The Faces of Conflict

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The Masks We Wear, Part 2

Blood boils, vision turning red. Or stomachs get queasy, nerves turning to mush. This is conflict and Gotham City, haunting ground of the Batman and similar mascots of Halloween, is rife with it. The surreal city and its fantastical denizens all represent conflict in one way or another, not dissimilar to many of us with our own unique struggles.

Illustrated in this video by SurePeople are the approaches many of us take when grappling discord. Some fear the approach of conflict with terrible trepidation, begging to retreat and avoid its looming advance. Others see it as opportunity, a hole cut in the fabric of mediocrity—a chance to soar.

These approaches can become even more distinctive when we feel the enclosing shadows of stress, as found in our SurePeople Prism® Portraits. The Batman himself deliberately embodies a difference of personalities, from the growling predator of Gotham’s underworld to the seemingly eccentric and carefree Bruce Wayne.

Less intentional, and perhaps akin to some of us, are the varying ways by which the villain Two-Face handles struggle. We, like the nefarious rogue’s alter ego Harvey Dent, might strive for a specific image. Yet, when challenged, that composure can waver as we unconsciously enshroud ourselves in the masks of our alter selves. Like gravity, all it takes is a little push, as expressed here by SurePeople and further explained here by TED-Ed.

As with Harvey Dent, we might not be fully aware of the change occurring within us, of our personality shifting with the flip of a coin. Bruce Wayne, meanwhile, spent years training his body and mind to gain better control over himself. While stress can cloak each of us beneath alternative personalities, we—like the Batman–can aspire to constant composure.

When facing contention or difficulty, consider meditation, exercise, or other centering activities. Our composure in conflict determines whether we embody a hero or mismanage it long enough to become the villain.

“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”
– Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer, Batman Begins

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