We all know what an Iceberg is. It's essentially a massive chunk of ice that sticks out of the water part ways, but beneath the water is the most significant portion of the iceberg.
The reason we use the iceberg theory when we talk about people, is for exactly the reasons we just mentioned. There is so much more to an individual than meets the eye! We often take a very superficial look at someone and think we know them, or understand them, but the whole while, we're forgetting everything below the surface that creates the image that we see superficially. I like to refer to the Titanic. What sunk something of such greatness? A chunk of ice. And if you take a look at pictures people have created since the incident, and all the theories that came along with the sinking ship, was that the ship didn't run into the ice above the surface, but rather the ice underneath the surface. The captain forgot to take into account all that he couldn't see and miscalculated, at the expense of thousands of lives.
What we don't realize is that we become that same sinking ship when we forget to look beneath the superficial things in life. We aim for success ( maybe it looks glamorous or fancy or exciting), and miss the significance of the deep stuff (the hard work, the dedication, the discipline, the self image, etc).
Why do we tend to bury so much? Easy; we like to protect ourselves. Being vulnerable is scary and getting hurt is worse, so we hide all the things that make us vulnerable to avoid things like hurt. We bury the things we are proud of, the things that we struggled with, and more.
Next time when you look at someone, remember that you are only seeing part of their greatness.