How we fit in

shutterstock_95307391cropSo there’s who you really are. The way you are when no one is around. Then it is time to go to work, a party, or a date. So what to do? Usually we size up what we need to do to fit in and then take on that persona. But what if it is who we are does not fit in so well? We make it fit. We tell ourselves we are being social. Belonging is our strongest emotional need.

We walk with that persona for a while and pretty soon we become that. We are now witty, sarcastic, and cool. We fit in great. After a while we cannot access who we really are anymore even when we are by ourselves. And then a large existential event like someone dying, a wedding, a birth, or a trip reminds us that the way we have been acting is not really our nature at all. And then we have to choose between ourselves and the life we created.

So what is the alternative? Be ourselves from the start. Just realize that it may take longer to fit in on the front end. We have to go on more dates, go to more gatherings, and introduce ourselves to more people. We start a relationship or hang out with a group of people and then realize that they are very different than us. We brush ourselves off and try again.

But this is stressful, awkward, and painful. It would be so easy to go back to morphing ourselves into something in order to fit. Right here is where we usually bail on ourselves. This is where we settle.

So this time don’t. Stay true to yourself. Hold out for people that are able to accept you the way you are. Hold out just a little while longer...

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