HJ: Almost every single one of us, at one time or another, has acted differently with certain groups of people than we have around others. It typically happens when we are ‘out of our element’ — meaning we are with a group of people who have a different worldview and set of beliefs than we do and for whatever reason, we want them to like us, we desire to fit in, or we are trying to minimize potential conflict. For the record, this is perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed about.
To put it simply, you are being you no matter how you act, whether it’s motivated by the above reasons or simply a free expression of your uncensored individuality. So lose the guilt, lose the shame and embrace it. Now, that being said, the reason we have these feelings in the first place is because in these situations, we are not expressing ourselves as we would in a situation in which we felt comfortable doing so and herein lies the opportunity for growth.
Not feeling comfortable or confident enough to express yourself presents an opportunity to reflect — are you confident in yourself, ideas and point of view? Are you spending your time with people you actually want to be with? I have found that if I truly do not feel comfortable expressing myself fully around certain people, that these are actually people that I don’t really care to be around. Typically it means that their beliefs or worldview is vastly different than mine and if they are not extremely open-minded, it is typically not someone I wish to be around. I still use my intuition as a guide at all times as sometimes these situations are necessary and beneficial, but this has been my general observation from years of experience.
Furthermore, as we develop confidence in our self-expression and embrace our true selves, we feel less abashed about expressing ourselves how we wish to do so regardless of how others react. We can still do so with tact and grace to avoid uncomfortable confrontation in delicate situations, but nonetheless, it is important to speak your mind. Otherwise, you will tend to act passively aggressively, which happens when we don’t authentically express ourselves for fear of what others may think or how they might react.
The point is, it is perfectly natural to act however it is you are acting at any given moment… but if it is not feeling authentic to you, then it may be a sign that there is room for growth.
3 Reasons to Embrace Your “False" Self
Not knowing who you are is part of who you are.
By Suzanne Lachmann, Psy.D.| Psychology Today
Do versions of your self feel hollow, like a shadow? If so, pull them close.
With groups, at work, with your partner, with your family, and alone you might feel like you are different people. At times you may even feel like a fraud. Somehow you think you’re supposed to know more, be different, have some sort of tangible or social skill set that you’re not sure you actually possess in real life, so you put on what feels like a false self to convince yourself and others that you are the person you’resupposed to be, that you’re better than you really are. But the process feels uncomfortable, inauthentic, and unreal.Here are 3 reasons to embrace what can sometimes feel like your false self:
1. Identity is not Measurable