Why is it so hard for us to be the same person with everyone? I think it’s hard for us to be the same around everyone because of our perception of other people’s expectations of us. Our children expect us to be healer, confidante, nurturer, maid, cook, and chauffeur. Our spouses or significant others expect us to be companion, lover, confidante, and life partner. Our friends expect us to be their shoulder to cry on, to celebrate with them, to keep their secrets, and to make them laugh. Our bosses expect us to be on time for work, produce great quality work, be a team player, and work our way up the corporate ladder. With all of these expectations, it’s no wonder we can’t figure out which person we should be on any given day.
Another reason we create different images of ourselves is because we are really afraid of what people think about us. We don’t want people at church to know that we like to go out dancing on Friday night. We don’t want our children to know that we used to do some of the same things that they are now doing. We don’t want our family to know what we really like to do when we hang out with our friends. In other words, we do not want to be judged. We don’t want to disappoint people. We want them to believe that we are these good wholesome people. The truth of the matter is that we all have faults. We are not perfect.
I will be the first to admit that I do not always present myself the same to everyone. I am very cautious about who I can be “myself” around. I have to really get to know people before I can feel comfortable with letting my guard down. I also have come to know and understand that not everyone can handle all facets of my personality. Therefore, I pick and choose which parts of myself to share with people. Is that good or bad? I don’t really know.
Again, I ask “who is the REAL you?” What does it mean to really “be yourself”? Are you ok with showing people who you really are or will you continue to portray the image of who people think you are? Will the REAL YOU please stand up?
Tonya D. Zeigler