Humanize the Person Behind the Mask

May 3, 2022

Why so serious? This quote is uttered by the mischievous menace that torments Gotham in the Batman series that we’ve come to know and love. That’s right: the Joker. Now my friends, the Joker has been around for ages, but never quite like this. 

A new interpretation of the playful villain was brought out by Joaquin Phoenix in the film “Joker.” Haven’t seen it yet? Well, what are you waiting for? Phoenix’s portrayal brought something completely new and heartrending to the table when it comes to emotional health. 

Instead of showing the trickster as an unredeemable villain bent on causing chaos for fun, the Joker is portrayed as a man neglected by the world around him. As a result of the hardships and abuse he endures by those who care little about his emotional health, he inevitably transforms into the comic book character. 

Not only does Phoenix brilliantly portray a man pushed over the edge by those around him, but also as someone forced to wear a hypothetical mask in order to hide that mental damage. In this version of the tale the Joker is not just a simple villain. The TRUE villain is Gotham itself. 

What Can The Joker Teach Us About Emotional Health? 

Much like the Joker, many of us are wearing masks nowadays. Well, of course we are all quite literally wearing masks because of a pandemic, but you get what I mean. Of course our masks also protect us from our own insecurities

People are wearing masks to protect each other, but at the same time there are those who don’t agree with that. Some are afraid, and some are just frustrated with the state of the world. Regardless of where you stand, it’s important to recognize the emotional health of yourself and others. It’s easy to be rude when you can’t see someone’s face, but everyone is human. Everyone has feelings. 

No one could have known years ago that we’d be wearing masks when we go out. Suddenly, normal outings are new and unfamiliar. Instead of seeing smiling faces, you are met with the top half of a face. This has led to some unfortunate hatred. 

So, How Can You Bolster Your Emotional Health? 

The first step is to remember that we’re all in this together. These are hard times, but alienating each other is not going to help. Instead, choose to be a growth-owner. By doing so, you can bring positivity to the world around you while building up your own emotional health. 

As a result of social distancing, we’ve been programmed to see strangers as dangerous. Instead of seeing them as normal people, they’re suddenly villains in the story of our lives. Of course it’s important to stay safe and following protocols is helpful, but maybe seeing others as villainous is not the solution. 

I know people who are afraid to go outside because of the fear of those who refuse to wear a mask or distance. I’ve also heard from those who believe masks to be a hindrance of their person. Regardless of what you believe, it can be hard to go toe to toe with people who don’t agree with you. But this can actually bolster your emotional health. 

Don’t believe me? Well, go out and try it! Just find someone who has a different belief and speak to them as a human being. Always show kindness and make sure they know that you see them as more than just a villain in a story. 

This will not only help you build positive momentum, but relationships as well. Just by humanizing the person behind the mask, you can strengthen your relationships. Stare into the eyes of a neighbor or friend and just start talking! 

Know that one conversation could mean so much to someone. Just think about what could have happened if the Joker had a friend who truly cared about his emotional health! 

Want To Add Even More Fire To Your Emotional Health Core? 

Want to know where you stand in the five values of life tied to happiness (Your 5 Cores), take this two minute Core Values Quiz to get your core score in the five values of life.

Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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