I love it when I see a Facebook meme that touches on a topic discussed in group just the night before.
The topic was honesty in dating and relationships. The basic point was that it’s so much easier to be your real authentic self from the beginning, instead of pretending to be something you aren’t just to get people to like you.
Who would you rather people like: your fake self or your real self? Then why not be your real self from the beginning, and let people think whatever they think? If someone doesn’t like your real self, then they’re not someone you need to impress anyway. Besides, what happens when your mask starts to slip, and the other person has to deal with the fact that you were being fake the whole time?
This is not to say that you shouldn’t care about other people. That’s not what I mean by “not giving a shit”. There’s nothing wrong with being nice. You just shouldn’t worry about other people’s judgment of you as a person. That’s where Real Men don’t give a shit. Real Men know who they are, they’re not ashamed of expressing themselves authentically, and don’t care what other people think. That gives them the freedom to choose to care about others because they want to, not because they think they have to.
Here’s the secret that eludes Nice Guys, and this is why they put on the masks in the first place. Nice Guys don’t believe their real self is worth liking. They don’t like themselves, so they can’t even imagine others liking them. They believe their likability is based on things like:
- always being nice
- never saying no
- never getting angry
- always being in a good mood
- being “on call” to help others when they need it
- not burdening others with their needs and wants
- never revealing weaknesses or mistakes or vulnerabilities
Here’s some truth for you. You are valuable and likable exactly as you are, warts and all. Your worth is not based on the opinions of others. In fact, no matter who you pretend to be, you can never get everybody to like you. So why not drop the act, stop giving a shit about what others think of you, and just be yourself? Plenty of people will like you for you, and the ones that don’t aren’t worth your energy anyway.
If this is difficult for you to believe, I challenge you to try it out. Find someone you think you can trust, and start revealing your true self to them, just a little. Casually mention when you’re struggling with something, or that you screwed something up, or that you’re not very good at something. See what their reaction is. I bet that not only will they not reject you, they’ll feel closer to you because of it.