I think you're just getting frustrated with a recent lack of results.
first of all, in an online tourney don't expect your image to mean very much.
I'd guess the $500 was live since you posted a quote from villain..so in a live tourney your image MAY mean something...you have to figure out who will respect your image and lay down because of it, and who is incapable of laying down a hand like KJ to a tight player. It's hilarious that he was HOPING to have 45% equity.....
so, of course you already know that you have to take your shot right there with 88 and an M=5. It was an unlucky flip for you; but it was a great opportunity to build a comfortable stack. You just have to win flips in tourneys, there's no way around it; and when you're not winning your flips it can be extremely discouraging. Maybe next time that guy will call you when you have AK and he is drawing to 3 outs.
last year at the 2013 WSOP
in 4 days of tourney play I only won ONE of my flips....AQ vs JJ and luckily I spiked a Q. I had about 9 critical flips in my 4 days and I only won ONE of them. Initially, it made me want to quit, but after cooling off and then reviewing all those hands with my friends and my study group, I realized they were all just flips I had to take and I just lost. that's all.
If you think you are playing like a rock, and you want to spice it up, then next time you think a raiser is aware of your image, try 3betting light with a speculative hand when you're in position. Say a good, thinking player raises to 2.5x from mid position. You pick up 89s or 55 on the button, 3bet it to 7x. He'll often lay down. If he 4bets, you can fold. If he flats you will often win on the flop with a Cbet. If he flats and then donks the flop, you can jam with pretty much any kind of a draw and he'll probably lay down....this is all stack size dependent of course. When you have an M=5 none of those moves are available to you.