It is quite certain that you know people, even among your friends, who are always nice to people; always accommodating; always “being there” for others, with a listening ear, endless time, and much, much empathy.
It is quite certain that you nod with your head, Right, Sure, I know such people; even a good friend of mine is such a person; a wonderful guy, I might add!
He/she is so nice! So accommodating! Always agree to whatever I – or anybody else’s – suggest. So compromising. For example, whenever we plan to go see a movie together, he/she always agrees to whichever movie I suggest; he/she is always sssooo flexible…
A wonderful friend, tell yourself; a unique person. Who wouldn’t want to have such a friend?
But is he/she really such a good friend? Such a unique person?
Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, he/she is not the emphatic person who tried to impress you (and others) that he/she is? Who is not the “all loving” one who is willing to sacrifice for the good of others?
NO, you might say to yourself, this can’t be; he/she is indeed sssooo loving; sssooo caring; sssooo unselfish.
But is it truly so?
Could it be that such a person is actually egotistical, self-centred, even arrogant, thinking primarily about him or herself, pretending to be there for others so that everybody will love, appreciate and adore them?
Have you ever thought that such a person often walks around with a low self-esteem, which drives him/her to do whatever they can in order to receive constant love and assurances from others – you included?
Have you ever thought that they sit on a bottomless barrel of unfulfilled need to be loved, and loved, and loved?
It is for sure difficult to think that way. Such people are wise at manipulating all of us into thinking they are sssooo loving; sssooo caring for others; sssooo emphatic.
But the truth of the matter is, often they are not! This is only a mask!
A mask that they have been wearing for so long, that they themselves are no longer aware of the fact that the way they present themselves to others is not their true self. They themselves are totally unaware of who they actually are. They have become so detached from their “real self” that they don’t know better.
You may wander why they wear a mask. It might be due to their low self-esteem; their endless need to be loved; their upbringing; them being unappreciated at home – the reasons might be many. But now, what you see in front of you is phony person disguised as a loving, caring and all-giving one.
Should it bother you? Should it annoy you? No, as long as you know that the one standing in front of you is not authentic; not who he/she projects to the world.
Is there a lesson here for you? Maybe.
The first one is, don’t be surprised if one day, out of the blue, something will happen between the two of you, something which will leave you bewildered, confused. This might happen since under strenuous situations even masks fall off, revealing the person behind them.
For example, you might fall sick one day, and, to your surprise, they won’t neither call nor come visit you (claiming, later, when confronted, that they have been “too busy”). Or you may ask them a favour, something you have never asked them before, and they will come out with one and thousand excuses explaining why they can’t (which, reflecting back about what they have told you long ago about themselves you realize that have just lied to you, so simple is that!).
The second lesson for all of us to learn is: we need to take a closer look at ourselves: are we truly aware of who we are? Do we too wear masks, and if so, what are they? For what purpose do we wear them? And, most important of all, do they make us happy? Do they enable us to develop satisfying, healthy, long-term intimate relationships?