The Iceberg Model outlines the origins of the Invented Self, the False Self, and identifies the True Self as being the "Real Self." This page is dedicated to uncovering the dynamics of wearing a mask, why other people's opinions have such a strong impact, and why we cannot seem to answer the question "Who am I?".
Codependent children unwittingly invent and project these "masks"... or survival roles... through the use of subconscious perception and defense mechanisms in order to get some of their needs met. Managing the Impressions of others becomes a primary focus - aka, "What would Other People Think Syndrome."
Kids are forced to make decisions about themselves (I'm Ok or Not Ok) and other people (You're Ok or Not Ok) much too early in life when they grow up in a less-than-nurturing family. These decisions become the Existential or Psychological Positions from which the child operates...they form the foundations of Self-Esteem.
In order to counter the unwritten rules such as Don't Talk, Don't Trust, Don't Feel, Don't Belong, Don't Be, etc. children develop ways to "pay rent" for their space in the world - i.e. "I can belong, so long as I don't get close"