When to Stop Being Yourself


Sometimes we come to a point where being ourselves is the one thing that is holding us back.

Ever since I was young, I was always taught by both of my parents (regardless of their separation) that one of the most valuable lessons I should hold onto in my life is to never stop being yourself. Both of them told me that if people couldn’t accept you for exactly who you are, then you don’t want those people in your life. For a long time, I agreed. Up until recently, that is.

I think we all fall for the romantic idea that we’re all actually perfect just the way we are, and while I believe all people are unique and have good qualities, I wouldn’t go as far as to say we default as the best person we could possibly be. I think it’s fair enough to say that we all have things that we could benefit from by learning them, and often times that means we may end up inevitably changing. That’s all well and good, but under no circumstances should we change for other people, right?

I would have to disagree, partially anyway.

It’s time to be realistic here; everybody wants to be liked. Now before I lose you with that sentence alone, let me further elaborate. We live in a world where our interactions with other humans will ultimately dictate the successfulness of our relationship with them: from your coworkers or boss to potential lovers and friends, how you behave towards them is greatly going to dictate whether or not you have the kind of relationship that you want with that person. You can’t exactly get a raise if you act like a jerk to your boss, and that date of yours may never call you again if you have a bad habit of complaining about how you’ve been wronged so many times by the other gender.

When to Stop Being Yourself

Let’s take a look at it objectively: more often than not, the average person wants to be viewed in a positive way, and will thrive off of positive reactions. The more positive reactions a person receives, the more they will inevitably thrive: they’ll have more confidence, they are more likely to have successful social and romantic relationships, and are more likely to be more motivated than somebody who receives little to no positive reaction. But what does this all mean exactly? That we have to change the person we are completely to be more successful. Not entirely.

I’m going to use a very common and relatable example here: dating. Let’s say you’re a person with little success in dating, or at the very least are currently struggling with being successful with dating; you know you’re a good person, who is smart and/or talented, who could have a lot to offer if someone gave you the chance. However, you’re being held back by your physical appearance and a developed bitter attitude. In a situation like this, you have two choices: change nothing and continue to have little success until you find somebody who will be fine with your flaws, or work on your weaknesses and open yourself up to more options. You could continue to be a bitter person who lashes out at people when they find themselves rejected, or you could take a moment and try to access where it is you stand as a desirable potential partner, and make some changes that could greatly benefit you. After all, there is a saying that goes: “Being yourself doesn’t help if you’re an asshole.”

When to Stop Being Yourself

Of course that doesn’t mean everyone with a few flaws is an asshole, I mean to use the quote figuratively: being yourself is not going to benefit you if you’re not being the best person you can be, and are being held back by bad/less desirable traits. Now, does that mean by any stretch that you have to change your appearance or style to match common fads and sacrifice your own sense of style? No. What I’m asking people to consider is the idea that working on yourself and your appearance is a healthy way to grow as a person, so long as you are doing it for the right reasons. Ultimately, you should be the first person in your mind to keep happy, and then other people should come next. If you can figure that changing up your style or attitude may help you in the long run and you’re willing to at least give it a shot, then it’s time to consider other people – in this hypothetical, a potential partner.

What could you improve to make yourself more attractive to them? Perhaps try a new hairstyle? Invest in some new medicated skin products to get your skin cleared up? Maybe even go to the gym and get yourself a bit healthier so your overall self-esteem draws them in? It could even be as easy as taking the time to work on yourself personally: maybe you have some issues that pertain to negative experiences in the past that you need to work through in order to find yourself more happy and positive, and therefore eliminating otherwise unattractive behaviors that were caused by these negative experiences. You heal, and you draw people in as a result; because once that veil of negativity was cleared away, it let them see the amazing person you could truly be.

Change is something that is necessary for personal growth, and ultimately, you should be changing for yourself before anybody else. You have to love the person you’re trying to become, because at the end of the day, if you do change your style or some of your traits and it makes you unhappy, then there isn’t a reason to continue doing it. However, at the very least you experimented and found out something new about yourself: that you didn’t like these particular things and now know to avoid them in the future. With this information, it’ll be easier to discover who you truly are at your core and figure out a better course of action to further your growth. When it comes down to it, if you can’t be happy with any potential changes in your life, you’ve either already reached the peak of your self discovery, or you simply aren’t okay with change. Either way, it’s your life and your happiness is most important, these are just some things to consider.

As always I sincerely hope everybody enjoyed this article and understood what I was trying to say. I hope you all have an amazing Friday and thanks for reading!

When to Stop Being Yourself
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Most Helpful Girl

  • TheDevilInside
    Only stupid people always say they will never change. The reason is simple. They lack self-reflection, and hence See nothing wrong in themselves. Even if the while world things they are bad people, they would just close their wars and say "lalalalalala..."
    Like 1 Person
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Most Helpful Guy

  • Illusive_Man
    AMEN !!
    Be yourself but the definition of "yourself" is not a static quality. It should be dynamic and always changing!
    That's something people always forget and you HAMMERED that point home.
    LOVELY myTake!
    Like 3 People
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What Girls & Guys Said

  • LightsOff
    I agree. Changing partially because of another person is fine, as long as the main reason is because you actually want to do it yourself. If you change entirely because of another person, that change most likely won't be permanent since it's not genuine.
    Like 1 Person
  • LuvBiddy
    I wholeheartedly agree with you! It's OK to be yourself most of the time, but you can't always behave based upon how you feel, and you also have to see yourself clearly so that you can work on your flaws. Bravo, thanks for a great read!
    Like 2 People
    • Thank you very much, I'm very happy you enjoyed it.

  • SirenDep
    The phrase 'be yourself' has the danger of believing you're perfect as you are, and stay the same, instead of trying to do some progress. Try to be your better self, instead of yourself.
    Like 2 People
  • Xx_PotatoMan_xX
    I used to be someone I'm not until I realized that what other people think is really none of your business and what truly matters is what you think of yourself.
    Like 3 People
    • Evan_aa

      I love this

    • skykidx1

      I can some what argee with this i tried being someone im not just to get my ex girlfriend parents to like me but guest what? Ir didn't end well because they judgy every little thing i dos good or bad... I buy my girlfriend rosess know what her mom says? He wants something from you no i did it out oftve kindness of my heart because everytime i see a rose irightt away think of her. But know i dont give a fuck what anyone thinks ir me

    • I'm just going to have this ready to copy and paste because I think people are confused by the message I was trying to get across.

      I am not suggesting (nor did I ever suggest) that you need to change solely for other people. You should always change for yourself first and for your benefit. What I was saying in this take is that considering others (aka other perspectives) is a helpful and healthy way to work towards self improvement because you may not be completely aware of some of things you're doing that you could do without. This doesn't suggest you literally stop being yourself (it's just a clever title), it suggests you strive for self improvement.

  • AlphaMale1
    Always be yourself. You can not be someone else and be good at it.

    If your friends you "play with" do not accept the real you then you need to find new friends and a different playground.
    Like 1 Person
    • I don't advocate people not being themselves; I advocate that people consider self improvement over a romanticized idea that we're all born perfect and don't have to strive to be better people. I wake up every day asking myself: How can I be a better person? I don't wake up saying: I am going to just keep doing the same mundane thing, screw personal growth. Seems counter productive to me.

      I also think that people are confused. I never said that you need to try to get everyone to like you, I simply said that there is a time and a place to consider other people when striving for self improvement. I'm not suggesting that anybody should ever try to please every single person they come into contact with, especially if those changes would compromise their morals. However, I do think inviting different perspectives is healthy and beneficial when trying to improve.

  • Broswater
    Change is good. We go through change due to outside pressure (parents divorce, a close friend's dead) and sometimes with time as we experience more and more of life. Just do for yourself first and foremost. Do it because you want to and you feel like it is going to bring you good in your life. But changing solely for the purpose of pleasing one person in particular will only make you resent them in the long run. But you are bang on. Change is good. Just make sure you feel good about changing :)
    Like 1 Person
  • Possible_Mate
    really good take, i like the way you explained your point of view and reasons. i agree with you, i find this take helpful. thank you for writing it.
    Like 1 Person
  • Phantom-menace1234
    Being yourself is a very good thing, but change to be a better a person. Don't change to something else, because people don't like you for who you are, now that is the wrong thing to do.

    If someone doesn't like me for who I am, I simply just cut them out my life. The way I think of it, they are not going to be living my life for me, or making my life better for me.

    Overall very good take, I completely agree. :-)
    Like 1 Person
  • ejx629
    Excellent take. You're right.
    The only thing I can add is that the changes that need to be made on the inside are always the hardest.
    Like 2 People
  • krkkrk23
    Change for yourself, not for others. Change for the better, not the worse. Be confident in all you do, and all that you do is being yourself. Because you don't change for others. Make sense? Nah? Sorry. It does? Great. Respond how you wish, because this is what I believe and stand by.
    • I don't disagree with you but I think you misunderstood me: I am not saying all in all that you should change yourself for others. I am saying however that you don't need to demonize the concept. Let's take a relationship for example: if you're acting a way that is negatively affecting your relationship, in most cases people will change. Why? Because that negative aspect of their life doesn't benefit them or that relationship. If you're completely against taking your partner into consideration simply for the fact that you're not okay with that kind of change, by all means, but you sacrifice more than you gain.

  • Unit1
    But what if I don't want to change so far until I become someone else but 100% me :o?
    I like myself the way I am and I am happy this way.

    OK - I know, I get the idea of this take: Explore yourself. I do not deny it at all. I'm being open minded actually. Sure we can try something and if we don't like it, we don't have to stay put.
  • BackInGame
    So what you've changed? You still don't have any income, your education is crap and you wait that some guy will pay and provide you with everything.
    Like 1 Person
    • I actually work and have my own apartment and I'm returning to school in September.

    • Sooooo, safe to say assuming can make you look pretty dumb.

  • bobwallice
    Good take. This goes hand in hand with being responsible for oneself. Change is inescapable anyway.
    Like 2 People
  • ginnyweasley
    i expected the answer to "when to stop being yourself" is not when you can be a batman. kinda disappointing
  • KDA20
    I agree wholeheartedly with the message you are trying to give - My view would be change for your own reasons not for the benefit of anyone else, that falls into trying to be a better person. I think if we look at it as everybody is changing all the time and nobody is perfect meaning that you never can say that if you change X, Y or Z you will get everything you want. I find the best thing to do is keep a subconscious running total and think will the consequence of this specific action make me a better person, you can still adhere to the be yourself, only change for yourself motto.
  • skykidx1
    I argee and disargree with you i belive we should never change only improve ourselfs. I im a very kind heart personbut more then often people take advantage of that or walk all over me... I always wanna be friends with everyone even people i had fights with or disargrements with. In the last year and half i been used and treated like a doormat i still wanna be a kind person but from now on when im right im right... anyone that wants out of my life can go idgf anymore i got no more time for ganes. I wanna be in the middle a respectedable kind guy but at the same time take no shit from anyone
  • PublicEnemyNumber-1
    I did change already. I formed into the perfection I am today, and I have no need to change anymore.
    Disagree 2 People
  • James19
    Good take. Nice descrptions. But it depends from person to person.
  • Zorax
    Great take, I agree 100% :)
    LikeDisagree 4 People
  • Anonymous
    Disagree totally, you should never change the person that you are merely improve on the person that you will become, life isn't about being liked by everyone, the one who goes through life that is liked by everyone is the person that hasn't lived, after all what's the point in life if you spend every day trying to make people like you when u don't like u
    Like 1 Person
    • I never once stated that life should be about being liked by anyone nor is it about pleasing others. I do touch on the idea that you can benefit from considering others in regards to self improvement, but no where have I stated (nor would I ever state) that you need to change for every Tom-diggity-Dwayne that enters your life.