Who Are You – Really?
“Be that self which one truly is.”
There is a wonderful theory in sociology called Dramaturgy. Wikipedia says: “In dramaturgical sociology it is argued that human actions are dependent upon time, place, and audience”. Loosely translated; we are constantly performing, during every waking hour and we gauge our performance to suit the company we are keeping. The only time we remove our masks to reveal our authentic selves is when we are alone.
I studied dramaturgy in my social psychology course in university and I was both intrigued and outraged. Could this be true?
Years later I read a book by John Powell called Why am I Afraid to Tell you Who I am? The profound and revealing answer to this question was this: “I am afraid to tell you who I am because you might not like who I am and who I am is all I have.” Now I knew why dramaturgy had merit.
If I let you see me as I truly am, you will know that I’m not as poised as I would want you to think, nor as confident. You might think me goofy – ugh – that would be embarrassing. I can’t let you see who I am. Why not? Why can’t I? And who am I really, if I can only be her in the privacy of solitude?
One of my best friends can’t understand why I would want to blog. Why would you want to put yourself out there, she asks. She doesn’t get it. I get her though. Putting yourself out there is hard. The funny thing is, we may think we’re good actors on the stage of life, but we’re not. No matter how well we may feel we conceal ourselves, Who We Really Are shines through.
Do you think you are your authentic self with everyone you encounter or are you a different person when in the company of different people? Do you know who you are?
photo credit: Mark Sebastian