If one was to think about a time when they were able to be themselves, they could say that it was possible for them to express their true-self. Whereas as if they were to think about a time in their life when they were unable to be themselves, they could say that this was a time when their false-self appeared.
This would show that although one can be themselves, they can also be someone else. It could be said that the ideal would be for one to have more moments when they are themselves than moments when they are someone else.
Having said that, there could be people who will disagree with this, and this is because they could say that the ideal would be for one to always be themselves. As a result of this, one won't need to suffer by putting on an act.
Still, while this is going to be seen as the ideal scenario by some people, it doesn't mean that it would be the best way to experience life. What this comes down to is that there will be moments in life when it will be in one's best interests not to reveal what is taking place within them.
When this happens, it will allow one to take care of their own needs even though this might seem like a contradiction. For example, if one was to feel sad or down about something, they could come across people who are unable to empathize with what they are going through.
In this case, it will be better for one to cover up how they feel and by doing this; they won't be setting themselves up to experience unnecessary problems. Also, one could come into contact with someone who is aggressive and instead of speaking their truth, it could be better for them to walk away.
In these cases one will be putting on an act, but this will be an act that they have chosen as opposed to something that just happens. Through behaving in this way, it could be said that this shows that they value themselves.
If, on the other hand, this wasn't the case, it would be normal for one to express how they feel to the wrong people and this would open them up to being invalidated and even abused, and/or to speak their mind when it is not safe for them to do so. Still, this is going to be radically different to what happens when one always experiences life in this way.
It then won't matter who they are with, as they will always feel the need to put on an act, and this could be something that just happens. One is then going to feel as though their behaviour is out of their control and this is going to have a negative effect on their well-being.
However, this doesn't mean that one will always act in the same way, as it could all depend on the context. In one moment, one could act shy and as though they don't have much to say, and in the next moment, they could come across as they are there to entertain others, for instance.
Through being this way, it is going to be normal for them to overlook their own needs and feelings, amongst other things. They could be completely estranged from what is taking place within them, or they might be aware of these aspects from time to time.
When one is around others, they could be out of touch with how they feel, and then when they are in their own company, this could change. But even if one is aware of what is taking place within them when they are with others, it is not going to make much difference.
The people that they spend their time with could believe that their behaviour reflects their true nature. And while this could be because one generally behaves in the same way, it could come down to the fact that they are also playing a role.
As these people are out of touch with their true-self, it stops them from being able to realise that one is also out of touch with who they are. But regardless of whether the people they spend their time with are aware or not, it is naturally going to be a challenge for one to have fulfilling relationships.
This is something that is also likely to have a negative effect on one's career, and this could then mean that one is unable to follow their true path, or that they only get so far in the path they have chosen. If one was to come across people who are doing what they enjoy or who are making progress, they could end up feeling as though they are missing something.
One could believe that although other people have control over their life, this is not something that they have. They could also feel unlucky, or that other people are more fortunate than they are.
Point of Focus
If one was to reflect on what takes place when they are around others, they may find that part of them feels comfortable when they behave how other people want them to behave or how they think they want them to behave. The part of them that feels comfortable is then stronger than the part that doesn't feel comfortable.
So if they were to ignore this part of themselves, it is going to cause them to experience fear anxiety. This then causes them to focus on other people's needs and to neglect their own needs.
One way of looking at this would be to say that there is no reason for them to feel this way, as it is unlikely that anything bad is going to happen. Yet although it would be easy to come to this conclusion, it doesn't mean that their life was always this way.
During the beginning of their life, they may have been brought up in an environment where it wasn't safe for them to express themselves. If they did something that didn't please their caregivers, they could have been physically abused.
These experiences would then have set them up to disconnect from their true-self and to develop a self that would have allowed them to avoid being harmed. At this age, their primary concern would have been to survive, and this would have taken place by pleasing others.
It then won't matter that one is no longer a child, as the trauma they experienced during these years will have stayed within them. Once this has been dealt with, it should allow them to let go of the past and to feel safe enough to be themselves.
This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist.