Hide and Seek

Sometimes we play hide and seek with the parts of ourselves and our lives. Or, maybe not “we.” Let’s just say I have a friend who gets into trouble with this from time to time. We’ll call her Amy.

Amy has some good qualities (I won’t say a lot — I’m trying to keep her honest), but often no one seems to notice these qualities about her. Oh sure, people think she’s alright, a hard worker, and always available, but not someone who comes to mind for any special activities or events.

So it came as a surprise to Amy when she realized recently she was hiding one of the very qualities for which she really wanted to be noticed. She’s spent so much of her life trying to play down this specific aspect of herself, hoping to avoid the ridicule she endured in her younger years. All the while her liability eventually became a potential asset, if she could just get people to notice it among the crowds of other talent. Imagine her surprise to discover that while subconsciously trying to standing out in a bad way she’d made it difficult for her to stand out, period.

But what’s a girl to do? I think stealth mode is almost instinctive for her at this point — hiding is a hard habit to break. And naturally there’s the fear that that special quality is not actually so special once people realize it’s there. Really, lots of people talk about the value of honest criticism, but who truly appreciates being informed that they in fact do not have the potential to achieve one of their dreams? I’m pretty sure Amy would not take that so well. But maybe she’s just weird like that.

What do you think? Can Amy break out of this cycle of hiding her best qualities in the hopes that someone will think they are worth the effort to seek them out? And is it worth the risk?

Have you (or a “friend”) ever been caught hiding a part of yourself that you want to be discovered, without even realizing you’d gone into “stealth mode?”

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