Personality Masking is a trait in which a person changes or “masks” their natural personality to conform to external sources and social pressures, abuse, and/or harassment. Some examples of masking are a single overly dominant emotion, or perhaps three of the four varying emotions within the same individual. Masking can be strongly influenced by environmental factors such as over bearing parents, rejection, and emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. A person may not even be aware that he or she is wearing a mask.
Developmental studies have shown that we learn this ability as early as preschool and it improves with age. Recent studies have shown that masking has evolved and is now defined as concealing one’s emotion by portraying another emotion, for example; It is used mostly to conceal a negative emotion (like sadness, frustration, or anger) with a positive emotion.