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The blending of the public and private self


There are things about ourselves we wouldn’t dream of letting some people know. There’s always that boundary – lover to partner, acquaintance to friend – that gets broken by revealing the more intimate details of our personality. We all have a public persona, seen in our dress sense, conversation style and social interest, but we all have skeletons in our closets too. How do these two parts to our being work, and how do we not go crazy when trying to balance our public and private selves?

Self awareness

We develop self-awareness from infancy, normally at 18 months. Self awareness is defined as knowing you have a singular identity and can act as an individual being. You aren’t your parents, family, friends or any other person you might become connected to. Self-awareness acts a defence mechanism, a way to protect your views, values and well-being. If people question or attack you, physically or verbally, self-awareness means you know you must defend yourself. Other factors, of course, decide whether you can. [31 ways to increase your self-worth]


Total honesty about yourself as a person isn’t always in your best interests, however the need for honesty might be required of you in a given situation, and this can conflict with how comfortable you are with your self-awareness and persona. [How self awareness can improve your relationships] For example, you may have views you know people would find offensive, but might rely on admitting to those views if it is deemed morally right, e.g. in a legal matter. Because of how complex it can be to navigate around so many individuals, we eventually learn how to be social but remain guarded about aspects of ourselves. As a result, what certain people see in public isn’t the same as what some people might see in private.

Person to person

Looking at yourself as an individual, you might realise you act differently around different sets of people. You’re more conservative to your parents, more responsible to your boss, and more spontaneous with your friends. It’s not necessarily a lie, but requires being selective. Think of your person as a pool of water – you let certain things float on the surface for some to see, then sink them with stones when others come around. The stones in this case is your conscience. You decide what kind of person you’re going to be in a given situation. You might be your freest self, or you might be your most self-aware. If you need some support in building your self worth and confidence visit Video Moods and be empowered by bite sized videos daily.

So where does this bring you? Who are you, and should you even think about it too much? Don’t feel like you’re in an identity crisis. Carefully blending your public and private selves is part of your evolved instinct to adapt in certain situations to survive.


This article was contributed by Pink Moods.