What Influence Do Attitudes and Behaviour Have?

There seemed to have been some confusion regarding my last post, so I’m going to cover this topic more extensively today. I had talked about how the use of  “masks” can help to fill the void in between your mood and some type of normalcy.  This was not supposed to come across as hiding your true self and be fake but how the masks can have a positive effect. So lets talk about it more.

I read a post over the weekend that I loved and it may supplement this topic. If you have time, please read that post here. It talked about how our attitude can influence our behaviour and how our behaviour can influence our attitude.

“Leonardo da Vinci also observed that it’s no mystery why it is fun to be around happy people and depressing to be around depressed people. He also observed the melancholy that painters usually give to portraits. He attributed that to the solitariness of the artist and their joyless environment. 

According to Giorgio Vasari (1568) that while painting the Mona Lisa Leonardo employed singers, musicians and jesters to chase away his melancholy as he painted. The musicians and jesters forced him laugh and be joyful. This behavior created the attitude of joy and pleasure as he painted. As a result, he painted a smile so pleasing that it seems divine and as alive as the original.” 

This was an excerpt from the post I mentioned above. I found it quite interesting that something so simple could positively influence something that had such a profound effect. That being said, why can’t ones with a mental illness do this as needed?

Putting on a “mask” or projecting an attitude/behaviour that is more pleasing than our mood can have a positive effect. Those with a mental illness all know that no matter how hard you try to cover your moods/emotions up that they still peek through. When I’m depressed or irritable you are going to know it regardless so I’m not fooling anyone. But I choose to improve that by “masking” or projecting a more positive mood. Not only does that make me easier to be around but it improves (by however slim or great a margin) my mood. So when your mood is on the negative side of things, why not project a more positive outlook and actually improve it?

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5 responses to “What Influence Do Attitudes and Behaviour Have?

  • Ruby Tuesday

    I very much appreciate what you’re driving at with this topic. But I think that many would agree that many of the greatest artists in history did a lot of their best work while profoundly depressed. And personally, when I get to that place, not only is there no getting out of it, but the words that spill forth seem to be the ones that most strike a chord in people, that they can really read and say,”Wow, I know exactly what that feels like. Thank you for putting that out there, it made me feel a lot less alone.”

    I just have the classic manic-depressive/artistic personality, I guess. Whatever is going to come spilling out today is going to come spilling out, and what I create can only be judged by the metric of the feelings it evokes in those who read it.

  • acrazybeautifulmind

    I agree. I’m actually working on a future post that talks about what genius comes out of a depressed and manic state. I don’t mean to say that the extremes should be stifled, just that there’s a way of improving when needed.

  • Spirit

    I think that wearing a mask is sometimes a necessity in getting along in society. Most of the time I can be myself, but there are times when I just have to put on my happy face and get on with things. Fake it until you make it.

  • gigglesandpain

    I know you wrote this a year ago, but I wanted to thank you for having it out there for me to randomly come across. I really appreciate what you said about ‘Which Mask Today?’ For me, being able to recognise how badly I feel, then to choose another face to put forward – even though I’m not completely feeling it – means I can be productive and useful in a time when I would otherwise crumble in a heap. The important thing is the choice. When possible, (it isn’t always!) I choose to be different, it bothers me to force my problems on strangers, when they are quite possibly suffering themselves.

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