Be True to YOU!

There are oodles of different approaches that people can take towards the idea of changing or improving how they function socially. Want my opinion (unprofessional that is)? Do it for you, not for someone else. The biggest one is the idea of being true to your natural preferences and tendencies and not trying to change them for other people. Find yourself and define yourself on your terms. Oscar Wilde once said with his usual wit: Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.As humorous as this might seem, it’s a basic summation of the truth. Yet, you can’t be yourself if you don’t know, understand, and accept yourself first. It should be your primary goal to find this out. Find the time to dwell upon what you value and take time to consider what makes up the essence of who you are. As part of this, contemplate your life and choices. Try to think about what kinds of things you would or wouldn’t like to do, and act accordingly; finding out through trial and error helps more than you might think it does.

Almost everyone can find a niche they fit into

It’s not true that if someone is different from the norm, their only option is to conform or be lonely and left out in the cold. Whatever you’re like, and whatever you’re into, you can probably find a group of like-minded people to fall in with if you look hard enough (even if there aren’t people physically in your area, there’s always the Internet and Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and so many others to follow and make friends through). People naturally sort themselves into groups based on similarities. Obviously, you’re going to be happier, more accepted, and feel less constrained around people you have a lot in common with, and that’s great, but never think that you have to change your life style and patterns to appease someone else, that’s just hogwash.

You can often get by just fine by being yourself…

There are tons of people out there who differ from their friends or partners in some way, but they’re still perfectly accepted and they very well should be. Maybe their friends all like football but they’re up front about not particularly caring about it. However, since they’re solid people in lots of other ways, they’re still welcomed into the group. As a general rule, the more you have to offer socially in other areas, the more you can get away with differing from the majority on some issues and still be accepted. I like what I like…I think that just by simply being yourself you will fit in just fine, and if you don’t I would really rethink that group of friends you want to associate with. The common thing a lot of people do is copy others’ actions because it seems like the better route to fit in, but really, shouldn’t you stand out? Standing out is very hard, yes, but you need to try avoid assuming other people’s perspectives of you, even if it’s not something you would normally do; that’s what being yourself is all about!

So you are a little bit different than the average Joe…

Isn’t that what makes you stand out? My grandmother used to always tell me “Michele, stop trying to fit in when you were born to stand out!” I took that advice and I ran with it. I didn’t care what people thought of me and I still don’t to a certain degree. Sure in a professional setting, but even so, I’m just me, and either you like me or you don’t. Really, what’s not to love? Yes, sarcasm is my super power.  I’m not seeking any one’s approval. I’m not perfect, I’m misconstrued often, but that’s my personality. Occasionally you’ll meet people who are walking embodiments of the totally average, mainstream person. It must be convenient to go through life having your every urge and whim just happen to fall into line with what society prefers. However most people have a bunch of traits that are out of sync with whatever the social ideal is. They stay true to themselves anyways.I do what I do for “me” first and foremost. If someone is going to like me it is going to be for all of me…that means the good and the bad!

It’s often your individual differences that make you so unique!

When you’re with people, to a large extent it’s your differences that set you apart from everyone else and make you desirable to be around. Your sense of humor is a little bit different (and funnier) than your other friends’. You know more about a certain topic than everyone else. You have a different perspective on life. Yeah, people often do like to hang out with friends who are a lot like them, but it is often the case that we appreciate someone who brings something novel to the table.What does this mean? Develop and totally express your individuality whether it’s your sense of style, or even your manner of speaking, if your preferred way of doing something strays from the mainstream and produces positive outcomes, then be proud of it. Be a character, not a type. Learn to communicate well – the better you can express yourself, the easier it is for the people who like you as you are to find you and the ones who don’t to just steer clear

Spice it up… life becomes more interesting!

I know this sounds cheesy, but life would be more boring if we were all exactly the same. Getting to be around a range of different people makes socializing more unpredictable and rewarding. In small doses even people’s personality flaws spice things up a bit. If someone is totally flaky or bossy, that’s just irritating as hell, and no one wants a control freak either, but if they have mild versions of those same traits, it just adds a little color. Jazz it up a little and have some fun with it…let your hair down and get a little crazy! You might enjoy it!

Some of the best things in life have come from people doing their own thing!

There are hundreds of examples so much so that it would take me all day just to name them but here are a few; in art, in science, in academic thought, in fashion. Someone went against the grain of the time and came up with something new and better. The only way they we are able to do that is because they held an outsider, non-majority perspective. They may have drawn some disapproval, but they didn’t care because their vision was more important than getting along with every last person socially.Listen, there is something to be said about marching to the beat of your own drum…1) I find if more becoming, and 2) being different and wanting to do something else is fabulous! Never be afraid to take chances…life is far too short not to.

Treat yourself as you’d treat your own best friend!

You value your friends and those close to you; well, who is closer to you than you are? Give yourself the same kind, thoughtful, and respectful treatment that you give to other people you care about. If you had to hang out with yourself for a day, what is the most fun/enjoyable/fulfilled/calm/contented type of person you could be, while still being yourself? What is the best version of you? Believe in this idea and use that as your starting point. Love and accept yourself as you are now, just as you do for your close ones.


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