How to Trade a Double Life for a Full One
Not everyone with a double life has a superhero or someone fascinating as an alter ego. Some people establish another life in the form of a new version of themselves. They develop two personas: a public one meant to socialize and be their ideal “self.” while the other is left hidden and is different to what they present in public or even to people they are closest with.
You might have heard the advice to “fake it ‘til you make it” as an approach to cope with different challenges. This is because it is normal and human to fake personality traits as a part of a learning process or to just get through things. Claiming you know something or you are someone you are not yet can help set your goal, but when does faking it become too much?
Faking a whole other personality to present the best, most ideal version of yourself — always happy, healthy, social, motivated, optimistic and in the best shape — to hide your negative sides means you are living a double life.
In public, you tend to overemphasize everything that is bright and positive about you to create a good reputation. While deep inside, you may be struggling and dealing with internal issues, habits, and conditions that you are ashamed of.
Most people living a double life feel afraid of being judged or worry that people might change the way they see and treat them. That is why they believe they need to keep another version of themselves that they see as a less attractive or acceptable secret from people. But doing it for a long time can be exhausting. It can confuse you about who you really are and who you want to become. It also doesn’t allow you to see who really cares for you both in your good and bad times. Here are some ways you can trade your double life into a full one.
Sometimes, double life doesn’t only include the secrets we keep from others, but also from ourselves. It stems from denying your feelings as well as your previous actions or current habits, and things that you think are not ideal or acceptable for people around you.
Denying your own emotions and needs can blur your idea of your own self. It can lead you to just sweep everything under the rug, and start a new life with a new personality that you believe is more acceptable. You cover up the negatives and your secrets with a facade of who you want to be. But this doesn’t actually solve anything. It just keeps everything bottled up inside you, festering and cultivating negativities.
Self-awareness is key to seeing yourself not as someone with multiple lives to live in other to keep the people you love or care about. But rather someone human with positive and negative sides, with brightness and darkness, with phases, moods and imperfections. You have to find your core, determine your priorities and put yourself first over people’s opinion of you.
This way you can better accept your own life and be able to live it. You will be able to appreciate the good while also addressing and resolving the bad sides. Processing negative emotions in the right way can help you breathe easier rather than just keeping it a secret. It is also important to address the difficult challenges and change the bad habits you have developed rather than hiding them using a different version of yourself.
There are different ways you can become more self-aware, including practicing meditation, keeping a journal, or just asking the people around you how they see you. If they seem to see you transparently including the good and the bad, then you are probably real around them. Otherwise, you might be living a double life. Moreover, you can take psychometric tests to get to know yourself better. But be careful in answering this with just a fake-good response to get the result you want.
Be honest to others and to your own self. Seeing yourself eye to eye and accepting that you have flaws and wrongdoing that need to be rectified can be difficult, but it is key to becoming the one true you.
Challenging the Secrets
It is definitely okay to keep secrets and have some parts of you kept private from the world. But it is another thing to deny them. Denying your emotions or the challenges you struggle with can only lead to making the burden feel heavier as you carry it alone.
Being honest with yourself that you made mistakes or are in need of help can help you find better ways to improve yourself. There are millions of people in the world, which is a clear sign that you are not meant to live and deal with negative things all on your own. It is more than okay to ask for help and face everything you deny head-on with assistance from family, friends and even experts you can count on.
One of the many things people deny is grief and pain. Often left bottled up inside, it sometimes pushes people to fake a smile just to avoid explaining why they are grieving. But grief and pain are meant to be processed. Share it with a friend, as the real ones will care about you and will be willing to listen and understand you better.
Conditions, like mental health issues or other habits, like substance abuse also often make people feel ashamed of themselves. People suffering from substance abuse disorder have tendencies of developing what is called a functional addiction, where they create a new life and show a different version of themselves to hide their addiction.
They actually need help in facing and addressing the challenges they encounter the most. But they resort to hiding it in order to cope, live and not lose the people they value most. Due to society’s stigma, people with these conditions are often misjudged and deprived of the care that they truly need.
If you or you know someone struggling with addiction or substance abuse, it is important to seek professional help through rehabilitation clinics and institutions. You can also search for specialized treatment for different conditions, like opiate detox treatment in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as other facilities across different cities.
Talking About It
Not everyone finds it easy to talk about the bad stuff — the problems, the grief, the internal issues and everything you might as well hide. But it is important to talk about life and discuss matters with someone to let it out of your system or find a perspective that can help you resolve challenges.
When you live a double life, find people you can trust, however, it is important to talk about your secrets. With this, you can better see how much it impacts you and the people around you. Talk to a family member, partner or friend you trust. Let the people know how you feel and what you need in order for them to care for you better and help you through what you are experiencing.
Choose to Live to the Fullest
As the cliche goes, you only live once, so it is best to be you, show your real self and find people who will accept and love you for who you are — no secrets. Though sometimes, secrets can be positive and healthy, keeping your problems from the world will only cause you to carry everything by yourself.
There are people who value you and are very much willing to help or even just listen. Know that you are deserving of love, care and ultimate wellness whatever it is that you have done in the past. Hence, there is no need for a double life. You only need one that can live honestly and to the fullest.