The persona is one of the twelve archetypes defined by Carl Jung and it represents the facades, or “masks”, that people use when interacting with others. According to Jung, children learn from an early age that they need to act accordingly to social norms and expectations to be accepted by others, which leads to the development of social masks: representations of themselves, separate from their true self, that they project to the outside world to protect themselves from negative judgments and better fit in social environments.
Therefore, the persona is part of an individual’s personality that should be balanced with the true unmasked self. When people over-identify with their “social mask” they disconnect from their true self and lose awareness of who they really are. For example: When at a party, Jim shows an easy-going personality and interacts with multiple people. However, he is generally an introverted person.