The ‘3 Face Theory’ comes from a Japanese proverb, which states that everyone has 3 faces—the first, we show to the world, the second is shown to family and friends, and the third face is the one that only we see and is the truest reflection of ourselves.
Sometimes, the third face remains hidden forever, whether it’s because of trust issues, self-consciousness, lack of real friends or supportive family etc. However, despite all of those worries being justified, no one should have to hide their true selves because of that one very familiar saying, “What will others say?”. But, of course, it isn’t always easy to break out of shells and step away from comfort zones, which is why here’s a little guide to help you put things into perspective.
Step 1: Understand that people will always have something negative to say.
Reality check: you cannot please everyone, no matter how hard you try. So, there’s no point in trying to do so in the first place because, honestly, if you revolve your life around people’s approval, even the slightest change in behaviour will break down any sort of self-esteem you may have. Believe me, I’ve tried my best to prove myself to people, to exceed their expectations of me, and contort myself into different personalities, perfectly tailored for people I come across. What did I get out of it? Hurt, losing any sense of direction I may have had, trust issues, and a whole lot of baggage that’s got me rolling my eyes all the time. In conclusion, take my word for it—people will always judge you, so there isn’t much left to lose if you try to embrace your real self. I understand, though, that it’s easier said than done.
Step 2: You can be one of a kind if you let yourself be who you are.
We all know that saying “everyone’s unique”, but are you really unique if your whole life is just fulfilling society’s expectations of who you should be? In that case, no. No, you’re not unique if that’s who you are—you’re just a puppet. So, in reality, only those who are truly themselves, who don’t give a crap about what others think of their beliefs, actions, thoughts, words, behaviours, are the unique ones because most of what they do comes from themselves, their own journeys—and that’s where the uniqueness comes from.
Step 3: If you want to do something, do it without thinking twice about what others will say.
Yes, this will be difficult but as long as what you’re doing doesn’t harm anyone, why not go for it? When it comes to taking steps or decisions that may evoke uproar or arguments from people, it’s best to not share them until they’ve been done. For instance, if you’re taking up a project, do it quietly and once it’s completed, you may share it with others and whatever they say won’t really make much of a difference.
Step 4: Keep a greater proportion of your life private.
This way, only those who really support you will know what you’re up to and those who don’t really matter won’t get the chance to comment unnecessarily, and as Dr Seuss once said, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
Step 5: Treat yourself to me-days and take the time to get to know yourself—your hobbies, dislikes, the kind of person you are and want to be.
This step’s a HUGE part of my keeping-myself-sane checklist! Not only does this give me a break from loads of socialising, but it also gives me the opportunity to get to understand myself better. It’s always easier to treat yourself like a stranger, a person you’d like to know better if you will because it allows you to refrain from applying the over-thinking and unrealistic expectations you normally would to yourself.
Step 6: Analyse the characteristics of people around you.
By doing so, you’ll understand what kind of behaviour attracts you and what you don’t necessarily like, and slowly apply it to yourself. It’s common to not know the effects your behaviour may have until you see someone else doing the same and understand what you think of it.
Step 7: Last but not least, FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT.
I was nowhere near as supportive of myself as I was two years ago but the only thing that mattered was that I wanted to reach that stage. Yes, it took a whole lot of faking it, rolling eyes, and half quitting to get to where I am today but it was 100% worth it.
All in all, you’ll get there, provided you put in the time and effort to do so. If you feel like you’re taking 2 steps forward and then 4 steps back, that’s okay. This can be a very steep hill for some and all that matters is that you don’t give up on yourself, especially when everyone else does. Prove them all wrong.