Person and Persona

By Jin-yeong Yi

Jin-yeong Yi - Filling-in illusion

[From my notebooks] 

It seems unlikely that others truly know you, especially if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t volunteer information about yourself readily. This is natural, because other people don’t know you as well as you know yourself. How could they? You’re likely the only one who knows all of your secrets, your likes, your dislikes, your desires, your fears, your weaknesses, your strengths, your hopes, your dreams.

Due to the many gaps in their knowledge of you, other people do not see you so much as they see an image of you that they’ve pieced together from fragments that they pick up from interactions with you, or from what they hear about you from other people. All too often, they also attempt to fill in the gaps with their own speculations, which are often not very well thought out.

This may be the main reason why disillusionment with a person (“He wasn’t the person I thought he was”) is possible. A positive image of a person can be instantly shattered by the surfacing of unfavorable facts hitherto unknown.

How many individuals can we claim to truly know? Could it be that we love and hate our images of people, rather than the people themselves?

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