Note: the following post is entirely based on my own opinion. Thanks!
It's crystal clear that none of us are completely our true selves in front of each other and this isn't to say it's a good or bad thing. It's just the way it is and I think it's interesting the more I think about it, especially in the era of social media where we can easily project our aesthetic and what we want people to understand of us with a glance at our feed.
A lot of us have a public profile that we carefully curate, and a private profile (a finsta for example) to post whatever we want without the hassle of organising a look, portraying an image or pleasing an audience. This kind of public and private identity provides an easy understanding that helps distinguish between the two. When looking at public and private identity of the self (your character), the concept is almost similar.
Your public identity is what people perceive of you from the way you behave and respond/react to situations publicly. Your private identity is your "true self" that you're aware of. It is your morals, principles, the skeletons in your closet, your dreams, hopes and goals. It's not exactly something that can be seen straight away by someone else but it can be communicated if you're able to express it into your public identity. Our public and private identities can vary a lot or just slightly depending on the person in question. After all, we are all different!
I think those who have a consistent character through public and private tend to be grounded by their principles. When you have a strong sense of principle, you respect yourself enough, your beliefs, and take responsibility for your actions whether they're done in private or public. That's just my opinion though. What do you think? :)
shower you with all my intentions
It's easy to change the way you look and how you want to be perceived, but working on your private character is the real work. It's easy to gain a look, an aesthetic, to say a string of words to be perceived a certain way by people because this is the information collected to understand who you are. It is the only information collected until your private identity is communicated through. However, not everyone will get to know your private identity because maybe you're the type of person that does not let their guard down easy.
So if language can sway us and seeing isn't believing, how do we know if anything or anyone is being genuine? You can choose to worry about who's genuine and who isn't your whole life, or you can trust that with trial and error you will understand what genuineness means to you. These are the kind of people that will keep you grounded and inspire you to work on your goals, evaluate your morals and beliefs; reflect on your private identity.
who are you when nobody's watching? not even big brother.
Putting work into bettering your private identity means doing what's right for you and keeping yourself aligned with your goals, beliefs and morals. It pushes you to question your principles and check in on whether you're sticking to them when you're making a decision for yourself. With your private identity, you aren't doing anything for validation from the outside. There's no person to impress but yourself. It's simply for your own clarity and peace of mind. At least it should be.
My key takeaway from all this thinking about private and public self is that sometimes we tend to treat public behaviour like a strategy i.e. kissing ass, showing face, saying things we don't mean for the sake of not appearing like an outcast. It'd be nice if we're more honest with ourselves when the intention doesn't feel right. If you're working on breaking an unhealthy cycle for example, the real work begins on your character in private. Let's say you give great advice to your friends but you don't take your own advice? That's a sign.
Once you start working on bettering your private character, it will naturally reflect on the outside as well.
I just felt like jotting all this down and sharing this. I do not represent any professional/clinical views on healing or anything of the sort. :)
Take care! eliorkid♡