Inspired by Books: Wearing Masks

January 27, 2015 Bookish chat 21

Inspired by books is my new feature where I take a quote from a book that made stop and think.  They are ideas that I’d like to explore further and I’d love to hear your thoughts on them too.

Bookish Chat


Today, the quote is from Vendetta by Catherine Doyle.  Which in case you haven’t heard about it before is a YA loosely based retelling of Romeo and Juliet and it’s fabalicious!  I can’t recommend this one highly enough to you and I think the fact that it inspired me to make a new feature on the blog speaks volumes for it.

‘Do you think you wear a mask?’

‘I’m wearing one right now.’ Valentino smiled softly. ‘We both are.’

‘It’s a sad thought.’

‘Yes,’ he said.  ‘But sometimes I wonder about the alternative.  Imagine if we had no secrets, no respite from the truth.  What if everything was laid bare the moment we introduced ourselves?’


There is just something about this quote that captured my imagination.  I totally agree that we all wear masks all the time.  And a lot of the time the mask is worn for a perfectly valid reason.   Such a putting on a happy face when going through personal issues; you don’t want to display a Debbie Downer face to everyone you meet.  And so you stick that mask on and just fake it till you make it.

Of course then there is the mask that people wear to hide their true colours.  Or ones that people stick on to hide their insecurities.  Or the ones people use to manipulate others.  Or the ones you wear to different parts of your life.  You get the idea.

And blogging is a huge area where we wear masks.  We only show people the part of our lives that we want others to see.   I find lately I’m wearing a mask less and less in blogging.  Which is a choice that works for me, I’m showing more and more of my life on here and that is something I’m happy about as it keeps the blog real to me.  I’m not saying it’s what everyone should do I’m just saying what fits for me.


© Steffen Foerster | Dreamstime Stock Photos


So today I’m going to let you in on two masks I commonly wear in real life and that I’m trying not to wear so much:

The People Pleaser Mask : This is a trait I really don’t like about myself.  I’m not as bad as I used to be but I find it hard to put myself first and often run rings about myself just to keep others happy.  I don’t want to be that person and it’s a mask I just want to pack high up in the closet and never use.  Not that I want to piss off everyone in my life, just that I need to learn to put myself first occasionally when something is important.

The Avoidance Mask: I can stick my head in the sand better than any ostrich!  It’s not even that I’m hiding my feelings from others, it’s that I pretend to myself they just don’t exist.  Unfortunately it only lasts for so long, I always have to face the truth headlong eventually.

I know that wearing masks can be necessary at times and maybe even healthy as it gives up time to sort things out in our own heads before we have to share with others.  And they make us less vulnerable which for me is the biggest risk in taking them off.  But mostly I just want to be me.  I don’t want to have to pretend to be anything I’m not and I find the older I get the easier this is.  I am what I am and you can take me or leave me!

Bookish Chat : Do you wear masks?  Does it bother you or does it make life easier for you?  What one do you wear most often?



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21 Responses to “Inspired by Books: Wearing Masks”

  1. Dee @ Dee's Reads

    I LOVE this post.
    The concept of masks is one that fascinates me. Like you mentioned, there are different layers and different masks we ALL wear. I love when books look into this, and though I haven’t read the book I love the quote you featured. When I think of masks pictured on books lol I always think of the series Masque of Red Death (which I so love) but I also think of the series by Fiona Paul, the first book is Venom, not sure what the series is called but the old cover had a mask. anyway random haha.
    I love this feature, and I love that you are showing more of your “true” self on the blog. I am doing the same, and it feels better and more…balanced. Plus, it’s more natural I think. After two years of blogging its like I need to share more, many followers have been w/me since the beginning (like you) and vice versa with me and your blog. So adding more is great because I (and many followers like me) are genuinely curious and care. xP
    Dee @ Dee’s Reads recently posted…Post-Birthday: Book/Gift Haul + mushy sentiment

    • trish

      I hadn’t thought about the fact that maybe it’s because I’m blogging nearly two years (just like you) that is making me feel confident enough to share more. It probably is that. Two years ago I felt nervous enough just hitting publish on a review let alone discuss something of a personal nature like my weight.
      Like you I’m fascinated by masks, the reasons we wear them are so interesting and I love that there is positive and negative reasons for them.

  2. anna (herding cats & burning soup)

    Hmmm yeah I can totally see this. Blogging-wise I don’t think I wear too much of a mask. I’m pretty open about sharing regular life with bloggish stuff. But I do wear the happy face mask more often than I’d like. Life can really beat you up but I try to be positive most of the time and not let too much of that slink into blog life or when I’m around people in real life and just let it out when I’m at home.

    Interesting post Trish. I’m liking the feature idea!
    anna (herding cats & burning soup) recently posted…In His Keeping (Slow Burn #2) by Maya Banks (@HarperCollins)

    • trish

      I don’t think wearing the happy face mask is a bad thing. I hate being around people who are negative and always moaning about something, it’s draining. I know I wear a happy mask a lot too as I always try and see the positive in something. Maybe not so much a mask as my life strategy!

    • trish

      I don’t think that is weird at all Cynthia. I know lots of people are more open on their blogs and a lot less unfiltered with their thoughts than they might be with people in their real lives.

  3. Belinda

    I like your new feature. I agree about masks. I definitely have several masks and agree that online seems to be a big place to find masks. I blog and post to my Instagram and I find both places most often are filled with masks. Because let’s face it we aren’t all happy, eating beautiful food etc. all the time. I have a blog for my craft business and this year I am really trying to blog regularly. I love reading so I have created a link directly there for readers who want to access book stuff quickly. I am still finding my voice for the blog. I have definitely lifted some of my masks and strive to remove more. I do know that I find it difficult right now to find more blogs with the variety in genres that I crave. So I feel like I do wear a little mask when visiting some blogs. I think it might be my age but blinking video clips in the middle of a review drives me crazy and I quickly back out. Sorry if I offend anyone (see, I took off a mask). Sometimes the mask spares others feelings so best left in place!! I like your quote and your feature and I will be back to read more. Have a blessed day! Come check out my blog if you have some free time:
    Belinda recently posted…From the Cafe…A storm is brewing

    • trish

      Social Media is definitely full of people wearing masks and creating illusions of living perfect lives, in perfect homes surrounded by shiny happy people all the time! It can make you feel your life is lacking until you wise up that it is a mask and that people only show you the picture perfect moments and they never tell the full story.
      LOL I hear you on the moving gifs, I’m not a huge fan either. Mostly because they slow down my computer!
      Thanks for visiting and for removing a mask while here 🙂

  4. Charleen

    I feel like I’m way more myself online than I can ever be in real life. There might be things I don’t mention on the blog just because it doesn’t seem relevant, but I’m not intentionally hiding (and pretty much anything is fair game on Twitter).

    In person, though, I’m constantly dealing with social anxiety. I could count on one hand the people who I can be 100% myself around without putting on any kind of mask. Whereas online, that level of disassociation (you know, the one that trolls thrive on) makes it a lot easier to just let go of my inhibitions and insecurities and just be.
    Charleen recently posted…Am I Still a Blogger?

    • trish

      Yes I do think that level of disassociation and also the anonymity can just free you up to be you. In the early days, no one in my real life knew I blogged and it was the first time I really revealed just how much I read and how much I obsess over books and characters. And once I saw that so many others read the same amount and do the same crazy things, it gave me more confidence to carry this over in to my real life. So I’ve found that blogging just helped me be more real.
      Dealing with social anxiety is a different issue though and I can understand how wearing a mask can help in just getting though difficult situations. And it must be nice then to have blogging as a place where you can relax and let your personality shine.

    • trish

      LOL that you are nicer on line! I’m not good with confrontation so I can tend to be meek in real life and then go home and rant like a crazy person! I’m SLOWLY getting better at showing what I really feel though and its pretty freeing!

    • trish

      I don’t think people pleasing is always a bad thing, I like people to be happy and I don’t mind working hard to make them happy. But when it means that you then never put yourself first, that’s not good and that’s what I’m working on.

  5. Michelle @ In Libris Veritas

    I wear masks all the time. In blogging I find that I am more myself than I use to be, though I definitely don’t share everything.

    I deal with depression and anxiety so I wear masks in real life too. It’s sort of upsetting that we feel that we have to present ourselves as something other than we are, but it’s also hard not to do that without thinking.
    Michelle @ In Libris Veritas recently posted…Review: The Mystic Wolves by Belinda Boring

    • trish

      Sometimes we just have to wear a mask to get through difficult situations and I don’t think it’s something you should be upset about. It is what it is and we can always learn to depend on the masks less and less.

  6. Ana @ Read Me Away

    I think I do tend to wear masks, both in blogging and offline. I have my guard up when it comes to sharing personal information or photos on my blog, for example. I mean, I have my Anavatar as my mask, even though she looks nothing like me. 😛

    As for offline, I do tend to wear a mask of being confident. I mean, there are just situations where I feel so nervous and scared but I HAVE to be confident. I have to encourage people that can we can do this, whether it’s a project or a big exam, and I end up convincing myself that I can do it to. It’s one of those “fake it ’till you make it” kind of situations. 😛
    Ana @ Read Me Away recently posted…Review 140: Endsinger (Jay Kristoff)

    • trish

      I find the fake it till I make masks are actually positive masks for me. Right now I’m tacking my weight and I’m talking myself up a storm (in my own head). And it works so I’m fine with that! I do the same for exams, it just helps and I love that you encourage others around you too.

      I know lots of people make the decision to stay anonymous in blogging and I think it’s a personal decision that everyone should think long and hard about before they start. I didn’t! But looking back I’m ok with the direction I took anyway.

  7. Wattle

    What an interesting topic! I keep a fair bit of personal information to myself online for various reasons, but I find I’m more myself in my blogging voice, if that makes sense? I get to talk about things I like!

    At work I sort of have a work persona. I don’t like my colleagues getting too close, and none of them really know me (which is fine, since…this will sound terrible…I don’t particularly *like* any of them. I mean, they’re fine, but we’re not friends). They probably think I’m a bit weird and aloof, but I really don’t care. People occasionally comment on how quiet I am though, but I’m at work to work. That’s it. Inane conversation bores me so I don’t partake in it.

    I should probably try a bit harder, to be friendly and engage with people. But I have a hard time trusting people outside my small circle IRL.

    But when I do connect with people I like and am comfortable with, I’m just myself!
    Wattle recently posted…Book Review: Light of Lorelei by Jen Minkman

    • trish

      Your work persona sounds uncomfortable but I get it, if your colleagues aren’t really the type of people you choose to let in to your life, then why should you. But I think keeping that barrier up sounds like hard work, still it sounds like it works for you and that’s all that matters.
      I’m very reserved in real life and like you find it hard to trust people. I can chit chat away but only really have deep conversations with people that I know, respect and care about.

  8. Shaina

    Um, can I just say that we have identical masks? These are both things that I do, though I’ve begun tugging the avoidant one off more often, especially regarding my finances and other things that cause me anxiety. It’s so important to be able to acknowledge the things we aren’t upfront about, because that’s the first step to changing them! Not that we don’t sometimes want/need the masks, but I want to continue learning not to wear them more often than I have to. Excellent, honest post! 🙂
    Shaina recently posted…Growin’ Up White, by Dwight Ritter

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