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    "God has given you one face and you make yourselves another. You jig and amble, and you lisp, you nickname God's creatures and make your wantonness your ignorance." -- Hamlet, Act III, scene 1 As sentient beings we yearn to be loved unconditionally, and we were raised in a highly competitive society that taught us tools to gain love conditionally -- mostly through doing and accomplishing certain tasks, achieving certain goals, and/or appearing and speaking in particular ways. Ever since we were infants we received positive reinforcement -- smiles and "yes!'s" -- when we behaved or appeared in ways that pleased our caretakers, and we received negative reinforcement -- frowns and "no!'s" -- when we behaved or appeared in "uncivilized" ways that displeased our caretakers. Carl Jung spoke of the personas that we create in order to interact with others. More pejoratively, D.W. Winnicott theorized that we developed "false selves" in order to help survive our childhoods as we acclimated to the demands of our society. I think we can agree that we have facades that we use to interact with most people, and then we have our somewhat unglamorous and often unseemly real or authentic selves that we only show a few close friends and family members. But what if the tools we developed as children that are now part of our personas/facades don't actually help us get our emotional needs met? What if those tools actually inhibit authentic relationships, connections and interactions? Maybe we acquired tools such as fear, suspicion and doubt, which protected us in our youth but now cause us to hack into our lovers' email accounts to see if they are remaining faithful? Maybe we procured the tool of seduction and know how to attract people's attention and provide them with moments of titillation and glee, but remain unsure if they love us? Maybe we discovered the tool of playing the victim, of drawing people into our dramas and forcing them to take care of us? Maybe we cultivated the tool of providing material comforts for others but end up resenting them for being gold-diggers? Maybe we learned how to fill our lives up with busy-ness in order to seem important but are now perceived as frenetic, disorganized and distant by others? Maybe we were taught to smile and look happy on the outside even when we feel alienated, misunderstood and disconnected on the inside? Maybe we learned passive-aggressive language to avoid being vulnerable?
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