It is not always easy to be yourself. It can be especially difficult if you were brought up to be nice and please others. When we want another to like and respect us, it is tempting to align with their likes, opinions and expectations. Even though you may want to share your opinions and feelings with another, you may hold back and stifle your truth if you feel it is counter to what they think or feel. You may have been brought up to believe that disagreement or a difference in opinion my cause waves or problems. Sometimes it may feel as if you have to make a choice between being true to yourself or failing to live up to what and who another expects you to be. While appreciating another’s perspective and point of view is a positive way to get to know another and become closer, be careful not to stuff away your authentic thoughts and feelings. All too often in our desire to be nice, we compromise and silence our truth.
When we are young we are taught the value of playing nice, sharing our toys and not being demanding and mean to others. As we get older, we continue to be taught in overt and subtle ways to silence our emotions and wait our turn. While these lessons can be valuable and help us to respect others and refine our ego, it can also give us the unconscious message that the raw truth of who we are, cannot be trusted. One false move in saying something that another does not agree with or sharing a feeling that may be too intense, could doom us to a life of loneliness.
The tendency to hide our true self is made easier when we know what another wants and expects. A friend, family member, co-worker or acquaintance may be blatant or subtle in expressing their desires and expectations. It can be tempting to simply submit. Being able to make another happy, keep peace or sympathize and support another’s beliefs and opinions seems innocent enough. Yet, attempting to influence and connect to another with behavior, emotions or beliefs that are not genuine, only creates a false connection.
Being nice can be a trap which eventually leads to a loss of self. If you expect others to always be nice or if someone expects this from you, real intimacy and deep sharing may be compromised. There is a difference between being nice and being kind. When you are kind, you can speak with truth and compassion. Being nice often means smiling when you do not agree or like something. Be kind and give your true self to others.
If you are finding if difficult to be yourself when confronted with another’s expectations, take small steps. Sometimes it is enough to simply say nothing. You can be quiet and detach from the pressure to join in and act in ways that do not feel authentic. You can be polite, kind and still be you. Being yourself does not mean that you have to be out spoken and confrontative. If you do not feel comfortable speaking your truth, breathe deeply and know that this will not always be the case. Take some time away from those who pressure you to align with their vision of who they want you to be. Recognize your true thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Focus on what you need to do to take care of yourself. Be kind to you. From Discover Your Authentic Self