hitting another child or drawing on school equipment (she says – from first hand experience!)

Couples share their blissfully happy holiday snaps and “date night” adventures, covering up any rows or tension that may be between them.

In response to “How are you?”, colleagues will answer “I’m fine” instead of divulging endless details of the problems or worries they have in their personal lives.

“There’s a face that we hide till the nighttime appears,
And what’s hiding inside, behind all of our fears,
Is our true self, locked inside the façade!”

I’ve learnt the hard way recently that you never really know what’s going on in someone’s head unless they open up and tell you about it.  It’s almost impossible to judge from the outside how somebody is truly feeling inside.

I think it’s really important in life to remember that people may be dealing with things that you just don’t understand.  So we should probably cut each other a bit of slack.

That colleague who was a bit sharp with you this morning might have had a sleepless night with a sick child.

The waitress who seemed sullen and moody may have just found out a loved one was seriously ill.

“That’s how our little –
Game is played,
Livin’ like a masquerade
Actin’ a bizarre charade “

In the past, I have been accused of being unfeeling because I choose not to broadcast my emotions.  I am a very private person (yes, I see the irony of saying that while writing a blog post for the whole world to see) and I tend to deal with my problems internally, in my own way. If I want to talk about a problem with friends then I will, but just because I don’t wear my feelings on post-it note of my forehead, doesn’t mean they’re not still there.  It doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten the pain or struggles I’ve been through.  It just means I’m working hard to not let them destroy me.

Huh – this post ended up being a lot more about me than I intended.  Happens like that sometimes.  I was going for a more general vibe.

Generally, I think we need to bear in mind that things are not always as they seem.  We shouldn’t jump to conclusions about a person based solely on social media updates or gossip.  Just because a person says “I’m fine”, doesn’t mean they’re not hurting inside.

And now, I shall hop off my soap box and go and play Sims.  Goodnight!

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