We are in a world full of pretenders and we are all just pretending! We put on a show of things, for the benefits of others, or for our own personal benefits. Chances are, you are one of the pretenders.
This pretentiousness starts from an early age from the moment we are children. It begins since childhood, in a world of make believe, when as a child we pretend to be superheroes, play with dolls and pretend to be mothers, play with toy swords and pretend to be pirates. As children, we learn to pretend and to feed the imagination. It’s innocent, is it not?
But when does it change? When does pretending become a mental survival mechanism? Pretending not to be hurt, when someone says something ugly? Pretending to be strong when your grandfather just passed away? Pretending to know more than you really do, on that job interview? Pretending to like something so as not to avoid hurting other’s feelings? Don’t you ever feel like such a sham or a fake?
I wish I could give up with that feeling of a pretender. I am trying and I am partly being able to.
I have witnessed so much pretending, that for a long time it was hard to distinguish between real and fake. I went straight from candidly believing that everybody who pretended to be my friend, was in fact my friend, to becoming overly cynical and questioning everyone’s motives. Such as: Why is she so nice to me? You can play endless mind games with yourself when you start questioning everyone’s motives and behaviours, when in all honesty, you should be questioning your own.
A hard fact of life is this- you have people who will want you to fail, and who will pretend to be happy for you. You will have people who will tell you that everything is normal, because they need it to be normal, or you just might leave them behind. There will always be pretenders.
Pretending gets normalized. We tend to hide behind fake social media accounts (I’ve been doing it too), because people are rude, cruel and because we feel embarrassment. Some don’t want their co-workers, their friends, even sometimes their own family members to know the private hell they are going through, all the while pretending that they’re perfectly okay!
I’ve seen mean people pretend to be nice, sweet people pretend to be hard, the scared pretend to be brave, and the evil ones pretend to be saints. You would be surprised at how many people will be relieved when you stop pretending. You will give courage to others, and you will no longer give people a reason to pretend around you.
It’s extremely liberating to tell people now that I struggled with my own insecurities, never feeling pretty enough, or good enough. That I was one of the best pretenders this world has ever seen. That I struggled to pay my bills when my ex boyfriend gambled away my money. That I struggled with thoughts of suicide. But I am still a work in progress and I presume we all are.