Show me the mask of a man and I will tell you who that man is

– based on 4 character stucture

There are so many roles for people to play. Abundant is the repertoire behind which we can hide. The audience is there as well. „Why do you play a role“ is the question for the actor, and „why do you buy tickets“ is the one for the audience.

Role: „Man“ Play: „Nobody, nobody like ME“

The role of a man is played by a sensitive person with a childish character. The smaller the child, the bigger the facade of a strong and invincible person. Understandably, the more sensitive a child is in a person, the greater the fear that the truth will not be seen. That is why the child can be hidden behind a man.However, if the show is not interrupted, this child will never be able to grow up, because there is no one to raise him. The role of a man takes a great amount of time. Therefore, where there is more, there is also less.

Role: „A very nice man“ Play: „Good to a fault“

A nice man who always smiles and is always pleasant, never gets mad. The screaming facade always hides its opposite. Failure can also be a role. Masochistic characters gladly play this role because this way they can hide their inner sense of superiority. A „wise“ decision, in this particular case. One looks at how to cope. If there is a fear that showing superiority could provoke anger and jealousy in others, hiding behind failure and tucking one’s superiority there seems like a good solution. Therefore, where there is more, there is also less.

Role: „Charming seductress“ Play: „Seduce not to be seduced…“

The main event of every gathering. A friendly, open person. You could say she is the one to let you easily in her life. Open to relationships, partnership and friendship. Tactics: „Seduce not to be seduced.“ Under the facade, there is a child, afraid of the pain of losing. The real function of seduction is not the seductionitself, but examining the environment for potential dangers. Sexual behavior is actually a defense against sexuality. Friendly behavior is a defense against sincere friendship. Against the idea that it would hurt incurably if it stopped. The character of openness as a defense against opening up. Another skillful tactic of the unconscious, to hide the essence in the most visible place, where no one will see it. The facade calls you, but as soon as you get close, it will run away. Therefore, where there is more, there is also less.

Role: „Stickler“ Play: „Order, work, discipline“

Restrained and cold. All polished and upright. Cold-blooded and suspicious. He plans and predicts everything in detail.Exhaustive and detailed. When he believes that he posseses sucha destructive energy, the one that can create chaos, he builds the strongest dams with minimal flexibility. God forbid to letsomething out. Dams must be strong enough to convey the way of thinking, behaving, and the physical attitude itself. Unconsciously, he has to make sure that there are no holes for all that energy to storm out. The chaos from underneath is a terrible threat, so the armor of order must stay strong. Therefore, where there is more, there is also less.

The expansion of repertoire:

Life is a stage. We are all role players. We have a number of roles ahead of us that we can accept. Social, psychological, biological… They are not necessarily bad. Just like everything in life. What makes a problem for us is sticking to one role and hiding behind it. If we are to exaggerate, that is.

Roles can also be a place for our creativity. A place that we can explore and get to know ourselves. We’re trying out. We becomeflexible. We are not some rigid character who only knows one way of reacting, because he is afraid of all the others.

Acting for the sake of authenticity

I have surprised myself when I was researching roles in my acting classes, now on the actual stage. I understood, or more precisely – I felt how much each role has to offer. I have realized that allowing ourselves to be all that and still know when, with whom and how much must be a life skill. And playing various roles, I have managed to expand my psychological repertoire.We can get so much closer to our authenticity, even build one, just by playing such a wide repertoire.

Thus, a man is a role player. Each of us carries a role repertoire that has been with him since childhood. The problem emerges when we are convinced that we have to stick to that one role, never leaving the stage. When we use roles solely to hide behind them.

In a way, I can say, by expanding the role repertoire, we do become more authentic. We do not stick to one role out of fear. Boldly enough, we explore the stage of life and all that we can be. After all, we do it just like the professional actors. We say that those who can play various roles are good. Seemingly paradoxical, but this way we consider them of better quality and more authentic.

The role and the person are not the same

The roles that we use to hide from the others over time also hide us from ourselves. It becomes the means of defense against being who we are and feeling what we feel. As we hide from ourselves, we become more distant and little by little, we get lost. With the loss of authenticity, the sense of being is lost too. Our own and others. That is why we should enjoy the vignettes of life. We don’t have to stick to one role. We should enjoy everything we could be. Allow yourself to go to the dressing room, take off your costume and makeup and enjoy what you see. Enjoy the off stage you. Allow yourself to share that intimate space with someone.

– Play with the stages, scripts and roles. Enjoy the vignettes of life and create them! –

Ivana Paunovic


Integrative psychodynamic psychological counselor,

psychotherapist and educator- OLI Center