Of Masks and Friendship

Gathering the right people around you is not a  given quality that you are born with, and for many, it takes years to develop these important life skills.

No doubt, there were certain friends that you thought were right for you, but you ended up staying with for the wrong reasons, this consequently leading to many misunderstandings, frustration and eventually distancing yourself from them.

When meeting any new people, the number one easiest way to attract your type of people is to be yourself. Don’t be afraid that people won’t accept you for who you are, many won’t! But those are not the people you really need and it’s important for you to realise that.

With this technique you don’t even need to search, the right people will come to you and it might seem extremely cliché, however it works like magic!

If you’re sending mixed messages about your personality due to a certain mask you are wearing, then you won’t necessarily be attracting the people that would share your opinions, but rather those who would be attracted to that particular mask. The problem with that is not all masks match the character traits of the people wearing them.

Indeed, many would often have a tendency to wear a certain ‘socially accepted mask’ depending on the situation, which does resolve many problems such as social anxiety. Nevertheless, if worn a lot, this is the type of mask that is ultimately destructive for your inner well being, as pretending to be someone else can only lead to failure and more frustration. As said Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Being straight forward about who you are makes it simpler for people to empathise, and understand what you’re about.

Instead of the concept of the socially accepted mask, I’d like to think of masks as a way of portraying a certain aspect of your personality. We all have different interests, and sometimes the friend groups we have are based on different set of interests.

Therefore, it is clear that you will not act exactly the same way with the two groups. Nevertheless there is a distinct line between showing and acting upon parts of your own personality with people, and wearing a general socially acceptable mask.

You can’t be the same with everyone, but with everyone you can be yourself.


This article is contributed by Daniil Vakhrameev.

Daniil Vakhrameev is 19 years old, and a student of Sociology at Warwick University, UK. He is currently doing a one-month internship with SalamToday and SalamWeb where he will be sharing his unique takes on traveling, culture and life as a student abroad.