A reader asks which of my masks do I enjoy wearing the most:
I've been reading your blog since about 4 years now and it helped me to understand myself more. I'm now 17 years old and recently took a look at the different roles I've played so far. And I kinda figured out my favourite one.
When I identify someone as an Über-Empath, I get close to them to tell them my dirty little secret. Extra trust points for me. I'm a sociopath, you know. But don't tell anyone, because people are soooo prejudiced and it's so horrible to always hide. In Germany, the prejudice-card is like a royal flush in poker. You'll win everyone over. They always keep their mouths shut. Then I play the "good sociopath". Yes, I can read people, I can manipulate them, but I want to use that gift for good, make everyone feel better because I, the great hero can see what bothers them. But this darkness inside me is so damaging, c'mon pity me. I didn't choose this.
Oh, the tragic anti-hero. The good sociopath. It's so cute, how they believe in what they say. "No, you're not a monster, I know you. It's not your fault that your brain is wired different. Let me hug you, my brave little soldier."
Another role is the tortured artist. I'm so depressed, so damaged. Pity me. Love me. And I can do whatever I want, because "I didn't mean it, I'm mentally ill, I'm so sorry". Of course, this got me in a bit of trouble, cause tortured artists need therapy. One fucking therapist noticed my sociopathic side. But things are going well, I'll fuck up their diagnosis. Some signs of bipolar here, a little borderline there, with some other symptomes of this and that and they won't be able to puzzle anything together, but everything will suit my good old tortured artist. Messing with therapists is kinda funny.
As for other roles, I have a genius, sophisticated, well-mannered character and then well, my flexible one, always at the beginning, miss Charming.
Do you have any preferred roles? I'd love to see something like that on your blog. You may refer to me as Umbra.
I've gotten away from roles in the past year or two. I'm not playing roles because I'm not thinking of people's reactions or manipulating them or even really calculating outcomes or consequences to the things that I do and say. But I'm trying to think what my favorite ones were. I had a charming one for social occasions that was pretty good, but sometimes it took a life of its own and turned into what my friend called "the hulk", presumably because at a certain point it was as if I couldn't control it and everything seemed sort of outsized and bizarre to any onlookers. Once I tried "perfect couple" role. There was a guy that was just the right sort of American boy charm, just the perfect tall but not too much taller than I was, and with enough hair and face contrasts that we really complimented each other. More than that, I think we looked different enough that we didn't seem like we were narcissists dating another version of ourselves, like perfect romantic comedy opposites attract (but not too opposite, just charmingly different). I was surprised how much fun that one was to play. I like unassuming genius too, I probably play this one the most still, because whenever you're smart people sort of demand that you act unassuming about it (particularly if you're a woman and particularly if you're not an actual genius like a Marie Curie type but just a bumbling otherwise relatively normal looking and acting person). You know, although I don't try to consciously play roles anymore, it's interesting to see how much of each role still manifests itself in my behavior. I think that means that there's less made-up fiction in each of my roles than I would have thought at the time. More real me than I would have imagined at the time.