In today’s world, image management is the “in thing”.
Image has replaced Performance.
Personality has replaced Character.
It does not matter who you actually are.
What matters is the image you project of yourself.
Personality Development seems to be more important than
. Character Building
Image Management has become an industry. In today’s environment, success does not depend on traditional factors like knowledge, sincerity, hard work, performance etc. It is the superficial image we project that counts and we are judged by what meets the eye.
Image Management plays a role in both your professional and personal life. So whether it is to get a job, to get married or to succeed in your business, everything depends on the first impression you create. Yes, first impression is most important now-a-days. You are judged by your clothes, your turnout, how you look, the way you dress, your grooming, your communication skills, the way you speak, your body language, your etiquette – all these superficial outward aspects play a more important role in creating an impression than your actual inherent character and innate qualities.
I have a contrarian view to all this and feel that it is better to be spontaneous and transparent. In my opinion it is better to act natural, be what your actually are and show the world your true self rather than project a false hyped-up image of yourself just to create good first impressions. If you resort to “image management” by employing the mask of pretence to project an artificial put-on hyped-up image of yourself, you will always be under constant inner stress to keep up appearances. When you live behind a mask you always have the fear of being found out, and the “fear of being found out” is one of the most stressful fears.
For how long can you sustain this image you have projected of yourself?
For how long can you masquerade being someone you are actually not?
You may manage to fake it and keep up appearances in short term relationships, but in the long term, one day the “mask” of mendacity will wear away and will come off and your true self will be revealed.
You may be able to create a fantastic first impression on your first date but can you sustain this image throughout your marriage?
Yes, “image management” may work in short term relationships like dating, social “hail fellow well met” friendships and quick-fix work encounters like in marketing etc but will not sustain you in the long-term in your career, marriage, professional and personal relationships.
Is Image Management desirable in today’s world? What is more important for the youth of today – to develop personality or to build character? Should you put on a mask and fake it, or is it better to be your natural self, as you are ? Should you manipulate and stage-manage your behaviour to suit the environment or should you be your spontaneous self?
Think about it.
Now-a-days image management has become relevant in in cyberspace too, as all of us who use the internet for social and professional networking have a “cyber image” to project and a “cyber reputation” to maintain.
In the next few posts, I will relate to you some examples of “Image Management” I encountered in my personal and professional life. Does image management work? Let’s see where Image Management works and where it ends in disaster, sometimes hilarious.
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
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About Vikram Karve
A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune
with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts. India
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.