I Am Sane Everywhere, Depend On Who’s Asking
With strangers we have the ability to create whoever we want; we have a chance to create the best version of ourselves. Now there is a popular misconception that isn’t ‘being you’ and it is associated with falseness, but I have done an intensive research and gotten to realize that it is a normal psychological and social behavior and everyone does it. Remember when you first met that person you were deeply in love with? Remember the first few weeks of getting to know each other? Know you didn’t show the exact you in those weeks, you tried hard to hide your flaws and when they showed, you glorified them as ‘different’ or ‘unique’ or used them to get extra attention. You realize this person has a genuine interest in you, so consciously and unconsciously you try to impress this person, you try to be intellectual and a little bit deeper, you recommend melancholy songs, books and films you know they haven’t heard of to appear in touch with your inner self. You do a lot of things and say a lot of things you wouldn’t say on a regular day, realize this is you but a special reserved you which only comes out at specific occasions like the expensive china your mum brings for certain entitled guests.
As a matter of fact you do not get to be yourself until a few weeks after she stops pronouncing Michael with an American accent and she starts laughing without trying to look sexy, or after you stop using your bedroom baritone voice and pop slangs and you both didn’t notice this change, that’s when the everyday you comes out to play. This isn’t limited to romantic friendships only, it also applies to meeting someone of the same gender or someone older or younger who you consider ‘cool’ and admire or share similar interest. Another interesting thing I noticed about this self-projection is the element of intimidation, pride, competition and fragile masculinity with men. Men do this with other men who they envy or want to be like, no man will like to admit this but there’s that one guy whose guts you really hate or envy. You need to school this guy, you need him to know you have a better taste in cars, music, fashion and women etc. sometimes you are aggressive about this defense you lie about your car, finances or the girls in your circle. This self-projection isn’t unpopular among women and peers in general.
I think God put this social intelligence in us to be able to sell ourselves and increase our self-worth, to be able to compete and compare healthily, to be able to determine what our interests and likes are and to know the kind of people we want to associate with. It was through this the amazing friends and lover in your life based their decision to stay and vice versa, it’s the best form of impressive first impression if you ask me. I am not saying this is entirely right or entirely wrong but it is real. We like to be admired; it makes us feel good and relevant. Whether you believe it or not, we seek for this admiration every day, with our tweets, our selfies (we’ve all taken great selfies we didn’t upload until the day we knew it would get a lot of likes and comments), our actions, our words etc.
This does not make us petty; it can be normal and an appropriate form of validation. A lot of things have a downside, including this concept. People with low self-esteem and ‘fake’ people abuse this instinct. Honestly, I think they do so because they do not love themselves. Self-love is the most empowering thing you can have because it comes with happiness (which I think is not a destination but a choice and a lifestyle), boldness and a form of attraction etc. I wouldn’t blame those people, the internet and media have created a comical standard of what’s cool, attractive, manly or generally acceptable and I have been a prey to it. I have been ‘fake’, lied and embarrassed myself in order to fit in countless times before and attending a university that stripped me of my youth worsened my self-image in many social situations but I am learning, I am learning to grow, I am learning to love myself and the little things that make me happy, it doesn’t matter if I am excited by adventures others had three years ago, it’s my time and it’s my life and one way I’ve discovered to love yourself is to pay attention to compliments people give you that you don’t typically see, you will realize they are right and this discovery will make you happy.(Itis funny when people say they wish they could bring all the good things people say about them and put in one body because the reality is that those things are already there, in one body, your body). I used to hate my body but a lot of people think I am handsome and guess what? I am beginning to believe them. Now the most exciting observation I made is when you first meet someone, you become a blank canvas and you can project into that canvas what you want to be, but while you are projecting what you want to be this gap opens up between what you want to be and who you are, and in that gap it shows you what is stopping you from being the awesome person you want to be. In my case its laziness, negativity and self-doubt and I’ve decided to close this gap everyday with teeny tiny steps.