A user on Quora asked why people try to hide who they really are. The answer is very simple. Most of us have been conditioned to become parts of groups. As humans, this is our basic nature. We want to be affiliated by a group, we want to be seen as a part of a group and hence find meaning in our lives. How many loners do you really come across in life? Very few, I am sure. These people are shrouded in an air of mystery. We all have notions about them. Some are uncomfortable with them, some are scared of them. Some even have weird theories about them. This doesn’t affect the loner however.
But there are scores of people who are scared of these notions. They do not want to be seen as someone who is ‘different’. They don’t want to stay away from their ‘pack’. It is difficult not to be associated with anything. It is important for people, all of us, to identify with something. This is essential in framing our personalities. Why do people suggest that they are ‘straight’ or ‘LGBTQ’? Why is someone is a theist and someone else an atheist? It is because our want of association. We do not want to be left alone. We want to be a part of groups, associations and societies. Here was my answer.
Fear of rejection is behind most of these ‘hidings’. Imagine if everyone liked a certain celebrity/movie star or sportsperson and you didn’t, what will happen? You will either tell them that you don’t like him and be scorned, mocked, persuaded or argued with or you can just shut up and let things be. Who cares, right?
See one of the major problems of being human is our complexity and our need to be seen as a part of a group. When you try to show your true self, you may sometimes deviate from the norms of the group you are a part of. This may alienate you and everybody fears that. Imagine this- thousands of millions of people, living a life they never would have if only they spoke the truth and let the world see who they really were.
Nobody will get isolated then as we would eventually find people we vibe with and get along. The only fear here is that the people you have always been with will reject you, mock you or throw you away. That is quite a scary thing for a social animal- a human.
Some people will put up a false face, try to be like others. They are doing it for appreciation, for approval and validation. However, the basic of all these emotions is the fear of rejection, the fear of isolation. We all behave differently because of this fear of rejection. Some of us will try to find more validation by adhering to the norms of our social groups more strictly while some others will just remain in hiding.
They don’t want to create a mess but they don’t want rejection either. Some will rebel of course but the number is really small. A large number of people would prefer to be quiet about their true self and their real nature instead of speaking out. They worry who will say what, they worry about acceptance. Most importantly, they worry that they would ruin their seemingly perfect lives that till now have run smoothly, thanks to the adherence to the group’s norms.
We all are hiding something.
It genuinely takes a lot of courage to step away from the group. It could take forever for you and me to decide where we belong. And then it could take forever more to break old barriers to move ahead and be a part of the tribe that we like. The process is very difficult but it can never be impossible. We have all done it, right?
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