So this week, this is something that has been on my mind for quite some time. Lately we all have had to wear masks to protect ourselves from getting the coronavirus, but these aren’t the only masks we’re wearing.
We all wear an emotional mask at some point in our lives. If your wearing an emotional mask right now, let me just say that your not the only one who is. The person sitting next to you might be wearing one. The individual who you see at the other end of the room could be wearing one. Your best friend you have known for a long time might have worn one at some point in their life and maybe still does. Even your parents wear them every now and then or even right now. We wear these masks because we don’t want the world and the people in our lives to see us for who we really are.
Emotional Masks are a Thing
These kind of masks are not visible like the face masks people are wearing these days. People wear these kind of masks to hide their real emotions, intentions, secrets, morals, and values from the people around them even those close to them. Emotional masks are worn at school, work, when we’re with friends, church, at home, social events, and even when we are with our spouse, partner, boyfriend, and girlfriend.
Fatigue From Wearing Emotional Masks?
Yes, this can happen when you wear an emotional mask for an extended period of time. Your trying to hide your real emotions from others and these emotions can be heavy and strong. This would require you to use a lot of mental energy to keep them at bay. The longer the time period, the more energy you use.
For me, I felt tired not long after I got off of work and didn’t have much energy to do anything. When I took my mask off it felt relieving, but I ended up falling asleep and taking long naps. If you ever wondered why you were feeling tired or exhausted lately, it could be because your mask is still on or your leaving it on for too long.
What Wearing an Emotional Mask Can do to You
You may feel like your about to fall apart trying to get school work in order or crack under the pressure you have been under from work, so you wear an emotional mask to make it seem like you are doing wonderful and have everything under control. Your afraid people will look down on you, you may feel ashamed or guilty about something; overall you don’t want people to see you in a position where you don’t have things figured out or your life together.
For example, you may be getting ready to go to college and your scared. Yet, to your parents, family members, and friends you are excited and ready to begin a new chapter in your life. You don’t want them to know that you’re afraid, so you put on a fake smile and say things like ‘I’ll be all right’ or ‘I know what I’m going to major in college’.
Also by wearing an emotional mask you may end up putting up a wall which can keep people out from getting close to you. What I mean is if someone comes along and is struggling with things in their life, they may feel intimidated by someone who appears to have everything together where in reality they don’t; they’re in the same position as the other person. You could say why wouldn’t the struggling person go to the person who is doing all right and ask for advice to better their life? In some cases they do, but sometimes they don’t. The struggling person can get an idea in their mind that this person who is doing all right doesn’t want to be bothered by them. The negative thinking can make them think that they’ll bring this other person down and cause them problems.
Sometimes putting on an emotional mask to cover your struggles can cause people to not open up to you and be vulnerable. It could also make you not approachable. This doesn’t always happen, but it does. The way people are dealing with their struggles is linked to their self-worth and self-esteem which I have talked about in terms of what could happen if they are both low.
Here are some ways you can take off the emotional mask if your afraid too and how that can be relieving:
- Prepare and be courageous
- Be patient with yourself
- Know who you are and accept yourself
- Be aware of the process
- Love yourself
- Breathe a sigh of relief
- Forgive yourself
- Build new and closer connections with people
- See things in a new perspective
If you want to take off your mask, you first have to want to take it off. You have internal conflicts going on and heavy emotions present. If you have been wearing an emotional mask for an extended period of time, it can take longer to remove it. Gather your courage and remind yourself how much better you will feel by not wearing a mask all the time. Accepting who you are and your flaws can make things easier because you don’t feel the need to hide from people. This can help you love yourself and see your uniqueness in the world.
Forgive yourself of any mistakes you have made. You won’t feel ashamed and/or guilty and the need to hide behind a mask will disappear. Taking off that emotional mask can lower and eliminate that wall you put up. You begin to let people in and show your vulnerability which can lead others to do the same and they feel better about themselves. Be aware of the emotions that are present as you begin to remove your mask. If you take it off bit by bit, pay attention to yourself. Recognize how you feel when you aren’t wearing a mask. It should feel relieving. If it isn’t, you may be rushing things. Be patient with yourself and don’t rush the process. Also don’t forget to breathe a sigh of relief and savior the moments as you begin to remove your mask.
Removing an emotional mask can help you see the world in a new perspective. You can start seeing people for who they really and look at things differently than you did before. You can see things and people more clearly. Use positive affirmations to help motivate you and keep the voices of anxiety and negative toxic thoughts out of your head. The overall moral is that removing an emotional mask is one of the toughest things a person can do in their life. So hang in there and don’t give up or doubt yourself; you can do it. I learned recently that vulnerability leads to intimacy. By removing your emotional mask and becoming vulnerable, you may inspire those around you to do the same. That can help them open up about their repressed emotions and you may find out that they’re dealing with the same problems and struggles you are. Take care and remember you’re not alone and you have worth in this world.