2) Masks You Will Need
2A) Social Representative Mask
2B) Intimidator Mask
3) Make Masks Close To Your Real Self
4) Emotions Break Down Masks
5) Time Takes Masks Off
6) Fakeability of Traits
7) Further Reflections
7A) Illimitable Man’s Reflections
“We live in a time where the average man and woman will greet you with an inauthentic version of themselves, their fabled social representative.” -Illimitable Man
Few people show you their real self; most have a social representative mask that they wear whenever they are not alone.
2) Masks You Will Need:
“Just Be Yourself” is terrible advice. Far better advice is this; wear the mask that the day and the moment require.
You don’t need 100 different masks. Most likely you will only need 2: your ‘Real Self’ and your ‘Social Representative’.
The Social Representative Mask you manufacture must be one that most people will find charming.
Showing your ‘Real Self’ for the sake of charming people is foolish because odds are your actual personality is not particularly likeable (if it is you are an outlier; count yourself lucky).
With most people most of the time charm is the tool you should be using. As such most of the time your ‘Social Representative’ Mask is the mask you should be wearing.
There will be rare occasions when intimidation is the appropriate tool. As such, you must also craft an ‘Intimidator’ Mask; one that most people will find intimidating.
As a worst case scenario, you will need 3 masks; your ‘Real Self’, your ‘Social Representative’ and your ‘Intimidator’ masks.
Many narcissistic men, psychopathic men, and neurotypical men with high testosterone levels (who consequently rank low on agreeableness and neuroticism) can simply reveal their real self for purposes of intimidation; they don’t need to manufacture an ‘Intimidator’ mask. If you are cynical enough to have taken the time to read a piece like this, it’s very likely you are a man who falls into one of these categories.
If your real self is a personality most people will find charming, you don’t need to manufacture a ‘Social Representative’ mask; simply be yourself for the sake of charming people, and manufacture an ‘Intimidator’ mask for the sake of those rare occasions when intimidation is the appropriate tool.
If your real self is a personality most people will find intimidating, you don’t need to manufacture an ‘Intimidator’ mask; simply be yourself on those rare occasions when intimidation is the appropriate tool. You will however need to manufacture a ‘Social Representative’ mask for the sake of charming people.
If your real self is a personality that most people will not find charming, and also one that most people will not find intimidating, you will need to craft a ‘Social Representative’ mask and an ‘Intimidator’ mask. Odds are you fall into this category.
2A) Social Representative Mask:
What should a ‘Social Representative’ mask look like?
High enthusiasm (extroversion), and high agreeableness (particularly the sub-trait ‘politeness’) are valuable.
Note that for most people faking high politeness is easy, while faking high enthusiasm is difficult (it takes quite a bit of energy).
As such, the social representative mask you craft for yourself should emphasize politeness rather than enthusiasm. If you are an unusually extroverted person and high enthusiasm comes naturally to you, then feel free to craft a social representative mask that emphasizes enthusiasm instead of politeness.
2B) Intimidator Mask:
An ‘Intimidator’ mask should be low on agreeableness and low on neuroticism.
The ‘neuroticism’ aspect is critical. If people perceive you are low on agreeableness and high on neuroticism, you don’t inspire fear; you inspire laughter.
A man who is low on agreeableness and high on neuroticism is reminiscent of an immature teenager or a whiney child. A man who is low on agreeableness and low on neuroticism is reminiscent of a cold blooded killer. The difference is subtle, but critical. You must appear to be cold and ruthless, not angry and out of control.
The specifics of the ‘Social Representative’ and ‘Intimidator’ masks you craft for yourself are up to you; I have simply provided general guidelines.
3) Make Masks Close To Your Real Self:
The masks you wear should be as close to your real self as possible.
The closer a mask is to your real self, the easier it will be for you to wear it convincingly and the less likely you are to inadvertently allow it to slip off.
4) Emotions Break Down Masks:
The more emotional a person is, the more likely it is that they will inadvertently allow the mask they are wearing to slip off and thereby reveal their real self.
Offensively, by making other people more emotional you can get them to reveal their real selves; their real thoughts, feelings, and motivations.
Anger in particular is an emotion most people find difficult to control. By provoking someone to anger, you can get them to reveal their real self.
Alcohol often causes people’s masks to slip off. As Alcaeus said, “In vino veritas”.
Exhaustion makes it more difficult for a person to wear a mask effectively; if you want to make someone’s mask slip off, work them to the point of collapse. This is tactically easier to implement with subordinates than superiors; generally speaking you cannot increase the workload of your superiors with impunity.
Defensively, you must be as emotionally detached as possible so that you do not inadvertently allow your own mask to slip off.
5) Time Takes Masks Off:
The longer you know someone for the harder it will be for them to hide their real self behind a mask.
If you know someone for 10 minutes, the probability you’ll get a glimpse of their real self is practically zero. If you know someone for 10 years, the probability you will see their real self (or at least get brief glimpses of it) is almost 100%.
In the same way, the longer someone knows you the harder it will be for you to conceal your real self behind a mask.
Beware of those who want to rush things; they are most likely hiding something significant and want the deal to be closed before you have time to discover it.
The faster things move, the easier it is to deceive others and the harder it is to avoid being deceived yourself.
In this sense, speed makes offense easier and defense harder, while slowness makes offense harder and defense easier. The faster things move, the easier it is to deceive others, but at the same time the more likely it is you will end up being deceived yourself.
6) Fakeability of Traits:
Some traits are easy to fake, others are difficult or impossible to fake.
Kindness (high agreeableness) is easy to fake; anyone with the heart of a serpent can pose as having a heart of gold with a few well placed acts of virtue and generosity. Virtue Signaling was invented for this very purpose.
Intelligence is something that is impossible to fake, but dumbness is something that is easy to fake. Smart people can play dumb, but dumb people cannot play smart.
High stress tolerance (low neuroticism, calmness) is something that is impossible to fake.
You learn a lot about a person by how they handle a crisis or an unexpected problem. Do they remain calm and handle the situation as best they can, or do they panic either by becoming overwhelmed with fear or exploding in anger?
Panic and anger can be faked, but calmness cannot.
7) Further Reflections:
“Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.” -Machiavelli
“Society is a masked ball where everyone hides his real character…-Ralph Waldo Emerson
“When you meet someone for the first time, you’re not meeting them; you’re meeting their representative.” -Chris Rock
“After all, we are nothing more or less than what we choose to reveal. What I am to Claire is not what I am to Zoey, just as Zoey is not to me what she is to her father.” -Frank Underwood
“Many men seem great, until you get to know them personally.” –Baltasar Gracian
For most people the social representative mask they present to the world is far superior to who they actually are.
It is far easier to seem great than to be great.
Being a God is impossible.
Making people perceive you have godlike power is surprisingly easy.
If you know a person who is well liked by the general public, but despised by their own family, don’t trust them.
The public see’s their mask and likes it, their family see’s their real self and despises them.
The correlation between a person’s reputation and who they actually are is close to zero.
Reputation is determined by the mask a person wears in public, and their actions that are visible to the public.
Who they actually are and what they have actually done often has little connection to this.
If a person seems to change a lot in a short period of time, chances are who they actually are hasn’t changed at all; they’ve simply had their mask slip off.
Changes to a person’s psychology can take years, even decades. Changes to one’s mask can happen within seconds.
7A) Illimitable Man’s Reflections:
“Fakery lies in the tactical micro, not the strategic whole. You are still what you are, but you are trying to appear as if you are something else. This is called wearing a mask. You can fake specific actions, opinions etc – but this comes at great personal cost to you.
That personal cost is the suppression of your true nature. This is draining & unenjoyable for you. You’re not in touch with your gifts, because everything must be planned, considered, restrained – you have no freedom “to be”. This is the cost of trying to get what you don’t deserve.
This is why cons of all kinds (be they online hustlers, or degenerate thots posing as good women) like to operate on quick time scales. Because the ruse cannot be kept up forever. Cracks will appear in the mask, as the vigilance needed to maintain it wears them down over time.
So, you quite literally cannot fake your character. You can fake your actions, you can be misleading, you can say things you don’t believe. But a discerning person will test you, and unless you absolutely betray yourself to the core of your identity repeatedly, you will fail.
A person, no matter how bad they are, no matter how much they wish to trick you into getting something they do not deserve from you, cannot sell their soul over and over again. This is simply too taxing to their true nature and identity. They will break, and manifest themselves.
This is why if you take things slowly and test repeatedly, you need not fear anything. The true self has a way of asserting itself. They will at one point or another do or not do something which is not congruent with what they wish to portray. That’s your gotcha moment.
This is also why you should be inherently suspicious of anybody who tries to rush you into anything. Why the hurry? Honest people will take the time to build a meaningful relationship. There is no rush. You have a lifetime to cultivate something quite wonderful.
When you’re on borrowed time, when you need that deal signed, when the clock is ticking, when you don’t know how long you can keep up the sham for – that’s when you want to hurry. Hurrying is never a good thing. If you hurry art, you get ugliness. Our personalities are art too.
And so your character is built over a lifetime of collective experiences, of a morality developed on your philosophical and theological research, but too based on your life’s experiences, both with suffering and your inner evil. Your spirit is always there, growing, unwavering.
It is your hubris to think because you adorn a mask, people cannot see who you are. Like a baby that believes because it cannot see you, you cannot see it. On the contrary, you can never mask your character, only your actions and your views. And the house of cards is fragile.”