Being our authentic self
"It's better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you are not."
- Kurt Cobain
I found it hard to just be myself while growing up. I realized later in life it was due to many characters flaws I ignored or was unaware of. I didn't mind being myself, but I see how I rubbed people the wrong way, due to my attitude and behavior.
After years of self-reflection and making an effort to be a better human and create a better quality of life, I realize it's much easier for me be to just be myself when it's from a place of good intentions toward others and myself.
Now, If I feel I may be rubbing someone the wrong way, I don't take it personally. They may disagree with me. They may be offended by something I say. They may even accuse me of being an immoral person. That is their choice.
I choose to live by my values and respect everyone else's right to live by theirs. I chose to not allow other peoples' opinion of me to change the person I choose to be. I stopped taking it personally.
I remember the great motivational speaker Wayne Dyer once talked about how when you walk into a room full of people, you will have as many opinions of you as there are people. We cannot please everyone to inflate their opinion of us. So why bother?
We have the ability to elevate our own wellbeing by being true to ourselves as we learn and grow throughout life. We may even outgrow others who prefer the older and perhaps outdated version of us. Maybe they chose to stop learning and growing.
If we ever feel forced to act like someone we are not just so we can appeal to someone else's expectations of us, we are not be true to ourselves. That's not fair to us. We each deserve the right to be our own unapologetic, authentic selves.
We may not always fit the mold that others expect us to contort into. That's not on us. That's on them. I encourage everyone to be themselves more often, even when your neighbor, your friend or your coworker wants to question your values or your character.
Be you, especially when someone else attempts to fault you for it. That's on them.
Psychology Today: Develop Authenticity - 20 Ways to Be a More Authentic Person
Positive Psychology: 18 Psychology Books on Authenticity & Being Your True Self