Just be yourself people say. But do they really mean it? Whenever I’m completely myself, I get the impression that people don’t really like it. Maybe the honesty scares people or maybe I do. What it comes down to in the end, is the fact that when people say to just be yourself, what they are really saying is that you should just be the best version of yourself. The truth is, in my case at least, that self is actually quite complicated and messy. There are aspects of self that are good and aspects that are bad. I’m not saying that people should like and enjoy everything about a person, I’m saying that they should understand that people are messy creatures, not easily confined or constrained to a simple set of governing rules and definitions. I’m saying it’s OK to be messy. It may make people uncomfortable to be messy around them, but who says that it’s our job to make everyone feel good and comfortable around us. Sometimes I have sorrow; is it right to hide that sorrow and be a fun me that everyone likes to be around? Is it OK to bring all of me to the table and be authentic? I say yes!
In fact, the people that I most respect are those people who are the most them—not version of self that people find the most attractive, funny, or happy. When I’m with someone, I like to be with them—and all that they are—the good, the bad, the ugly, the whole self. In all honesty, I know when someone is being themselves and when they are not. When someone is completely uncool, I know that they are being authentic with me, honest and upfront. So, when I say just be yourself, I actually mean it. Please be you. There is no one else that you can be, and the world does not need you to be anyone other than you. The world already has a lot of fake people. What everyone needs is for you to be you. If people are uncomfortable with you, frankly that’s their problem and they can deal with it.