Everyone else is saying cool things. Her dad’s an astronaut, he’s just back from backpacking in South America and thon in the corner? Well she sponsors Chinese pandas. Quick think of something. It’s almost your turn. Eh… Em…
“Most interesting thing about me? Em… well… ”
And boom - you lie.
We’ve all been in that situation right. Maybe at the start of a new job or a new course. The awkward introductions. The “tell us about yourselves.” When you have to sum up your personality or your character to someone who doesn’t know you. There’s creative license to exaggerate right? I mean we all big it up a bit. Doesn’t everyone?
One of the things that new places and new situations teach us is that we can be whoever the hell we want to be. We can pretend to think or feel something. Pretend to have been somewhere. I mean no-one will know any different.
Let’s scratch deeper though. How many of us feel comfortable being completely honest to those who don’t know us? Or even those who do.
How many of us are open about the bad parts? Or the hurt or the vulnerabilities? Not many I’d say. And understandably so. We are the most judgmental society in human history. Just look at “social” media. It thrives in judgement. In likes and shares and comments. Content is only relevant if you have x amount of followers. Otherwise, good luck no one’s reading or watching.
What would happen if we led with the bad? If we were honest about the things that hurt and scare us. If we admitted that we don’t “have all our shit together.” If you had the space to freely admit that you were drowning in your own insecurities. And instead of judgement you received acceptance. Imagine that world.
How much more meaningful would our connections be? Wouldn’t our friendships and relationships be so much deeper?
If we could just be…
Ah but you see that wouldn’t work. Because you’d just be an attention seeker. You’d just be looking for validation in a slightly different way. The comments of “well done babe” and “you are so brave” would be the reason you’re doing it. You’d just be the same as that girl Jenny( random name) who checks into A+E on Facebook feeling “blue :("
Shut up Jenny!
Maybe you think that’s why I started this blog - for attention. I was struggling and I wanted other people to know. I wanted them to feel sorry for me. I wanted to give context to my mistakes and poor choices so people might forgive me.
Nothing I’ve done is brave. Or particularly “out there.” Yes in this culture it's weird. A bit strange. Aw someone needs to tell him to shut up you may think. It's ok though because if you do think that you're probably not honest enough to tell me.
I try to be the same person in real life. If someone asks a question I’ll answer it. I’m not more of a person because of the struggles. Nor am I less. It just is what it is
That is more than enough about me.
This blog is supposed to be about you.
How much of who you are do you feel like you need to hide?
That’s a bit wordy but read it again.
How much of who you are do you feel like you need to hide?
How much do people really know about you? I don’t mean the filtered insta ready “you.” But the real one. The one who is just trying to navigate this life one day at a time. Making good choices and bad choices. Struggling and thriving and everything in between. Who knows that person? Do you know him/her?
It can be scary to ask these kinds of questions. The answers can be troubling. It can be a dangerous exercise. Self-analysis can be a slippery slope.
But surely it’s a risk worth taking?
What could be more important than knowing and understanding your own identity? So much of what a person does or doesn’t do stems from their view of themselves. Let me give some examples.
I can’t ask him out because I’m unattractive
I can’t eat that because I’m overweight
I can’t apply for that because I’m too inexperienced
I can’t speak out because I’m not relevant
I can’t lift that weight because I’ll look stupid
I can’t post that picture because I’m ugly in that one
I won’t take that risk because I’m too cautious
You’ll often find that the most “happy” or “content” people are the ones who are most secure in who they are. Secure in their identity. Well aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Honest about their flaws. They don’t need to be thanked because they aren’t being kind so people will like them. They don’t need to be praised because they’re not seeking validation. They are who they are and they’re ok with that.
I’d say I know just a couple of these people. What they have is infectious. Whether someone likes them or doesn’t like them is somewhat irrelevant because their choices aren’t defined by other people’s opinion of them. They don’t make decisions based on “well this is what they would expect me to do”
Covid – 19 has put a massive halt on life as we know it. It has the potential to be one big fat global reset button. If you let it.
Instead of fearing your own company – embrace it. Being in isolation has removed the vast majority of the nonsense that we fill our time with.
We have space to think.
Space to breathe.
Space to be.
Lay down the struggle. Give it up. Just be yourself. Stop being someone else for someone else’s sake.
Why not be real and vulnerable? Or at least begin to be.
“The more honest you are, the more open, the less fear you will have, because there's no anxiety about being exposed or revealed to others.”
Dalai Lama XIV, ‘The Art of Happiness’
Keep scrolling if this has resonated
I passionately believe in the power of honesty. Though initially scary and at times a little shameful I truly believe being honest about the weaker parts of yourself begins to remove the power they have over you. Struggles thrive in silence. I'm not saying write a warts and all blog like me but maybe speak to someone. You're nothing to be ashamed of.
To practice what I preach (write from my kitchen) here are some things I feel shame over. It's not quite murder but it still counts.
- stealing money years ago from my parents to fund my eating disorder
- I often hide what I truly feel because I want people to like me
- When people don't read my blogs I question myself.
- I'm appear more honest than I probably am
- I'm still feel pressure to justify where I am in life in terms of education and job.
- I'm still body conscious
- I get lonely sometimes
Not looking attention. Just showing if I can post it here maybe you could speak to someone.