The Masks We Wear

congruence trust Oct 27, 2020

"The human face is, after all, nothing more nor less than a mask."

- Agatha Christie

How Do the Masks We Wear Impact Transparency, Congruence, and Trust?

We all wear masks in life. For some, they have only ever shown up on rare occasion. For others, they have faded over time as self-acceptance and congruence has increased. And then there are those whose masks are more of a permanent fixture, obfuscating the real person for variety of motives.

Sometimes our masks are tied to changes in situation or environment. Do you show up as the same person at work as you do at home, or at church, or in social environments?

As with all behaviors, "mask wearing" can be potentially healthy and unhealthy. After all, it would be perfectly appropriate to behave more professionally than you normally would in certain work environments. However, it would be unhealthy to pretend that you are someone you are not in order to gain favor socially.

When it comes to the Color Code, there are many dynamics that could potentially cause any of the four personality styles to act a little differently than you might expect them to.

Here are just a few examples:

1. Secondary Colors

If somebody had a strong Secondary Color, it might be common for them to switch styles in situations where they would benefit from their non-Core abilities. Think of a nurse with a WHITE personality type in a stressful work environment, who can draw upon a Secondary RED style to get things done. Or, think of a BLUE in a social situation drawing from YELLOW strengths, etc.

2. Filters

Filters are always external factors that could make it difficult for us to get an accurate "read" on somebody. For example, I worked with a YELLOW executive whose team believed him to be a RED "purist". After learning that before entering the business world, he was trained and functioned as a military officer for twenty years, his behavior now made perfect sense. Demanding parents, social norms, and myriad other factors could potentially create both helpful and harmful filters.

3. Character Development

As we progress through life, we're hopefully picking up great lessons along the way! REDS can learn to be compassionate (which is typically a BLUE trait), BLUES can learn to be more social (YELLOW), WHITES can learn to be more direct (RED), and YELLOWS can learn to be good listeners (WHITE). This allows us to make a conscious decision to move outside of our Core Personality Type when called upon, which means that we can be trusted on a larger scale.

4. Insecurity

This is one place that the mask wearing can become very unhealthy very quickly. Often when people feel fearful, or insecure, they hide. This could be learned behavior from a completely different personality type than their own. When this happens, the mask wearer often comes across as being incongruent to others and trust declines quickly.


May I suggest that for this Halloween season, and beyond, we pay closer attention to the masks we wear. Let's evaluate whether we are utilizing them for clean or dirty motives and be willing to make changes in areas of our lives where we can improve.

Happy Halloween, and please be extra safe this year!

Very best of living,

Jeremy Daniel
VP of Training for Color Code
Founder of Color Code Classroom

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