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Reflections

The What, Why, and Wonder of Every Day Facades: Part 2

Hey there! Happy Wednesday! I’m so happy you’re here! Did you read Monday’s post about everyday facades? We talked about what some of those look like and how we might see through them. Feel free to click below if you need a refresher.

Thank you so much for coming back for Part 2. Today, I hope you’ll converse with me about why we use everyday facades. I think this is a critical part of understanding ourselves and others.

The what, why and Wonder of everyday facades: Part 2 – The Why

Everyday facades are not material. When I use this term, I am not referring to an actual mask or costume. These facades are false fronts which we use to create illusions about who we are.

Facade (noun)a way of behaving or appearing that gives other people a false idea of your true feelings or situation

merriam-webster.com

Why do we put up facades?

We all need companionship, connection, and love. We were made by our loving Creator by plan and with purpose. So why do we jeopardize it all with our facades? I can think of four quick reasons.

Fear of rejection

Fear of rejection is the reason for most of the facades we use. We are afraid that if others saw the real us, they’d be disinterested. We use facades to either attract their interest or provide a faux persona for them to reject. If they reject someone who is not the real us, it is easier to deflect the pain. But if we attract them to an alter ego, we live with the fear that eventually they will figure us out. Rejection seems inevitable.

“Having grown up so familiar with creating a pleasing facade, I now end up compelled to reveal things inside and say, ‘Okay, now you really see me. Do you still love me?’”

― Kathryn Harrison

Desire to be sensitive

This is a tricky one. Sometimes celebrating our blessings seems to be insensitive to others who have not received the same things. Pregnancy, promotions, happy marriages, etc. These things can cause us to put up a muted façade so as not to appear too celebratory in front of those who would like to have what we have. When we are not careful, we can come off as ungrateful or flippant, and that works against our desire to be sensitive.

Protection of privacy

To protect our privacy, or that of someone else, we resort to everyday facades. We use them to deflect attention and steer people away from the information we wish to hide. This goal can be a worthy one, but we need to proceed with caution. It is easy to cross a boundary into dishonesty.

Hesitancy to accept reality

Oh friend, sometimes our reality is just not what we wish it to be. When we are hesitant to accept the truth, our tendency might be to live as if things were different. There is a saying that advises to “fake it until you make it” but this is a dangerous way to live. If we are honest about what is, we are more likely to find a real path to improvement.

“I feel confidence in myself, but at the same time there’s these cracks in the façade and those little things underneath that are unstable.”

― Pete Wentz
Family wearing paper bag masks: the what, why and Wonder of everyday facades- part 2
Photo by Daisy Anderson

Can you think of more reasons why we might use facades instead of presenting our true selves? Do you think facades are effective around you? Do you tend to respond to people according to how they present themselves? Sometimes I think I do.

Even when I clearly see the façade, I might treat an acquaintance in accordance with it. I assume that I’m being respectful of their wishes. If they went to all the trouble to put up their façade, I don’t feel the need to call them out.

But as I get to know someone better, I don’t want to let them hide. I want to show them that I see them, and I appreciate them. I want them to feel confident that they are valuable just the way they are. I hope I am looking deeper than what they are presenting on the surface.

This is critical relationship stuff with which I’m wrestling in my own life. Is it relevant to you? Have you noticed facades in your circle of acquaintances and friends? If so, why do you think that is?


I sure hope you’ll return to the Back Porch on Friday to discuss one more facet of our everyday facades? What do you suppose could be the wonder revealed by them? Feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss the conversation. You are precious to me, dear friend.

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Reflections

The What, Why, and Wonder of Everyday Facades: Part 1

Hello everybody! It’s November 1, and this is one of my favorite days of the year. Today, in the USA, we turn our hearts toward gratitude. And, as if we need a place to begin, candy is 50-75% off in most stores. (Hey, if you like peppermint and happen to see bite-sized York Patties on sale, grab a bag in preparation for an upcoming story and recipe post!)

In yesterday’s How to Have a Healthy Hope and a Happy Heart article, I said Halloween costumes remind me that what we see is not always what we get when it comes to the people around us. It is easy to look through an obvious disguise and realize the person inside is vastly different from who or what they are pretending to be. But the facades we hide behind every day are more complicated.

The what, why and Wonder of everyday facades: Part 1 – The What

Facade (noun)a way of behaving or appearing that gives other people a false idea of your true feelings or situation

merriam-webster.com

Everyday facades are not material. I’m not referring to an actual mask or costume. These facades are false fronts which we use to create illusions about who we are. Here are some examples.

Masquerade masks: The What, Why, and Wonder of Every Day Facades: Post 1
Photo by hitesh choudhary

What are some everyday facades?

Fancy facade

Do you know someone who goes to incredible lengths to present perfection? Sometimes (of course, not always!) someone who is obsessed with fancy clothes, or degrees, or some other impressive thing, can be hiding feelings of inadequacy. These people get abundantly noticed for their efforts, which often drives their resolve to continue.

“It’s easy to get by on a facade of fancy style, but sooner or later, people are going to see through it. I’m trying to be as honest as possible.”

Jim Carroll

Happy façade

I present this façade every day. I am in the habit of answering the simple question, “How are you?” with the deceptive answer “Great! How are you?” And I usually get “Good, thanks!” in return. None of it is completely genuine. But it is easier to paste on a giant happy smile and quip cheerfully than to answer with thoughtful truth. Feigning happiness does not bring joy. In fact, it often does the exact opposite because we fail to connect with others in a meaningful way.

Grotesque façade

This one is near to my heart. There are precious people in my life who rely on grotesque façades to hide deep, painful wounds. They use shock and repulsion to keep our eyes diverted so we don’t see their actual pain. They expect we would cringe in disgust at their real plight, so they create a different reason for us to turn away. And when we do, they stay alone in their misery.

Plain façade

A plain façade is effective for anonymity. If someone can blend in, they can hide in plain sight. When they are disregarded, they stay away from scrutiny, and nobody sees what they perceive to be their gaping flaws. They often wish someone would care enough to notice them, but they simply are not willing or able to put themselves out there in a way which makes it easy for people to pay attention.


Friends, so often you and I hide our real selves. Do any of the everyday facades above hit close to home? What others can you think of?

I know for certain that the God who made us does not make mistakes. When we hide ourselves and try to put a different face forward, aren’t we cheating the world out of the contribution God intended us to make? If we spend our efforts maintaining our everyday facades, aren’t we robbing ourselves? The greatest joy comes from fulfilling the purpose for which we were created.

Will you join me on Wednesday and Friday this week to discuss this topic further? Let’s consider why we hide behind everyday facades. And what do you suppose could be the wonder revealed by them? Feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss the conversation. See you then – have a great week!

Categories
Reflections

This 1 vital something reminded me of my value and stopped my tailspin

My eyebrows threatened to send me into a tailspin a few minutes ago. I’m not kidding, I was on my way down. It doesn’t take much some days! But then I remembered something vital, which eased me back into sanity. And I wondered, “Am I the only person who sometimes forgets that vital something?” I thought I’d sit and write about it, just in case anyone else is in a tailspin and needs to be reminded of their value.

So here’s what happened. I had just gotten back from a quick lunch date with my husband; nothing fancy, just a quick burrito at the place around the corner. I glanced into the mirror and noticed that my eyebrows really need reshaping.

Suddenly, I heard the voice of one of my friends echo in my head about how vitally important it is for a wife to look ‘put together’ for her husband. I saw her beautifully kempt face in my mind’s eye, and I felt so inferior. “My poor husband must not feel as honored by me as my friend’s husband does by her.”

Old and dirty airplane: This 1 vital something reminded me of my value and stopped my tailspin
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

Also in the mirror, I could see the shower door. It had water spots on it. The voice of another friend quipped up about how vital, and easy, it is to keep a clean house.

I stepped back and really gazed into the mirror at myself and the room I was in. I would need to spend hours to get us (me and the bathroom) up to the standards of those two friends. But when?

I could feel the tailspin starting to swirl… But I wasn’t going to fall for it. “Oh nah-uh! Sorry, Satan, not today, not over this. I’m not going to listen to you, even if you’re using the voices of some of my most precious friends.”

You see, when I think of the gals who make up my best friends, I see skills! I see beauty, cleanliness, talent, hours of volunteer service -, I see so much that is worthy of praise! But this is the 1 vital something:

I do not see it all in the same woman.

We each have our strengths. We each have our weaknesses. We each have our own people with whom we live and serve. We should never try to be each other and never-ever should one of us try to be all of us!

This is where the tools I’ve previously shared in the post entitled How to Distinguish Between Urgent and Important come in really handy!

Neither God, nor my husband is disappointed in me today because my eyebrows need attention. Neither of them has the shower doors at the top of their priority lists. I am spending my day serving them both as best I can, in the ways they’ve let me know are important to them.

I was thinking about this and wondering if my voice enters the heads of my girlfriends when they are lacking in an area where I am strong. Their verbal encouragement to me was turned around by the enemy and used against me. Do my words get used against them? I would never want that!

Maybe instead of words, we should use our actions. What if my beauty guru friend came over and whipped my eyebrows into quick submission in exchange for some homemade cookies for her family? What if we each used our strengths to make all our households more well-rounded?

Several planes in formation: This 1 vital something reminded me of my value and stopped my tailspin
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I realize that this WordPress community is scattered all around the world, but what could you organize for your local group of friends? Could you tutor your friend’s child while she helps clean your kitchen? What can you offer and what do you need?

For any Back Porch guys who are still reading, thank you for sticking with me on this one. I’m not sure if this same dynamic plays out in bro friendships. Maybe you can let me know. But if you’re in a relationship with any girl, I have a vital something for you too.

Does your wife, significant other, daughter, or favorite girl know what you value in her list of priorities? If she doesn’t have the time in her day to study, cook and clean, earn a paycheck, make herself stunning, volunteer in the community, care for the kids, practice an instrument, feed the animals and whatever else she is trying to do, does she know which things she can stop without letting you down?

If you’ve never explicitly told her, I encourage you to do so. It might help her to let herself off the hook when something small is about to send her into a tailspin.

Two planes in the sunset: Several planes in formation: This 1 vital something reminded me of my value and stopped my tailspin
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Nobody can do it all well, but we can all do some things well. You – yes, you – my precious Back Porch friend, have amazing strengths. Don’t let the enemy send you into a tailspin over something as silly as your eyebrows, or their equivalent in the mirror into which you gaze.

God has made each of us on purpose and with a purpose. This 1 vital something reminded me of my value and stopped my tailspin. I don’t need to be who He made you to be, and you won’t be who He made me.

What are you good at? Where could you use some help? Do you have a group of friends with whom you can partner to remind each other of your value and stop your tailspins? I’d love to hear your thoughts!