How to Be Yourself Around Others

Posted on - in Culture & Communication

Many people struggle with social situations at some point in their lives. Humans are social creatures, so it’s natural to want to feel accepted by others. However, acceptance should never come at the cost of authenticity. True connection surpasses all the masks we wear in our day-to-day lives, though those aren’t always easy to give up. To feel more comfortable around others, then, you may have to learn how to be yourself and let your guard down.

If you’re constantly acting a part in social situations, you’re going to end up wearing yourself out. It’s exhausting to pretend you’re someone you’re not. By taking a few simple steps toward being your authentic self, you can connect with others more deeply and stop dreading conversation. Here are a few ways you can get more comfortable being yourself around others.

1. Pursue Self-Knowledge

Sometimes, hiding behind other personas in social situations results from deeper issues that need to be resolved. To begin, take some time to consider what you struggle with when expressing yourself.

Meditation and journaling may help you examine your thought patterns objectively. Ask yourself directed questions such as “How do I act in different situations?” and “When do I feel I can’t be honest?” to understand what might be holding you back from living your truth.

Once you understand the things that trigger you to hide the real you, you can begin to actively fight against them.

2. Feel Proud of Yourself

If you want to feel more comfortable being yourself around others, getting comfortable in your own skin is a good way to start. It’s hard to project your ideas and identity with confidence when you don’t believe in them yourself.

Improve your self-confidence by celebrating your accomplishments, even when they feel insignificant. You might not be exactly where you want to be in your life, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel insecure. No matter who you are, you have something about yourself to feel proud of.

Did you learn an interesting science fact? Did you cook an awesome meal last night? Maybe you finished reading a book you’ve been working on for months. All of these are accomplishments, and they’re part of you. If you feel proud of them, you’ll be more likely to feel confident sharing your interests with those around you.

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3. Accept Your Flaws

Many people hide themselves in social situations because they fear the judgment of others. Shame keeps people from expressing themselves and following their own instincts.

Nobody’s perfect. But that fact shouldn’t keep you from connecting with other people. To stop feeling like you’re hiding from the world, accept your faults and failures as part of your reality. When you find confidence in spite of your flaws and speak from a place of self-awareness, you can let your guard down without fear of judgment. After all, people can’t hurt you by telling you something you already know.

4. Enjoy Living in the Moment

If you’ve ever seen a kid hop around on one foot or balance on a curb, you know the importance of doing something just for the sake of having fun. Kids aren’t usually worried about what other people think of them — they’re just enjoying living in the moment.

Try to channel your inner child when spending time with other people and pay attention to what’s going on in front of you. When you notice yourself getting caught up in your head or closing off your body language, take a deep breath and bring your focus back to the conversation. Listen carefully to others and speak from the heart without fear.

By grounding yourself in the present moment, you’ll improve your communication skills and relieve the anxiety you may feel in a conversation. When you allow yourself to enjoy the moment, you let your true self just breathe.

Relax and Start Expressing Yourself

Relaxing around others can be difficult, especially if you’re constantly worried about what people might think of you. However, expressing yourself authentically is the best way to find a meaningful connection with others.

By improving your self-awareness and confidence, you can start enjoying conversation by being more yourself.

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Kayla Matthews writes Productivity Theory and is constantly seeking to provide new tips and hacks to keep you motivated and inspired! You can also find her on Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha, and follow her on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on her latest productivity posts!

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