Characters and faces are two words we hear every day, we don’t think much of them. We will ascribe then to our daily actions, the words themselves hold a small amount of power with us.
But these words can be used by other means, specifically in regards to a person’s demeanour and how they perceive the world.
For you see we go through our daily lives not on one mental state, but in many. We move from one mental state or character to another, sometimes in a split-second. These states we build over a number of years, we create a persona or character to better deal with the situation.
These characters are then used to interact with a person or completing an action. Be it talking to a person over the phone even though they are crying, you will hold to a character. Which helps shield you from their worries, and won’t allow you to get to affected. It could also be during the commute to work, you throw on a character to better deal with your journey or the people around you.
Now characters are not bad in themselves, they can help protect us. Help us deal with everyday life, help us move onto the next event. Our mind is then free to do other things, like think about our next holiday, even though the person on the phone is crying about losing their job. They are not bad, but something else.
While stating the above, we need to recognise that we have characters and faces that we wear. These faces if left to themselves can warp us to become something that we are not, or leave us in a situation that we do not feel comfortable in. Be it in a job that you hate, or perhaps changing the morning commute so you don’t have to hear a random person complain on their phone every morning.
Being aware of it can provide us with more power in our daily lives, can help enrich us. Because we will know when we are switching into these characters and can react to it quicker. Because sometimes these characters we put on are not healthy, and can lead to destructive situations.
For myself, I know when I meet my family that I fall into the youngest son face. in my family I have always been an ‘idiot’, this is partly due to me not being very academic when I was younger but has persisted through my adult years. I don’t really push myself when I am with my family, I can help out in many ways but my character has clouded people’s views on me. One such situation is that I work with legal documents regularly when a situation arose where my mum wanted some help on some legal documents she totally ignored me when I offered to advise. That was me stepping outside my character, but was quickly pushed back by my mum who was so used to my character that she never looked past it.
I have now been trying to work and break some of my characters, ones that are not beneficial but keeping or modifying those that are. There is a balance that needs to be struck, one that I am learning about daily. It will be a long process, one that may not be fully accomplished in years and by then I my build up more characters.
But that is fine as long as I acknowledge this part of me, and work actively. I can continue forward in my life, knowing that I will not be keeping aspects of myself that I do not require.