Two faced people are those actors and actresses of the human race who will show one face to a particular audience, and another face to another audience. The problem their audience have to deal with is they don’t know which face is real. It is a problem because, in real life, interacting with other human beings isn’t a theater act. Gossip and backstabbing have real consequences to the emotions and reputations of people.

But, before we judge, let us aim to understand. Why are some people two faced? One of the possible reasons is to keep friendship options open. A person may not like another person but doesn’t have anyone else at the moment. The two faced monster reveals itself when a third person comes along more suited to the monster’s personality and the old friend becomes expendable. I guess another way to put it is this: some people finish high school, and even graduate from college, and still manage never to grow up.

Another reason is an acquired aversion against confrontation and aggression. This is particularly true among many Asian cultures where confrontation is frowned upon and aggression is discouraged. Children are taught early in life to just ‘grin and bear it.’ Of course, by the time these children become adults, they are just about suffocating from the grinning mask they’ve had on for so long that they need an outlet. But as they’ve been reared to believe that confrontation and aggression is wrong, the outlet becomes talking behind other peoples’ backs.

I learned early in life that two-faced people exist. I’ve learned that the best way to deal with them is to acknowledge such existence and keep in mind that every person is capable of showing one face to me, and another face to everyone else. Given this mindset, I face every person with a combination of friendliness and caution.

Paranoid? You could say that. Its better than beating yourself up wondering who your friends really are. Its better to just enjoy people while they’re there, and accept their absence when they’re gone…and never give too much of yourself either way.



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