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I was struck by an insight today... one of those little things that is so obvious when it hits you that... well, I feel a bit embarrassed now writing about how excited I was to realise this, how liberating I found it, but anyway, I'm going to go with it. Because, ok, here's the thing: if you're going to be yourself, people won't like you. Which is to say, there are people who aren't going to like "the real you". Yeah, I know, obvious, but... see, the thing is, through much I've my life I've been trapped by this pathological desire to please everyone else all the time, and to be liked... and then of course finding that I didn't much like being around other people because it was so much fucking hard work to be so nice all the time, to be undemanding while at the same time acquiescing to the demands of others. So, I've been kind of struggling to get out of this habit of being false, being untrue to myself... but! It's been hard because I've still wanted people to like me. So, I kind of test the waters, you know, tentatively try out being a little bit more "me" than someone is used to, see how it goes... and sometimes it goes well and sometimes it doesn't. And when it doesn't then I've immediately backed off, gone back to doormat mode... because I've wanted people to like me more urgently than I've wanted to be the real me. I'm used to being untrue to myself around other people anyway, right, what's another hour going to do?
But the thing that struck me today is that with "being yourself" then "being disliked" is part of the package! It's not nice, exactly, but the thing is, the people who like the "fake" me probably don't actually like it all that much anyway, and my life isn't about making them happy - there'll be other people that they'll like and who'll like them. Argh, it's all so simple which makes me such a dunce for not getting it before! When someone dislikes me, if someone hates me, even, then that's a gift because it tells me that... it tells me that I'm being genuine and it tells me, ok, this is someone to avoid. It doesn't have to include any judgement - it's not that they're evil or that I'm evil or that somehow we've "failed" at something we should have succeeded at - it's just that we don't suit each other.
This is so unbelievably simple, but, uh, really, this realisation is quite liberating for me. I can stop trying to be good!
Ahem. Well, carry on as you were...
"It's like gravity I said
It's not the product of my head
It doesn't speak but nonetheless commands attention" - Chris Smither
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