You meet a person you really like, you can't explain it but for some reason you have your guard up. You don't feel fully like yourself even though you're charming and personable. In fact, it almost feels like people love this charming and personable persona. You want to be more open, but you just can't. You fantasize about being attractive and/or cool, but when you do it doesn't make you as happy nor does it work nearly as well as you hoped and planned? What's going on? Do you really just need to love yourself? Is it really that simple? You love a lot of things about you and yet you just can't fully let go!
There's a reason for this and it's not one you're going to agree with at first. Yet, I challenge you to think harder about it and if it applies to you....
You want to be attractive/cool/charming/personable because so long as you're being that if they reject you, they're not rejecting the real you, they're rejecting a version/persona of you!
This applies to even being nervous around your "crush." Think about it, if they reject you, your mind will rationalize it as "oh i was nervous." Even being a worse version of yourself is better than being yourself again because you can never be really rejected and your real self remains invulnerable.
It's counter to our nature to put ourselves in danger. That means physical or emotional. To do something so real and so authentic to yourself is potentially one of the worst things you can do to yourself because it opens others up to reject the real you.
Except, of course it isn't. The persona is never as good as the real person even though the persona is often much more attractive conventionally than the persona. As a writer, we strive as hard as we possibly can to create characters who are more real than most people allow themselves to be around others or even with themselves.
Do you really know yourself? Do you really know how you really feel or how you really are deep inside? Can you really hold an unflattering image of your own self in your mind? Have you ever cheated? Have you ever hurt someone? Do you think terrible things? Are you really weak in certain areas? Can you really handle that much reality about yourself?
Yes, you can. And you have to. Otherwise, you're signing yourself up for what I would describe as a half-life. You live as half a person, the flattering side of your personality. The side others and yourself approve of. And so you only experience half of joy. You only share half of yourself with others and they only like you half as much as they could. Set yourselves free and accept that you are kind of a shitty person as well as a great one.