Many faces

Humans typically adopt different persona depending on the circumstances they are in. This is why your firm, no-nonsense, rigid boss might be putty in his wife’s hand. You might catch him dressed up as a fairy because his 2 year old daughter asked him to.

We often define people based on the aspects of their character that our involvements with them expose us to. What we fail to understand is that humans have many faces. We often “wear the face” that the situation calls for. So a honest little look inwards will confirm that there are ways you act at work that you don’t at home.

This extends into relationships as well. If you have a friend, you might be surprised by some things their spouse could tell you about them. Who they are as a wife or husband might bear little to no similarities to who they are as your friend.

My sister-in-law and I talk a lot. My brother is a good husband and a responsible and attentive father. Occasionally, she tells me things about my brother that leave me quite surprised. She’s his wife. She lives with him. I haven’t fully lived with him since I turned 22. How then can I argue with her? I can vouch for his character as a person but he, like everyone else, has his little idiosyncrasies which only one exposed to living with daily would know. So I hold myself in check and refrain from being too defensive. In the same way, I am sure there are things about my character as a wife that could shock my work colleagues and vice versa.

So what am I saying today? Be careful about who you vouch for. Especially if it isn’t in a role that you are familiar with. Even your amazing dad may be a very difficult boss at work. When your sister-in-law tells you things about your brother, listen carefully before you jump to his defence. You will never get to experience what life is like as his wife. When you hear that your boss is having marital problems, don’t assume his wife must be the problem. He is allowed to be a good boss and a crappy husband at the same time.

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