Seeing through the social roles we play

We all take on differing roles according to which area of our lives is in question. For example, in the work place, we act and speak using language and mannerisms that are in line with our job and the position we hold in the organisational hierarchy; at home, we act and speak differently (e.g. our tone of voice changes) depending on if we’re in the role of parent or husband/wife/lover; in our social circles, we adopt yet another way of interacting with people, dependent on whether they are acquaintances or closer friends. Our apparent success in playing these various roles is measured according to socially constructed rules of good/appropriate conduct. However, whilst holding in mind the way we “should” act, we can also decide to play with those socially imposed expectations and make a conscious choice to act differently i.e. we can enjoy the power we have in any given moment to choose our attitude and actions. Naturally, playing doesn’t imply being dishonest or cunning; quite the opposite, in fact. Any play goes hand-in-hand with respect and love for others, careful not to hurt anybody’s feelings, although we might surprise them with what we say and do. Playing can release you from the shackles and weight of unwritten social rules and mind-made morality. It can be very empowering to intermittently step beyond life’s routines and invent a new you – even if you decide to play the new role just once, in one particular situation.

Excerpt from “She Who Is Unto Herself”

11 thoughts on “Seeing through the social roles we play

  1. I like your use of the word ‘play’ to describe how to change the roles. For me, it is another way of being authentic, of expressing ourselves authentically, which can be a shock or surprise to others who are accustomed to the more rigid rules. Yet I have found people generally respond more positively because deep down they recognize the authenticity. And if one plays and can’t do so without being dishonest or cunning, then one needs to look in the mirror and reflect on why this is so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, “authenticity” is a quality that I seek – both in myself and in others – and I truly cherish it whenever/wherever I find it 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your viewpoint. It’s much appreciated. Warmest greetings, Sam 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I too resonate to the power of trying on different roles and talk about it as The Lesson of Behave As If. It’s the 11th tool of my 14 tools for fostering flow. Here’s the essence, “11. Behave As If: There are two aspects to this one: If you gave yourself the same care and attention you give your friends and loved ones, what support would you give yourself right now? And what would you dare to do if you believed you couldn’t fail?”

    You can access the complete lesson and associated workbook for FREE on the offers page of my coaching website if you’re interested. Thank you for being a voice of empowerment in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Deborah, for your feedback and inputs – and very kind words. They are always extremely appreciated. When I studied with the Arcane School (Alice Bailey), we were encouraged to use the “As If” technique in the sense of acting as if we were our divine selves. I find this Arcane School teaching to be very much related to the tantric worldview, which emphasises that we are already enlightened beings (god/goddess); it’s just that our awareness of this fact (reality) is obscured by other facets of our human constitution. By acting as if we were divine beings, we can awaken/enhance our awareness of our more encompassing identity. Warmest greetings, Sam 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love that. I relate to it too. I didn’t realize through my 20’s and 30’s I was playing a role. Especially dating. I was pretending to be something and I was naive enough to think if I thought that was who I was then that was who I was.
    I’m not sure how much sense that makes but I have had s lot of fun playing with those roles in my 40’s. I came to the point were I realized that it doesn’t matter what someone thinks or doesn’t think about you and if you are able to realize that it can make “dating” so much fun.
    That probably doesn’t translate well but it’s something that opened a box of “to much fun” for me.
    You sound like you don’t have a problem stepping out of the social norm and I have enjoyed that also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment 🙂 I think stepping out of social norms is important for 2 reasons: firstly, for the sake of authenticity. I find it more and more difficult to interact with the “masks” people put on. It just seems like a waste of time and energy to interact with a mask. And secondly, as a form of self-empowerment. Social norms are fine as long as we choose “consciously” to interact with them. When we feel “obliged” to succumb to them, or don’t even realise that we’re doing what we’re doing because of them, then it can be a block to our personal and spiritual growth – from my viewpoint at least. Greetings, Sam 🙂

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