Impression Management. It's how we 'posture' to make ourselves look good, acceptable, even desirable in the world.
At work, it's the clothes we wear, the degrees we hold, the people we know, the office we inhabit, or the influence we wield.
At home, it's the house we live in, the car we drive, the church we attend, the sports we play, the way we care for our children.
It's all about looking good to avoid rejection. It's about controlling what other people think of us. It's about looking good.
It is what causes people to feel like a fake. It's what creates a double life. When the image we portray is different from who we know we are when nobody's looking. The broader the gap between the two, the harder we grab the reigns of control to keep from being exposed.
A compartmentalized life is about impression management.
Imagine what freedom you might find if you could be all of who you are, wherever you are, regardless of who's watching.
Kim is a career coach for women in transition.