Do you ever feel you need to somehow be someone you are really not in order to fit in, be approved of or get something you want? Last week I was reminded of the importance of being ourselves (which includes, doing our best to be the best version of ourselves available at the time! Thanks Snoopy!). As Oscar Wilde reminds us "Be yourself, everyone else is taken"
Someone I know was going through an interview process. Their comment was "It is exhausting being outgoing in interviews". In my perception this person is not an extravert, but is sincere, funny and does their best to be both friendly and kind. I reminded them of the importance of being themselves and that there was no need to pretend to be outgoing because they thought that it was somehow better or what the interviewer was looking for! Who knows what the interviewer is looking for! And if it is not the authentic you that is fine, there will be someone who wants what you have and for who you are. Imagine if they employed a 'false outgoing you' - they would be disappointed and you would be exhausted trying to maintain an inauthentic version of yourself! And another thing - imagine if we were all extravert - that would be crazy and chaotic!!
This is true of every encounter. If we do our best to be an authentic, truthful version of the best version ourselves we can't go wrong. Put in the wise words of this unknown quote "We are not perfect human beings, not do we have to pretend to be, but it is necessary to be the best version of ourselves we can be " (and I would like to add a better FOR others, rather than the destructive better THAN others, reminder too).
And as Thich Nhat Hanh says "To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. you need to accept yourself" This approval and acceptance of oneself reminds me of something very useful I learned many years ago. 'The thirds truism'.....
This THIRDS truism is .....
I find it easiest to understand this truism related to say a movie. No matter how good most people think a movie is there will always be those who don't like it or feel neutral about. This applies to all things in roughly a thirds ratio. We all have different perceptions of situations, or different lenses, conditioned by our past experiences, through which we see our world. We view life through this subjective lens, so it makes sense that we all have a different perception of the same movie for example. This throws us for a loop sometimes. I was thinking about when our kids were young and I would give some, in my mind, helpful strong advice (with the intention of preventing harm) One might feel it was a great idea, another a controlling and restricting instruction and another may feel neutral about it. Same advice, three different perceptions!
So this relates to us as people liking us too. No matter how we are, roughly one third of people will like us, one third will feel neutral about us and one third will dislike us. So again, it is important to be the best version of ourselves and accept that and stop looking for everyone to approve of us - which is not possible! And as Thich Nhat Hanh says "you don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself!"
So instead of being hard on yourself and expecting approval and love from everyone and having to be inauthentic to try to get it -Remember to ........
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