Especially in men, but growing also within women, is the bravado of falsity revealing an unmanaged fear—as if flouting what is truthful about life will be an appropriate response. Of course, it isn’t and can never be.
We deny what we fear when, for varying reasons, the truth is too stark to be handled; we put on a brave front and pretend we are above it all.
Such a method seems to work okay until life blindsides us—and what’s found is even more denial through blame or unparalleled deflection onto things far removed from the source of the painful truth.
A Fact For Compassion
If bravado is a veneer covering fear in the light of truth, and we can see people who are, in this way, less-than-obviously fearful, we should understand and not fall for judging them as arrogant or proudly brash; though they may prove annoying.
We can see their weakness for what it is, even though they assert to hide it in a show of apparent valour. Compassion is a gift of grace to the pitiable person who, ironically, seems to require none of it. Those laughing at compassion may need it most.
Those that seek to present a persona of not caring are potentially prone to being caught unawares, and are more easily blindsided—from an aspect of hindsight.
Though this is folly, our unfettered compassion sees the terror in the unguarded moment that brings them unstuck. Though they might have prepared themselves for a better emotional position we try not to disparage them from quietly within ourselves; treating them with the grace we, ourselves, would expect.
Something For Ourselves
If we are given to any sense of bravado we best check what motivated it. Sure, sometimes it is generated from humour and in the banter of the moment. Other times, however, we may be managing an awkward social situation or avoiding a more truthful, honestly vulnerable response. We all have things to cover for. None of us is perfectly transparent.
Is the bravado intentional or a coping mechanism?
These are good questions to ask, if we want the best of life—for the best of life is found in the courage of honesty regarding our status, situations, and prospects; accepting past, present, and the considered future.
Is bravado a problem?
Bravado can be a clue that we don’t fancy looking into ourselves; shut-off to Divine inquiry. But, the best person we can present to the world is our true, core selves, as much as we can.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Credit: John Rizzuto.