- Question submitted by Anonymous
I think by letting go of the need to impress and focusing on learning about the new people in the room. I know, I KNOW, letting go is difficult. Especially when you’re surround by people whom you ALREADY think are SUPER COOL. I always get into situations with people who rule and I’m like “oh they are funny, so I will not be my normal joke-making self, because that is what THEY do.” Basically, I have your opposite problem. I REFUSE TO IMPRESS PEOPLE. We would make a great team.
Anyway, advice or whatever. Remember that people are going to be most impressed by the real you. In general, humans can tell if you’re trying to impress them, or if you’re holding out on them. So, stifling you, or trying to be a different you, it just doesn’t work. People like YOU. They like the real, actual you. That’s the person they want to get to know.
Second, forgive yourself. This isn’t going to switch over night, you’ll still find yourself in MANY A POSITION where you feel like you’re trying too hard and you’ll be like “stop being the worst, self, just be you, be you, be you” and in that moment, you can take a step back and spend a few minutes just listening to others. If you do that, if you REALLY focus on listening and learning from others, you will become more present. Being present is the easiest way to figure out how to be totally you in these situations. When you’re present, when your focus is on taking in the cool things around you, you’re more likely to accidentally just BE YOURSELF.
We should all remember that accidentally being ourselves is the best way to do things.
I think that, even if not everyone on the planet has been EXACTLY where you are, we can all certainly understand the feeling of insecurity that creeps up in group situations and makes us second-guess ourselves and act in ways we wish we hadn’t.
This may be an extreme piece of advice (in the TV-version of this advice-post, giant words that said EXTREME ADVICE would have just crashed onto the screen), but what about calling yourself out when it happens? It depends on the crowd and how you are feeling and a bunch of other factors, but if I were hanging with someone and made a joke and they rolled their eyes and me and then froze, looked me in the face and said, “I DO THIS THING WHERE I GET NERVOUS AND THEN AM RUDE AND I AM CURRENTLY WORKING ON THAT, I THOUGHT YOUR JOKE WAS FUNNY, CAN WE START OVER THANKS,” I would have my new best friend.
If that is too tall an order, at least call it out to yourself when it happens. Not in a chastising way, where you get mad at yourself, but more so in a recognizing way. If you do something out of character, check yourself, and just repeat in your own head, “I must be feeling a little uncomfortable right now, because that wasn’t how I wanted to respond.” It may seem small and insignificant, but those moments of clarity do actually start to unravel the inner process.
The last thing I want to tell you is that, in most cases, your actions aren’t permanent. If you met someone and did a few things you weren’t proud of, chances are that person isn’t going to assume the worst of you for the rest of time — if you slowly work on yourself, people around you tend to be really proud of you, very forgiving, and super excited to get to know the real you.
Step by step.
(Day by day)
(A fresh start over)
(A different hand will play.)
(THE DEEPER WE FALLLL THE STRONGER WEEE STAYYYY…)
(WE’LL MAKE IT BETTER… SECOND TIME AROUND.)