Everyone always tells us to “Be yourself” – from our surroundings to inspirational Instagram posts, life couches, and even famous philosophers.
You can only be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. Hmm, it’s not like that sometimes.
As soon as there is so much talk about it, it means that it is not that easy.
Often due to the desire to fit in or environmental pressures, we change our personality to match the standards of others.
But in this process, our authenticity suffers. Our true personality is then hidden deep within us, which is highly limiting.
The only case in which your true nature should be limited is if you are a danger to yourself and others.
Let’s go deeper into what it looks like when you are not yourself in front of others.
I Feel Like I Can’t Be Myself Around My Family
The family should be that safe space where we can be safe to be who we are.
It should, but it doesn’t have to mean it is.
This does not mean only those extremely toxic families, where, for example, your parents don’t really care about you.
Misunderstandings can occur even in families where parents love and care for their children.
This is especially pronounced if your parents want to be what you are not because “they know what is best for you.”
Of course, parents know the most about their children, but shouldn’t that child also search for their authenticity?
Such parents have some criteria, forcing their children to obey them.
They enroll children in sports they are not interested in, force children to take dance lessons, and so on. And the child just wants to play the guitar in the basement peacefully or to be a graphic artist.
Everyone will say this is normal, especially when the children are teenagers.
Maybe they don’t object to you ten, but inside they expect you to pass those teenage attitudes.
If you are interested in music or art, it is unsuitable for your parents. They expect you to become a serious adult who does a serious job and wears a suit and tie.
But you have to understand one thing: It’s very likely that if they didn’t respect your authenticity when you were a kid, they wouldn’t respect it now that you’re an adult.
And now that you’re an adult, they can still have opinions about your life, what job you should do, when you should start a marriage, and so on.
All this makes you think that you can’t even talk to them about anything honestly, and you have to make up some stories for them just to avoid an argument.
You can get the same treatment from your siblings too. Not all families are like this, but this is what it usually looks like when you can’t be yourself in front of your family.
Why Can’t I Be Myself Around My Friends?
You’re expected to always be yourself in front of your friends, but that’s not always the case.
Even as teenagers, we have to pretend to be something we’re not to get into the cool kids’ club.
We don’t want other kids to call us weird.
This pattern can often continue now that you are an adult.
You feel your friends wouldn’t even care about you if you acted entirely honestly.
You might even be kicked out of that social circle if you don’t fit in.
Maybe that’s why you participate in some activities you don’t like, just so you don’t get left out.
An excellent example is drinking alcohol even if you hate it because all your friends drink, and you don’t want to be a party breaker.
Why Can’t I Be Myself Around My Partner?
Let’s be honest; we all like to present ourselves a little differently at the beginning of every relationship.
We want to present ourselves at our best and hide the worst. That’s completely normal.
However, for the relationship to develop more and more, we must be ourselves because otherwise, we will not be happy.
Compromises should exist. But if partners are not honest in their behavior and go against themselves just to conform to the partner’s standards, that relationship has no future.
I Feel Like I Can’t Be Myself Around Anyone
It’s an unpleasant feeling when you think you can’t be yourself in front of everyone around you.
You leave the house, and you already have that unpleasant feeling. This is especially pronounced in smaller towns where everyone knows everyone.
Because you can’t be yourself, you probably hate where you live and feel trapped.
We are often expected to fit in with the crowd because no one likes those who are different.
The environment you live in can be too judgmental of anyone who doesn’t fit in.
You know how they often say: “Don’t stand out too much; it’s best to be in the golden middle.”
Because you are different, you feel like everyone hates you.
We are often expected to trample on our ideals to get a job or while working.
Ok, every job has rules. That is entirely normal and acceptable.
And what if you feel like you’re going against your personality while at a job that makes you depressed, and you know it’s holding you back?
5 Signs That You Are Not Yourself in Front of Others
You Prefer to Be Alone
Maybe it’s your introverted nature, but you avoid the company of other people as much as possible.
You feel exhausted after all or most social interactions.
You are Afraid of Other People’s Judgment
People know how to be too interested in other people’s lives instead of worrying about their own.
Those who stand out in some way are specifically targeted.
You know that very well, and human over-judgmental nature makes you nervous.
You Gave Up Chasing Your Dreams
Your dreams and interests are long gone.
They were overcome by the desire to fit in at any cost, even if it meant that you have to be something you are not.
Lack of Meaningful Relationship
How to make a real connection with anyone when you are not yourself.
Of course, the relationships, in this case, will be superficial and insignificant.
You Are a Hater
You may not show it in front of others, but deep down, you are a hater.
All that hiding your true nature makes you hate things too much, and you are constantly nervous and dissatisfied.
Lack of Self-confidence
Nothing is more powerful than when we feel good in our skin.
Confidence, in that case, is the best outfit.
Because you don’t feel good in your skin, you can’t wear that powerful suit of confidence.
How to Be Yourself in Front of Others?
Do you want to be something you’re not all your life?
Life is precious, and you don’t want it to pass by, fulfilling other people’s expectations.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”— Steve Jobs
Remember what it feels like to be passionate about something.
If you have always been the black sheep in the family, maybe it’s time to stop caring what they think.
This doesn’t mean you stop loving them. Just don’t let your family limit you.
If friends are those in front of whom you cannot be yourself, you have made a wrong choice of friends.
At least you can choose your friends, unlike your family.
Your vibe attracts your tribe. If you are fake, you will attract such people to yourself.
It’s completely normal to not want to hang out with friends you can’t be yourself with.
If you are afraid that you will have a hard time finding new friends, don’t worry, it is better to have one real friend who will hang out with you because of who you are than a bunch of people who don’t even know who you really are.
You will find true love only if you are yourself.
A relationship with a partner has an expiration date if you present yourself as something you are not.
If you don’t like where you live and feel it limits you, move away. You are not a tree, so you can change your location.
Are you afraid that people won’t like who you really are and will be bothered that you don’t fit in with the crowd? So what?
It’s a much better feeling to be yourself than to belong to a like-minded crowd at any cost.
If you think that crowd will hate you if you are yourself, it’s not your crowd.
“I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I’m not.”— Kurt Cobain
By fulfilling the expectations of others instead of our own, we forget who we really are.
The best choice is always to be yourself, however difficult it may seem.
We end this article with simple but effective lyrics from Audioslave and their song “Be Yourself”:
“And to be yourself is all that you can do,
To be yourself is all that you can do…”