Few people are comfortable with society being just a big masquerade ball where everyone conceals their identities… and their intentions.
This story of a baseball player going incognito at a hotel, sums it up pretty well:
Ted Williams was an American outfielder with a temper. He wasn’t by any means, the sweetest person.
One rainy night, he was checking in at a nondescript hotel. The lobby was empty and silent.
The clerk recognized him straight away as he approached the front desk.
Williams noticed the manager’s body language and knew he had recognized him.
We are talking about the 1940s, so he could just sign with a fake name and not be bothered with his own fame.
He scribbled “G. C. Luther” on the hotel’s registry book. The clerk’s curiosity won:
“Excuse me Sir, but aren’t you Ted Williams, the baseball player?”
Williams paused for a couple seconds, giving the manager a side eye. “No, I’m not” was the answer.
“Oh, I’m sorry, you look just like him”. Even with the awkwardness of the moment, they began chatting briefly.
The conversation derived to fishing, which coincidentally, was a favorite pastime of both men.
They didn’t notice that their friendly exchange lasted several minutes. Then the clerk handed him his key, saying:
“I can see you’re not Williams. You’re much friendlier than him.”
Williams had earned a nasty reputation due to his mercurial behavior on and off the field.
This creeped into his personal life. A couple failed marriages and often estranged from his three children.
The only thing keeping him sane was his drive to succeed. To prove himself.
Luckily, he lived long enough to change his ways. He patched things with his kids and spent lots of time and money on charitable projects.
Maybe that rainy night at the hotel was a glimpse into the man behind the wall of anger and bitterness.
Just because he wore a ‘mask’.
There were two ingredients to that meeting. A cloak of anonymity and the absence of any emotional connection with the hotel clerk.
There was nothing expected of him. Not acknowledging his fame or much less having to explain the way he treated his fans… or his family.
To be himself he had to wear a mask. He could enjoy just talking about fishing without being judged.
(Even if he missed his daughter’s birth because he was on a fishing trip!)
But allowing himself to experience a non-reactive state was a step in the right direction.
People wear masks because they are afraid of showing their own vulnerability.
But what if I tell you that there is a way of being transparent about yourself, and at the same time repel toxic personalities?
Get my 7-step guide to unlock this skill, here:
Much Love and Bliss,
The Body Language Guy.