You know how people are always saying – “Be yourself”? Yeah, I don’t know who they’re talking about.
Because I’ve tried it. And it doesn’t always work. People actually don’t like your real self. They like the version they want to see. The easiest way to survive, is actually to be someone else – someone socially pleasant and approved, less confrontational and more manoeuvring. Say something. Mean something else. Do none of them.
The faces that people wear astounds me. I guess one is supposed to appreciate the effort taken by the certain individual to put up that face for you. That is precisely how society functions. I don’t know where the Be Yourself people stay. They are probably in some cozy room, alone and embedded in technology. Or with a few select friends who are cool with the general idea of being yourself, because they are too, themselves.
If people are complimenting your honesty, run away. Rest assured that the invisible parenthesis usually contains meaningful smiles between socially pleasant people, doing invisible conversations about you, beginning with ‘except that’.
For those who think they don’t care how people perceive you, you’re either a raging juvenile, blindly in love, a psychotic criminal or a liar. Because, admit it, every goddamn person in this freaking world, cares how people think of them. I think, even nudists do. That is how they want the world to perceive them – as people least bothered to dress up for you because they are so comfortable in their own skins!
People who are actually themselves are those who appear to be blended in the social fabric. And you thought they were just part of the mundane, social rubric. They are the ones who are choosing how you should behave or look like. Just because they set a pattern of being someone long ago, they want you to abide by that. Oftentimes, they have been victims of society too. They learnt how to be in the system to manipulate the system in their favour. Smart people, see?
So, while you play the drum of being your terribly exclusive self, they are constantly gnawing at your psyche trying to rewrite your code and copy-paste you back in the monochrome of social life. Sometimes they use force, sometimes gullibility and some other times passive aggressive blame games about how you are out of place. You could lose your precious self if you fought with them. Because that is interaction. That’s their trigger.
You can make peace with a reticent life enjoying the various perks of nerd-dom and technology. Or engage in larger-than-life issues that are beyond an immediate possibility of judgement – like poverty, violence, hunger, etc. They might have a deeply political side but you can try to steer clear of it and stick to the basic breathing exercise – wake up in the morning + feed and save people; get dressed for office + fight killers and rehabilitate victims, etc. You know the drill. Basically, breathe in and breathe out.