What someone may find, that’s if they were to take a step back and reflect on their life, is that they find it hard to express themselves. As a result of this, it is going to be normal for them to behave in ways that are not in alignment with their true essence.

In general, then, how they act around their friends, family and when they are at work, will have very little to do with who they are. How they behave will typically be a combination of what will please others and what they think will please others.

Connected

They may see that if they are in touch with themselves, it is usually because they are away from others. By being in their own company, they will be in tune with themselves and this will allow them to freely express who they are.

But, as soon as they are in the company of another, this connection could soon disappear. It could be as though someone or something else takes over, taking away their ability to be themselves.

A Miserable Existence

If they have been this way for as long as they can remember, they may believe that there is very little that they can do. Ergo, as frustrating as it will be and as helpless as they may feel, they will just have to tolerate what is going on.

Furthermore, due to the nature of what is going on, they might not have felt comfortable enough to tell anyone about it. They can then be a living example of “suffering in silence”.

Out of Sight

When they are around others, they could typically come across as happy and even easy-going. If so, they will hide the fact that beyond the mask that they present is someone who is anything but happy.

Keeping this act together is likely to take a lot out of them and, sooner or later, they might get to the point when they can no longer behave in the same way. The ideal, of course, will be for them to do something before they get to the point of no return.

Inner Conflict

So, one is going to have the need to be in tune with and to express their true self around others, but, for some reason, this isn’t taking place. What this is likely to illustrate is that this is what feels safe.

What is going on is then going to be causing them to suffer but part of them won’t want their life to change. At this stage, one could wonder how behaving in this way could feel safe, especially as it is not serving them.

A Strange Scenario

Ultimately, one is here to express who they are, not to play a role that will gain the approval of others. If one didn’t feel safe eating or drinking, their life would soon come to an end.

Yet, as expressing their true self is not an essential part of their ability to survive, being this way won’t kill them; what it will do, as they will be only too aware of, is take away their ability to live a fulfilling life. The big question is: why would they only feel safe when they are playing a role?

Going Deeper

Assuming that they have been this way for as long as they can remember, it could show that what took place during their years essentially conditioned them to believe that they had to hide themselves in order to survive. Perhaps this was a time when they were seen as an extension of their caregiver/s.

Consequently, it wouldn’t have typically mattered what their needs and feelings were, as they wouldn’t have been seen as a separate being. Thus, they had to do what their caregivers wanted and, if they didn’t, they may have been harmed and/or neglected.

The Priority

At this stage of their life, they needed their caregiver/s attention and acknowledgement, and these needs would have been far greater than their need to express themselves. Without these things, they would have suffered even more and potentially died.

Losing themselves to gain the attention and acknowledgement of their caregiver/s would have set them up to suffer and to play out the same scenario as an adult - due to this being associated as what is familiar and therefore safe to their ego-mind - but it kept them alive and didn’t completely deprive them of the emotional nourishment that they needed. They had two choices: either play a role and receive their parents “love” or to be themselves and to be treated like they didn’t exist and ignored.

A Brutal Time

If they were born in an interdependent state, they would have been able to leave their caregiver/s and go somewhere else. Yet, as they were totally dependent on them, they had to adapt to a dysfunctional environment.

Many, many years will have passed since this time in their life but a big part of them will still associate expressing themselves with being harmed and/or neglected. Putting on an act will stop them from being truly seen and yet, deep down, expressing themselves will be seen as something that will make them feel invisible and as though they don’t exist.

Awareness

If one can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Lastly, the need to be seen is why a child will often play up as this will be a way for them to receive attention. This can lead to the child getting into trouble and even being hit but this will be seen as being far better than the alternative - being ignored.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, inner child and inner awareness. With over two thousand, seven hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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