It is very common advice to just “be yourself” when it comes to socializing with other people. That’s for a good reason too. This advice gets passed around because it legitimately is one of the things you need to keep in mind if you want to be better at socializing.
It’s gotten to the point that this advice now sounds cliche to so many people, but that doesn’t mean its meaning has been lost. That said, keep on reading this article to know what it means to just “be yourself” and how you can ultimately practice this advice.
What Does It Mean To “Be Yourself”
In order for you to fully learn how to be yourself, you’ll first need to know what this advice truly means. Thankfully, what you read is essentially what it is. Be yourself.
If you want to socialize effectively, there is no need for you to “pretend” to be someone else. Each and every one of us has unique features, strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Stick to yours and work with what you have.
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to be better. You definitely still should. You’re not trying to become someone else, you’re simply trying to be a better version of yourself. If you have weaknesses and you know what they are, good. You can start with that.
To “be yourself” also means to acknowledge and accept who you are. A lot of us try so much to be liked, looked up to, praised, or just simply to succeed, that we lose sight of who we really are. We become someone else we’re not and this causes a negative thought to fester within us.
With that in mind, you must know that to “be yourself” isn’t only good for your social life, but it’s also highly beneficial to your overall personal and mental welfare. If you have trouble socializing, being at peace, and being content, being yourself is one of the best things you can do to start improving.
How to Be Yourself
With that out of the way, let’s get started on your process of how you can truly be yourself. Take the following tips to heart and eventually, you should be able to achieve a sense of self-love and fulfillment.
Being yourself implies that you don’t compare yourself to others
One of the worst things you can do for yourself is to compare yourself to others. This behavior is dangerous as it is toxic to your mental health and your self-esteem.
There’s no denying the fact that there are people out there who live better lives than us, have better jobs, have more in their banks, are more attractive, and more. However, their accomplishments do not decrease the value of your own achievements.
One thing you also need to keep in mind is that while there are others who live better lives than you, there are also others who have it much worse.
Life is not a competition, but it is important that you gain perspective that while it
can be better, it can also be so much worse. Stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone has different experiences. You might see that someone else is doing good from your eyes, but you never know what they’re going through in their personal life.
Appreciate and learn from your experiences
Your experiences have molded you into the person you are now. If it weren’t for your past successes and mistakes, you would never have the experiences, knowledge, and beliefs that you have now. That said, find appreciation in that thought. Feel content and happiness in the fact that you made it this far and that your experiences have helped you grow as a person.
Even though you’ve had horrible experiences in the past, treat those as learning opportunities. The things you’ve done wrong and the wrongs that others have done to you are now lessons you can keep in mind. That way, you’ll never do those things again and you’ll be even more careful of those around you.
Acknowledging and learning from your experiences will also help you appreciate the experiences of others. This will give you a sense of individualism wherein you can acknowledge the idea that each of us is different in our own way. You don’t have to be like someone else, you can just be yourself.
Pay attention to your hobbies and interest
One of the ways you can focus on being yourself is to pay attention to your hobbies and interests. The things we enjoy doing are part of what makes us… well, us. It is part of who we are. Do the things you enjoy doing from time to time. During the days you’re off work, with your friends, or even alone, indulge yourself by doing your hobbies.
This will also make you appreciate yourself more. Your hobbies and interests can differ from those of others. Your reasons differ. The approach you take can also be different from theirs. Your sense of enjoyment is also different. Be happy with your hobbies and interests, your reasons for them, and how you approach them.
Start taking care of yourself
One way to accept who you are is to enjoy being who you are. That said, you’ll need to start taking better care of yourself from here on out.
If you have health issues and certain restrictions, make sure you work on that by being, eating, and thinking healthier. Start working out or any other physical activity that can help you become more active and fit. Have a healthier lifestyle. The healthier you are, the happier you are. The happier you are, the more content you will be.
Not only will this be good for your journey towards self-acceptance so you can truly be yourself while interacting with others, but it will also make your body and mind healthier. By paying attention to this tip, you’ll be hitting two birds with one stone.
Value your solitary moments
If you want to learn how to truly be yourself, you’ll need to get to know the one person you’ll spend the most time with: yourself. Every once in a while, you’ll be alone. You’ll be at home with no one else, or at a coffee shop, in your office booth, or wherever. You need to value these moments of solitude.
Consider these moments as opportunities to meditate or to hone your skills. This can also be one of those moments to perform your hobbies. Find something to do that will help you better appreciate yourself during these solitary moments.
You’ll need to learn how to be yourself while you’re alone just as much as while you’re interacting with other people. In fact, practicing this will be much easier.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
Your process of being more yourself around other people will become easier if you surround yourself with people who are just like you. Be around like-minded people. Surround yourself with people who share your interests, your goals, and those who think like you.
By doing this, you’ll feel right at home being surrounded by other people. If you get close with them, you’ll begin to appreciate yourself as well since you have a lot of things in common with them.
This is just a stepping stone, of course. Eventually, you’ll need to surround yourself with people who are also very different from you. They will give you a different perspective of the world, making them just as interesting as people who share similarities with you.
For now, though, make things easier for yourself by being around like-minded people. This will be a great help to you as you try to be yourself more and more.
To be yourself, you need to acknowledge your emotions
You can’t be yourself if you don’t acknowledge the things that make you tick and feel. Don’t shove down any emotions and feelings that overcome you. Instead, acknowledge them. Face them. Deal with them.
If you get hit with rejection, don’t pretend to not be sad. It’s okay to feel sad every once in a while. If you’re tired, that’s okay. Rest. If you’re angry, then that’s normal too.
Whatever feeling it is that you start feeling throughout this process, don’t pretend they aren’t there. We’re only human, after all, and dealing with emotions is a part of our everyday life. No matter how awful it can be, train yourself to face your emotions. It won’t do you much good to just pretend they aren’t there, and it will most certainly not help you be yourself more.
Listen to criticisms but know which ones to weed out
No matter where we go or what we do, we’re going to receive criticisms every once in a while. We hear criticisms when we’re at work, in our personal life, in our romantic life, and pretty much everything else in between. That said, make sure you don’t deflect these criticisms immediately. Listen to them and assess whether or not they can help you.
A lot of criticisms come from a place of sincerity. Some people will criticize us to help us become better individuals. These are the kinds of criticisms you should take to heart. Learn from them. Become better because of them. You’ll be able to appreciate yourself more if this is something you can learn.
However, every once in a while, you will also hear criticisms that are more destructive than constructive. Hurtful words that are borne out of malice. You’ll be able to recognize these words immediately. It will hurt too. Those are the types of criticisms you shouldn’t pay attention to. They won’t do you much good and they certainly won’t make you feel any better.
Work on your goals
Aside from taking care of your body and your mind, you should also take care of your ambitions. Whatever goal it is you have, be sure to strive hard to achieve it. Do your best to get there in due time.
However, never drown yourself in this world for far too long. As great as it is to be where you want to be in your professional life, it will all be for nothing if you have no one to share those celebrations with.
With that in mind, maintain a healthy work/life balance. Never disregard your goals, but also never disregard your social life.
It can also be very helpful for you to be yourself and appreciate who you are if you open yourself up to others. Don’t hide things you don’t need to hide. Share things about you with other people. Give them a clear picture of what kind of person you are. Share your interests. Let others know your goals and dreams in life.
Doing this while interacting with other people will make you more comfortable and relaxed. Try it. When you open up to others about you, it will feel almost as if a massive weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
This will also force you to get to know yourself more. That may seem bizarre or unnecessary, but it isn’t. If you’re someone who seeks to be more yourself, this is something you need to do. The more you talk about yourself, the more you’ll learn to appreciate yourself.
Of course, remember to never cross a boundary. There are always limits to what you can divulge and how much you divulge about yourself. Don’t reveal anything too personal and give others a chance to open up as well.
Learn how to be more decisive
You’ll also need to learn how to be more decisive if you want to be yourself. If you’re someone who’s always hesitant, can never make up your mind, or takes a while to reach a decision even if the most minor things, this is something you’ll need to work on.
If there’s something you want to do, voice it out and seek it out. If there’s something you want to say, say it. Whatever it is, learn to be more decisive from here on out. If you’re decisive, you’ll start to see the things you want and need clearer. You’ll have more conviction. You’ll be more confident. In time, you’ll be yourself and you’ll love being yourself.
Of course, you should do this without being hurtful. This goes for all the tips in this article. You can do everything here in your efforts to be more yourself, but never let it reach a point where you start offending and hurting other people. There’s a line here. Don’t cross it.
Keep your expectations in check
Another thing you should keep in mind is that you should always keep your expectations in check. You might come across situations moving forward where it’ll be difficult for you to be yourself. You’ll feel yourself starting to fail. At some points, you might want to give up. You want to feel confident in your skin and be yourself around other people already, but you just can’t seem to find your bearings.
To avoid this, keep your expectations in check. It won’t always be smooth sailing from here. There are times when the things mentioned above will happen, you should know that this is okay. It’s normal to have setbacks. The most important thing here is that you won’t give up.
If you want to be more yourself, you’ll also have to learn how to be content. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more, of course. But if you keep looking at what can be, or what you believe needs to be, you’ll never be able to be happy with what currently is.
Learn to appreciate what you have and who you are now. At the same time, strive to be better and strive for more, but never look down on the present. Be content and happiness will come to you very naturally. Once you’re able to do this, you’ll be yourself more naturally as well.
Be inspired, but never transform just to fit in
Every once in a while, you’re going to encounter people who’ll inspire you. You’ll look up to them so much that you can’t help but attempt to be like them. This is okay. If that someone is a decent human being with fantastic characteristics, then, of course, you’ll want to be more like them.
However, there’s a difference between being inspired and forcing yourself to transform. What you should do instead is to recognize their amazing characteristics and figure out a way to incorporate those into your own life. Take their best traits and apply them to who you are. Then, you’re not trying to be like them, you’re only being yourself who’s trying to be better.
If you do decide to add traits, habits, and interests to change who you are, change for the better. Better yet, don’t use the word “change” when thinking about this. Instead, think of the word “improve.” You’re simply improving yourself and that’s completely perfect. In fact, if this is something you strive for and you eventually achieve it, you’ll learn to be yourself more and actually enjoy it.
Never seek everybody’s approval
One thing that will hurt your progress and hurt you overall is if you start seeking everybody’s approval. Don’t go out and meet people for the sake of making them like, adore, and want you as a friend. Don’t let that be a motivation. If you can learn to be yourself naturally, be nice to everyone, and be socially adept enough, those things will come on their own. There’s no need to actively seek them out.
Besides, you will never be able to please everybody. Despite how good you think you are, or how nice you try to be to everybody you meet, there will always be naysayers and there’s just nothing you can do about that. Instead, focus on being yourself, being better, and making friends. Focus on those who can properly engage with. Don’t waste your time trying to please those who won’t see eye-to-eye with you.
Reward yourself every once in a while
One thing you can make this process easier for yourself is if you reward yourself every once in a while. If there’s something you’ve been wanting to purchase for yourself, go out and purchase it. If you want to go on a vacation, feel free to go on a vacation. Whatever it is, listen to your wants and needs and fulfill them.
This will help you be yourself more. If you’re able to make yourself happy, you’ll start feeling more confident in your own skin. This will also be incredibly good for your mental health as well. You’re allowed and deserving of a reward. Give that privilege to yourself.
Socialize in a way that fits you
Before we proceed with this, one question you should probably ask yourself is this: Am I an introvert or am I an extrovert? Here’s one good way of knowing. If you can spend hours and hours socializing without feeling drained, you’re probably an extrovert. If you eventually feel the need to go home because you feel tired, despite how much more you want to stay, you’re probably an introvert.
That said, whichever personality spectrum you find yourself on, be sure to socialize accordingly. Don’t socialize like an extrovert if you’re an introvert. Otherwise, socialize for as long as you can, but make sure to make the most out of your time.
Love and appreciate who you are to be yourself
Finally, this is the best advice you can follow. If you truly want to be yourself, love and appreciate who you are.
As you’ve read from this article, each and every one of us is different. Find the things that you consider are unique to you and treasure those. See your experiences and memories as necessary milestones that shaped the person you are now. Love every single moment of your life, both the good and the bad.
Do the things you love and seek the things you’d love to do. Live life to the fullest. It’s a beautiful life if you know where to look and choose to look there. Once you’re happy with yourself, being yourself will become the most natural thing in the world.
To be yourself is something a lot of people do naturally. For some, however, it’s something that requires practice, especially when they’re around other people. If you’re a part of the latter, don’t worry. With this article, you’ll be able to be yourself regardless of who you are with. Good luck!