People who are obsessed with keeping up appearances often display these 7 behaviors

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Everyone has an image they project to the world, but sometimes the effort to maintain that image takes on a life of its own.

You might observe certain people around you who seem overly concerned with keeping up appearances, always striving to portray a perfect life, even when the reality might be far from it.

But how can you tell if someone is simply putting their best foot forward or if they’re obsessed with maintaining a façade?

After studying numerous interactions and conversations with people in my life who seem to be overly preoccupied with appearances, I’ve compiled a list of 7 behaviors that could help you identify this pattern.

If these traits seem familiar, it might be time to reassess the value we place on appearances versus authenticity.

1) Perfection is their mantra

In a world where everyone is human and therefore, inherently flawed, there are people who seem to defy this truth.

They appear perfect in every way – from their immaculate homes and well-groomed appearances to flawless social interactions.

This pursuit of perfection extends beyond their personal life and into their social interactions.

They often avoid situations where they might be exposed as less than perfect and are quick to correct any perceived flaws in their image.

Beneath this polished exterior, there often lies a fear of judgment or rejection.

The constant pressure to maintain this illusion can lead to anxiety and distress.

2) They downplay their achievements

Counterintuitively, individuals obsessed with keeping up appearances often downplay their own accomplishments.

While it might seem that they would want to flaunt their successes, the opposite is often true.

These individuals feel a constant need to appear humble and modest, fearing that any sign of boasting might tarnish their image.

They tactfully understate their achievements or divert the conversation away from their successes.

In reality, this behavior is a balancing act, an attempt to maintain the perfect image without appearing arrogant or self-centered.

3) Fear of conflict becomes their constant companion

People who are obsessed with maintaining appearances often go to great lengths to avoid conflict.

They would rather agree with others, even when they have a different opinion, just to preserve a harmonious image.

Their fear of rocking the boat often leads them to suppress their feelings and opinions, which can result in internal turmoil.

They believe that disagreement or conflict would shatter the perfect image they’ve worked so hard to create.

So, if you notice someone constantly shying away from expressing their true beliefs or avoiding conflicts at all costs, it could be a sign of their obsession with keeping up appearances.

4) Overemphasis on material possessions

We live in a world where material possessions often signify success and status.

Individuals who are obsessed with keeping up appearances tend to place a great deal of importance on owning the latest gadgets, the most fashionable clothes, or the trendiest home décor.

Interestingly, the average person makes about 1.2 million lifetime buying decisions, many of which are influenced by societal pressures and norms.

Those obsessed with appearances often let these decisions be guided by what they believe will enhance their image.

This overemphasis on material possessions can be a clear indicator of their preoccupation with how they are perceived by others.

5) They struggle with genuine connection

Maintaining an image can often create a barrier to forming deep, meaningful relationships.

In their quest to appear perfect, these individuals may find it difficult to let their guard down and show vulnerability.

The fear of being seen as less than perfect can make it challenging for them to connect on a deeper level with others.

They might have many acquaintances but only a few, if any, genuine friendships where they feel comfortable being their authentic selves.

This struggle for genuine connection is a poignant reminder of the loneliness that can accompany the obsession with keeping up appearances.

6) Their social media profiles are picture-perfect

In an age where life is often curated through a series of posts and pictures, those obsessed with keeping up appearances might have social media profiles that are nothing short of perfection.

Every post is meticulously planned and executed to portray the ideal life.

However, this might not be a reflection of narcissism as one might assume.

Instead, it’s another facet of their obsession with appearing perfect.

They use social media as a tool to meticulously curate their image, managing every detail to ensure it aligns with their idealized self.

This paradox of the picture-perfect online persona hiding the reality of their struggle is another sign of an obsession with maintaining appearances.

It’s a poignant reminder that what we see online is often just a small, carefully crafted part of the whole story.

7) They are overly concerned with others’ opinions

One of the most telling signs of people who are obsessed with keeping up appearances is their preoccupation with what others think of them.

Every decision, every action, is often weighed against how it will be perceived by others.

They might frequently seek validation and approval, and any criticism or disapproval can cause them immense distress.

Their self-worth is often tied to the opinions of others, and they go to great lengths to avoid negative judgments.

Recognizing this behavior provides a window into their constant struggle to maintain the image they believe others expect of them.

Understanding the root of the obsession

While these signs can help you identify people who are obsessed with keeping up appearances, it’s crucial to delve deeper to understand why they behave this way.

This obsession is not merely a superficial concern with image but a complex interplay of various psychological factors.

Often, this obsession stems from a deep-seated fear of rejection or judgment.

This fear can be so overpowering that they feel compelled to project an image of perfection, believing it to be their only defense against potential criticism or disapproval.

Moreover, societal pressures and cultural norms play a significant role in shaping this behavior.

We live in a society that often judges individuals based on their appearance or material possessions.

This creates an environment where people feel the need to conform to these standards to gain acceptance.

It’s also worth noting that people obsessed with appearances might not be fully aware of their behavior.

They may believe that they’re simply trying to live up to societal expectations or that their pursuit of perfection is a positive attribute.

Although it’s easy to judge these individuals, it’s important to approach them with empathy and understanding.

Embracing authenticity: The path to self-understanding

We all have an authentic self, our true essence that is unique and priceless.

However, societal pressures and fear of judgment can push us to mask this authenticity with a façade of what we believe is expected of us.

The individuals we’ve discussed in this article are not anomalies.

They are mirrors reflecting a societal norm that values appearances over authenticity.

But when we start embracing our true nature, we not only free ourselves from these pressures but also inspire others to do the same.

This journey of self-understanding isn’t easy.

It requires courage to confront our fears, to acknowledge our imperfections, and to let go of the need for external validation.

Remember that it’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to have flaws and make mistakes.

That’s what makes us human.

By embracing our authentic selves, we can lead lives that are not just impressive on the outside, but genuinely fulfilled on the inside.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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