Your persona is the way you present yourself to the world, the character traits that you let show and the way that people will see you. If you are true to yourself, then your persona should reflect who you actually are. In some cases, however, people present false images or a phony persona.
Since your persona is the part of yourself that you present to the world or show to the world, your persona or the way people view you is only as accurate as you want it to be. Some examples of different personas include:
- A politician wants to come off to voters as a regular, nice guy who cares about normal people. He uses folksy language and common metaphors, he appears on TV shows and is congenial and he is always friendly and joking. He has a positive public persona as someone who cares about others.
- A businessman wants others to think that he is very powerful and successful. He drives a fancy car, buys a big house, wears expensive clothing and talks down to people that he thinks are below him on the social ladder. The persona he presents to the world is that he is a rich guy but not very nice or compassionate.
- A business person wants others to think that he is charitable and kind. He offers lots of benefits and perks to his employees and he makes sure that his business publicly gives lots of money to charities and positive social causes. His persona is that he is a good guy.
- A serial killer wants to be viewed as a nice guy so he can get close to his victims. He acts very polite, is quiet and is even helpful. Everyone likes him and he has a positive public persona even though it doesn’t reflect who he really is.
- A much younger woman marries a man that is very wealthy and old. Her persona, or the way she looks to others, might indicate that she is a gold digger or that she married the man for his money.
- A child going to a new school for the first time wants others to think that he is popular, cool and unafraid. He dresses in fashionable clothing and he walks in with confidence and says hello to everyone. He is presenting a brave persona of a likable and popular kid.
- A person who is trying to find a spouse may create a fun and flirty profile on an online dating website, being sure to use positive language and emphasize his or her good attributes. The person is creating a positive public persona of someone it would be fun to date or join in a relationship.
- Someone goes on a job interview for a job that he is not 100 percent sure he is qualified for. He dresses really professionally, does a lot of research on the company to prepare for the interview and creates a really polished resume. He is trying to create a persona of a professional who is competent and capable of doing the job.
In each of these situations, the actions that a person does and the traits he allows to show to the world help to dictate his or her persona. The persona may be an accurate representation of who the person really is, but this isn’t always the case.