Just Be Yourself: The Worst Dating Advice Known to Man


just be yourselfAbout a day ago, we had a commentator on the post on how to become romantic who weighed in to let me know that it's silly to try and get better with people, and that most people have better things to do, and that in fact you really should just be yourself, and anyone who doesn't realize how awesome you are is simply intellectually stunted.

Where do people come up with this malarkey?

I know he represents a vanishingly small minority on this site -- and likely was just a passerby -- but this mentality represents the majority of the thought on the subject in mainstream society.

"Just be yourself. If people don't like you for who you are, who needs 'em?"

Quite likely one of the most counterproductive mindsets a man could possibly have. Anyway, I addressed that commentator's individual points pretty thoroughly in the comments section of that article itself, so I won't revisit it here, but I do want to talk about this mentality of "just be yourself" -- and why it's such terrible, terrible advice.

 

The Rise of Feel-Good Political Correctness and the Decline of Steady Self-Improvement

Somewhere between 1960 and 1970 or so, the West decided that it was bad to make people feel bad, and that the most important thing you could do for another human being was to tell them they were fantastic, just the way they were.

Before that, if you were doing a bad job, people told you. They didn't hold their punches. Watch old movies and you'll see it; "shape up or ship out" was a commonly used phrase back then. It meant you'd better get your ass in gear and step it up and get yourself improved, or else you were getting kicked to the curb.

But then things changed. We collectively decided in the West that we were hurting too many people's feelings by telling them they needed to improve themselves, so instead we pulled a one-eighty and started telling them that they were lovely, just how they were.

And what ended up happening was, people bought it. They really bought into it and believed it; they breathed it, ate it, and slept it.

"Why should I have to change myself?" people said. "The world should accept me just the way I am!"

And large numbers of people really gave up trying to improve themselves. They started believing that everyone else should value them for who they were, and everyone else should see and understand how incredible and amazing they were on the inside, and that that was all that really counted.

So, Western people stopped working on their bodies, and many of them became fat and obese. And Western people stopped working on their careers, and many of them ended up in meaningless dead-end jobs. And Western people stopped working on their style, and many of them continued dressing the same way their parents dressed them as children. And Western people stopped working on their personalities, and many of them kept the same personalities they had as children -- selfish, lazy, and filled with a sense of entitlement.

And maybe that would've been fine, had everyone made the switch. But not everybody did.

You see, some people in the West didn't buy into the feel-good political correctness that everyone else swore by. Instead, some people retained the values of their parents, and their parents' parents, and their parents' parents' parents. Some of those values, discarded by the feel-good folks, included:

  • A strong work ethic -- if you want something to get done, you work hard and make it happen

  • A thick skin for criticism -- if someone doesn't like you, that's fine; consider why, maybe there's a valid opportunity in there for improvement, and if there is, you take it. If there isn't, you just shrug it off and get back to work

  • A sense of personal responsibility -- it isn't other people who have to recognize how amazing you are and make sure you have all the things you want -- it's you who must make people realize your benefits and get the things you want for yourself

That last one's the most important for this article here today. Because the people who tell you to just be yourself think that the world should give you everything you want, if you are just "true to yourself."

A girl could be a hairdresser who dropped out of high school and genuinely enjoys toking up as her favorite pastime, but if she wants to get a gorgeous, high-flying attorney as a husband, all she has to do is just be herself and of course she'll find him.

A guy could be an overweight, balding construction worker who works the midnight shift and watches a little too much porn, but if he really wants to date a model who spent time on the Olympic tennis team, all he has to do is just be himself and he'll get her eventually.

Extreme examples, but they're there to illustrate why not everyone making the switch has caused problems: it's because the vast majority of society today is non-improvement "just be yourself"ers, but the people they all like and admire and want to spend time with the most and desire most as mates are the driven, accomplished "pull yourself up by your bootstrap"ers.

Get that? Most folks don't want to have to improve. But almost everybody wants to have a mate who's radically improved him or herself.

Needless to say, the feel-good politically correct people get left frustrated and bitter they didn't get the kind of mate they wanted, while the improvement-focused people all pair up with one another and end up comparatively a lot happier, as they conduct their joint self-expansion and keep getting better and better.

And yet, the feel-good politically correct people keep marching along, beating the drum of "just be yourself" and fervently trying to get others to believe.

Funny thing about those who go out seeking converts: it's always the people who are struggling the hardest to justify their beliefs who yell them the loudest and try the hardest to win new converts; it's as if getting someone else to believe reassures them just that much more that yes, in fact, they're on the right path.

But the people who're certain of their beliefs? Most of the time, they don't bother talking about them at all. They're too busy getting stuff done and living fulfilling lives to worry too much about what other people think.

 

It's a Bad Idea to Just Be Yourself

Seven years ago, I couldn't get a date to save my life. If I'd decided back then that, rather than trying to steadily improve myself and turn myself into a man that women found irresistible, instead I would continue to "just be myself," I don't know where I'd be today, but I know I'd be a lot angrier, a lot more bitter, and a lot less happy than I am right now. In fact, I'd probably be that same old angry, bitter, miserable self I used to be. Hell of a prescription from the feel-good politically correct camp -- thanks for that, team!

Actually, I used to be the perfect example of the "just be yourself" mentality. I went through a period where I legitimately believed that if people didn't realize how awesome I was, then screw them, they were morons. That went on until I started recognizing I didn't have the kind of people I wanted in my life.

See, the problem with being yourself is that you don't get any better. But life isn't about staying in one place; it's about continually improving.

There's no such thing as stasis. Either you're getting better, or you're getting worse... all the time.

That's the difference between the "just be yourself"ers (they think they're standing in place, but they're really in decline) and the folks who're focused on continuous improvement (they're continuously getting better).

I'll give you one other way of thinking about it. If I told you:

  • That I wanted to climb Mt. Everest but I'd never mountain climbed before, would you tell me I should start training now, or that I ought to not worry about it and I should "just be myself?"

  • That I wanted to go to law school but I hadn't started studying for the LSATs, would you tell me I should start studying now, or that if the graders didn't like my answers they were just fools and that I should really "just be myself?"

  • That I wanted to be in a rock band, but I was pretty bad at singing and guitar, would you tell me I should work on getting better in those areas, or that if audiences didn't like my stuff they were tone-deaf numbskulls and I'll be fine so long as I "just be myself?"

Yeah, that's right. It sounds pretty damn silly when you put it like that.

So why the heck do so many people think that "just be yourself" is great life and dating advice?

Ay caramba.

just be yourself

 

Just Make Yourself

This ought to be the mantra for all the non-feel-good politically correct folk.

Andrew Carnegie didn't become a steel magnate and philanthropist because he decided to just be himself. Instead, he made himself -- into an entrepreneur, a businessman, someone who gave back to his community. He turned himself into something that at the start of his life he was not.

I feel like the "just be yourself" mentality comes from a deeper problem in mainstream society, and that's the problem of people thinking life should all happen naturally and effortlessly. Like, if you just wait long enough, eventually you'll meet the girl of your dreams! And you'll find your dream job! And you'll have a happy, amazing life!

Judging by all the unhappy middle-aged folks there are out there who've been following that motto since 1960 something, I think it's safe to say the "wait for life to give you what you want! It'll all work out on its own!" crowd is getting mixed results, at best.

Nobody gives you what you want. You learn how to get it, and then you go get it.

If you want to climb a mountain, you start training for that.

If you want to go to law school, you start studying for that.

If you want to be in a band, you start playing for that.

If you want success with women, you start learning that too.

Who's going to do better with women and get the kind of women he really wants? The trained seducer who:

Or the guy who just kind of sits there and doesn't really know what he's doing but he's just being himself?

Right, hands down -- it's the guy who knows what he's doing. It's not even close.

Some guys still think there's some kind of "realness" vibe that a man who has no idea what he's doing has that a man who's trained himself up lacks that gives the "just bein' myself" guy some sort of mysterious advantage.

To me, this sounds suspiciously like the French esprit de corps. If you don't know about that, in the run-up to World War I, France and Germany knew they were going to go to war. So, Germany focused on building itself up -- it produced tons of bullets, machine guns, airplanes, u-boats. France was confident that it didn't need to improve itself, and that its esprit de corps -- the French fighting spirit -- would carry the nation to victory over any opponent. It kept its old foot soliders with old rifles and mounted cavalry.

Result? France and Germany went to war and France got crushed. The French mounted cavalry didn't do so hot against German machine guns and airplanes.

If you don't want to end up like France in World War I, my recommendation to you is that you never, ever listen to anybody who ever tells you to "just be yourself" ever again. Instead, you should take every opportunity you can for improvement and advancement -- because life isn't about standing still. It's about continually putting yourself into better and better positions to get the things you want.

And goddamn, what other things do you have to do that are better than that?

Chase Amante

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Comments

glados's picture

A long time ago, I read a


A long time ago, I read a post about this subject which stuck with me: http://www.sosuave.net/forum/showthread.php?t=165396

I'd like to hear your opinion on it. He seems to be giving the opposite advice. I tend to waffle back and forth on the subject, myself.

Chase Amante's picture

Re: A long time ago, I read a

Author

Hey Glados-

Yeah, great stuff there, brother. I actually agree pretty much completely with what the poster there is talking about -- not opposing advice at all!

This post, I'm talking about cutting yourself short on improving yourself because you think people should just like you for how you are and those that don't have something wrong with them.

In that post you linked to, the author's talking about how his buddy who exudes warmth and familiarity and non-judgmentalism does so exceptionally well with people in general, and women in particular.

I'm a huge proponent of warmth, familiarity, and being non-judgmental on here, too. For a few examples of this, check out "Don't Be Bitter" and "Reference Points and Changing Worldviews." I'm a big believer that warmth and acceptance and familiarity, in concert with sexiness and edginess and decisive leadership and being a bit of a challenge, are the ingredients for becoming as good with women (and people) as you could ever want to get.

I've been meaning to get up a proper treatment on being non-judgmental for months now; I drafted an article on it back in December, but didn't like what I came up with and shelved it. But for sure man, no conflict at all between what I'm talking about here and what that poster's talking about in the post you linked to -- everything he says is great advice.

Cheers,
Chase

Lau'Ren'Tay's picture

Damn son


Aye Chase how it going man? I haven't been here in forever, your still banging out the good stuff bro (: . Hahaha that's hilarious... just being yourself is absolutely the worse epidemy of dating advice to man; when I hear people say it to other man, or woman I cringe.

I remember my sister telling that to me in the past(cringe). Just being yourself is basically not improving anymore obviously, and giving up in my opinion. Which with that kind of negative mindset, could back fire on you, with detrimental consequences ,which equals unhappiness =O . Anyway I really like the one, "just make yourself"...sounds totally bad ass.

Glados, that link to that post is good, and dead on target. I liked it a lot...

Lau'Ren'Tay Walker

Chase Amante's picture

Re: Damn son

Author

Haha, Lau'Ren'Tay, glad to see you around these parts, brother! Life is good... unbelievably busy, but lots of exciting things happening right now.

Yeah, giving up on improving is quite akin to giving up, isn't it? People like to pretend there's some sort of nobility in "accepting who you are," but it's really a sign that you've reached the end of your rope and simply can't or won't try anymore.

Anyway, always good to hear from you, man. Hope all is well back home in the good ol' US of A, and that you've been kicking ass lately ;)

Chase

Migz's picture

Better advice: Adapt or die.


Better advice: Adapt or die.

Kaisa's picture

Oops... Now I'm feeling


Oops... Now I'm feeling guilty that I'm actually said this one to many guys. Well, if you put it like that, of course it sucks. Yet I feel there's a point to this advice, if taken the right way.

To me, the point with this one was never that you shouldn't improve yourself. Of course you should, if you can, and it's great fun, too. The thing you shouldn't do is to start feeling like you suck, and get desperate. There are guys there who have a really low self esteem, and that's not a turn on for any woman. Some people criticise themselves so much that they end up intimidated by their own criticism, thinking they are hopeless, they're doing everything wrong, and until they have improved a zillion things in themselves, nobody's going to like them and it's not worth even trying. Or they end up trying SOOOO hard, overdoing it and looking like fakes, and that won't work either.

How I see it, you should "be yourself" in a sense that you are confident. You recognise the good stuff you have and be proud of it. You don't rush to change EVERYTHING about you only because some alpha guy seems to be doing it differently. ("I'm wearing blue shirts and that cool guy there is wearing black ones and he's getting women... My shirts must suck. Gotta replace them!") Instead, you should have the courage to do some things your own way - IF they are good things, of course. Sometimes it's hard to tell.

Some guys, I feel, really think too little of themselves. I have a male friend (I'm a woman myself) who thinks he's too thin and not "manly" enough as he doesn't have big muscles. Should he go to the gym and try to "improve himself"? Maybe he should, I don't know. But I feel he's very attractive and there's nothing wrong with his body. Many women like guys who are not so big and athletic, just like many men like women with B size boobs, even more than they like women with huge ones. My point is, whether he chooses to work out or not, I think his real problem is that he THINKS he sucks. That makes him shy with women, not talking to them, thinking like, "they won't like me anyway". If, instead, he would be like "Well, there are women who love guys JUST like me, let's go get them", I'm sure he would succeed.

Even when you do have obvious faults, there's a point in "being yourself", in a sense that you recognise your faults and don't panic. :) Don't be ashamed of them, don't get intimidated by them and don't desperately try to hide them and be somebody else. Instead, be cool. The message you're giving to other people should be: "I know I have these faults but it's ok. I'm working on them." This is my idea of accepting oneself. It doesn't mean you should suck for the rest of your life. :)

So... When I've told people to "be themselves", maybe I should have said "be confident", or what?

Thanks for the interesting post, by the way.

Chase Amante's picture

Re: Oops... Now I'm feeling

Author

Hi Kaisa,

Yeah, generally you want to stay away from any kind of cliché advice, just because people stop "hearing" clichés or end up misinterpreting them to mean something else a great deal of the time. So, when most guys hear, "Just be yourself," they think, "Oh, great! All I have to do is go be exactly the same way I always am, and women will like me!"

And then it doesn't go so swell and they feel a little lost and confused at why being themselves wasn't enough.

Your understanding of "be yourself" is perfectly sound -- the guy who does best with women really IS himself, and is much more in touch with his real personality usually than most men are. People can sense genuineness, and they tend to respond to it enthusiastically.

Unfortunately, when you tell most guys to be themselves, they've spent so much time wrapping their real selves up in so many appearances and defense mechanisms that the appearances and defense mechanisms are what people see. That's stuff like cynicism, clique-ishness, one-sided opinions, etc., that are much more for protection or group affiliation than they are a part of that person's actual self -- but people come to identify themselves through those things and think that that's what they ought to show off when they're told to "be themselves."

Maybe instead of saying "be yourself," you might say, "be cool, don't come off like you're trying to impress or be fake at all, but at the same time make sure you're getting to know about her dreams and motivations and that you're moving things forward, because women aren't going to make the moves themselves."

If you want quick advice to give to guy pals, that's probably some of the best 5-second advice you can give!

Cheers,
Chase

Anonymous's picture

Why is it that our fathers


Why is it that our fathers (well, not mine, he isnt Western) and grandfathers seemed to be born naturally able to find women and partners? What has changed in society that is creating legions of men unable to do what seemed to be a natural male trait? What caused this 'feel good' Political Correctness crap?

Anonymous's picture

My Hypothesis would be: 1.


My Hypothesis would be:
1. Feminism and its effects. Men can no longer be like their grandfathers and grand-grandfathers and still hope to be successfull since the very idea of being a man has changed over the last decades. (Though at the same time people still cling to the old chliches.)
2. Free choice of partners. Maybe not even 100 hundred years ago many societies would've some sort of arranged marriages and such, which made looking for partners unnecessary. But since the increasing freedom during the 20th century people had to start looking for partners all by themselves which to some extent is a rather new concept. (Casanova and suchlike only looked for affairs and flings and such. But seriously, how many poor farmers etc. had even the chance or time to look for partners or flings?)
3. Hollywood. One of the worst brainwashing-mechanisms in postwar media, imho. We're infused with all those fake ideas about how love and relationships should work, but in reality it hardly ever (or never) works out like in those movies. Especially women seem to be affected by these made-up ideas of romance and "the one" and all that crap. As a result their expectations towards dating and mating changed over time and both men and women still struggle with it.

Just a few spontaneous ideas.

Chase Amante's picture

Re: Why we've got political correctness

Author

I think this is deserving of a post in and of its own right, as it's a pretty interesting topic and it isn't, as far as I can tell, quite what you might think. I'll get that one up shortly.

Chase

Omer's picture

I disagree


Hello,

You completely misunderstood the term 'just be yourself'. It's an imperative, not a descriptive sentence. And you consider it as if it were a sentence that tells you not to do anything, just to stay the way you are. And that would be a terrible advice most of the time, since people are usually "not themselves", especially with girls.
In my honest opinion, "just be yourself" means more or less "be authentic", and it's not "just" actually, because it's not simple. It's very difficult and takes a lot of time and practce. It is about self-improvement here, to discover what you really want at all times and all costs. I believe that people who do so, barely need any social advice, maybe just some tips here and there. They are being themselves

I'm sorry for my English, and I would be really happy to listen to replies

Anonymous's picture

"Be yourself" is great advice


"Be yourself" is great advice *for the moment* when you're with a girl. Being congruent—not putting up a show; thoughts, words and actions aligned)—is one of the defining factors in pickup.

As a lifestyle advice, it's bad. Men have been socially conditioned to beliefs that serve the female imperative and are counterproductive to getting laid.

Garrett's picture

Chase, I really need your help with this man!


Hey Chase!

So I'll break things down for you. I follow your blog quite often, and I think you have a lot of logical and great applicable advice for your followers. I came across this post though and it really bothered me....

The thing is, I'm a young guy, and I'm honestly not looking to have sex with a girl right away. I'm down with making out with her and all that good stuff, but due to my religious beliefs and my morals, it feels wrong. Chase, I honestly did look at myself and think "Are you just saying that because you can't get girls to sleep with you?" Honestly though, I'm not being a victim here because I know that's not what I want, regardless of if I could get with a girl in one night or not, it's sincerely just not my thing. I'd rather get to know a girl, make a move if I'm interested, and build the relationship if it's what we both want.

So what I'm wondering is, if I don't sleep with the girl, what's the deal? Am I always going to be relegated to the 'boyfriend' who has to work hard in order to get what I want?

Also, about being yourself, I think you should be yourself to an extent, and this is why I disagree with you. If you aren't yourself, how are you going to be comfortable knowing that you are basically 'acting' all the time and lying to everyone you meet? I think constant self improvement is essential to becoming the best person you can be, and I've been incorporating what you're saying in your blog into my life. I feel like it works, but recently I wasn't being myself at all, I would have be in 'acting mode' and would eventually cave and throw emotional bombs on girls because I felt like I was manipulating them. It just wasn't my thing man.

The thing is, I like to incorporate what you teach, but I don't want to completely change who I am to attract women. What's your view on this? Do you see my side of the argument, because from my standpoint it feels wrong because you are essentially manipulating people's emotions in order to get what you want. I know most girls want the badboy and don't appreciate the nice guys, but why not be a mix of both? Just be yourself, don't be the 'shopping buddy' and don't be a jerk? Because naturally, I'm a blend of both. I want to get better with girls, and get high quality girls, but I don't want to manipulate them and sleep with them on the first night.

I may have misinterpreted things to an extreme level, but I'm looking forward to your views on this Chase; it will probably really help myself as well as others improve on our game!

Thanks,
Garrett

Anonymous's picture

Society


Hey Garrette

I wrote out an elaborate response to this with many questions, I felt like I came off like a psychopathic cult leader trying to get his members to question reality.

The truth is, you need to ask yourself.. Why do you feel guilty for indulging? Is this guilt great enough that it's holding you back? My friend who has religious parents used to be like this, but as he became more independent and enjoying life more.. he stopped feeling guilty. He became happier and less depressed. He tells me he still feels that way watching porn but he's dating multiple girls and a stripper at the moment.

A good thing to think about is that often people with addictions do things that they regret. So obese people eating, and then feeling guilty about it. Alcoholics who like drinking but feel guilty about it. The problem here is that you're letting society telling you what you should think, and thus feeling guilty like my friend. This often perpetuates the problem, making them indulge more and then feeling even more guilty about it. Then depression, and more indulgence. Etc.

You seem to enjoy being around women, so why let society limit you? Is God going to hate you for doing what you love? Seems like rubbish to me

Same thing goes for the word you used, "manipulation". It has such a negative connotation, and often is used as a label. Society and people do this to stop others from deviating from the norm. To hold us back. So you may want to think about why exactly you use that word so much.

Also, the whole part about "being one's self". Honestly I see this more in the younger population, so your opinions on this will probably change by the time you get older (but then it will be too late).. and well.. I can't say many people would appreciate me crying all the time and tossing food everywhere like when I was a toddler.

*shrugs*

- Eric

Garrett's picture

Responding to Anon


Hey Eric,

In terms of the guilt... my parents aren't religious at all, and they don't push me to believe in anything. Going to Catholic School and taking religious courses, my morals have somewhat deviated from what they were before. So it's basically my own choice man. I don't feel guilty about it.

The thing is, I'm not really interested in having sex with some random girl that I meet off the street. I'll give you this though... if the girl was really hot, had a killer personality, would benefit me, and I knew if I didn't do it she would leave, then yeah I would probably go for it to be honest.

Chase did raise a good point in one of his articles though, about the Doctor who was kissing the girl here and there, vs. the guy who took the girl home right away. I think it depends on a few factors though, like how good your game is, and the morals of the girl.

I enjoy being around women, and want to get better game. I feel I may have misinterpreted the whole 'be yourself' mentality. I believe that people should continuously work on and improve themselves, and when something goes wrong, look at themselves first before blaming others, because that's how you grow and truly learn from your mistakes. I hate it when I'm talking to someone and I say "You know what, I think we were both at fault, I shouldn't have hurt your feelings." Then they comeback and say, "No, you were at fault, I didn't do anything." Failing to recognize one's faults really inhibits growth.

When I read your post, Eric, I really considered your point of view. I don't think it applies to me though in all honesty. In my opinion, society doesn't do much to tell guys not to have sex, if anything, it's typically encouraged. I think you are referring to society's point of view on girls having sex, because girls who go around doing it may develop a bad reputation. If I went around having sex, I'd probably develop a better reputation than I have now, although I'd prefer to better my reputation in different ways.

Thanks for the input Eric,
Garrett

Michael Makovi's picture

Self-improvement. But what if there's nothing "wrong" with you?


I arrived here from here.

So this article speaks of self-improvement. Well-taken. But what if there's nothing "wrong" with you? Well, obviously, I mean relatively, because nobody is perfect.

For example, a Star Trek nerd might have less success in picking up women than a non-nerd. But there's nothing "wrong" with being a nerd. So why should he have to abandon his nerd-dom in the name of "self-improvement"?

Furthermore, even if he successfully ceases to be a nerd, my guess is that the utility he will derive from greater dating success, will be less than the disutility of his no longer having the satisfaction of being true to himself. In other words, there is utility to be had from both being true to oneself, and from romantic associations. Where these two utilities conflict, one must decide which one is greater.

On top of that, if you are true to yourself, I will wager that eventually, you will find someone. It may take longer for the Star Trek nerd than for the jock, but sooner or later, the Star Trek nerd will succeed as well. So it's a simple matter of time-preference (time horizon): the nerd can make himself into a jock and thereby acquire a romantic partner sooner, but all he has done is bring a future utility closer to the present. This is indeed valuable (present goods are more valuable than future goods). But in the process, the nerd has lost the utility of being true to himself. He has entirely lost one utility (being a nerd, true to himself), and merely brought a future utility (romantic partnership) closer to the present. Ultimately, it will depend on his personal time preference (his own personal rate of discounting the value of the future relative to the present, i.e. his own degree of patience or impatience).

Assuming a low enough time preference (i.e. a high degree of patience and willingness to wait), then the best strategy would seem to be to be oneself, and be willing to wait. The nerd, rather than become a jock and gain a romantic partner today at the cost of his satisfaction of being a nerd, ought to remain a nerd and retain that satisfaction, and wait another five or ten years for a romantic partner.

And the truer he is to himself, the sooner he will find someone who appreciates him for who he is. Assuming a general strategy of being true to oneself, then any divergence away from this will actually delay gratification by making it more difficult for his would-be other to find him. The nerdier a nerd is, the faster another nerd will find him. The more a Star Trek nerd talks about Star Trek, the sooner he will find another Star Trek nerd. Cf. OKTrends, The Mathematics of Beauty: "We now have mathematical evidence that minimizing your "flaws" is the opposite of what you should do."

So ultimately, what it comes down to is, one must evaluate one's own respective utilities for being oneself, for having a romantic partner, and for enduring or not enduring the passage of time. One's behavior ought to be a function of these three variables.

Garrett's picture

Be yourself


After spending a while off of this site, I've actually come to disagree with everything on here. The reason why is because yes you can change who you are and yes what this site advocates does work, but you really have to sit down and think about what you want. Maybe some people are satisfied living an average lifestyle. How is studying for a test not being yourself? This post is extreme in the fact that it says you can't be yourself and have the lifestyle you want. I can study for law school and still be myself? I can eat healthier and still be myself? Regardless, even if you meet a girl with the methods on this site, what are the odds of finding someone who you can just hangout with, bond with, be entirely authentic with and enjoy spending time with? I see several married couples, including my parents, who enjoy spending time with each other because they like who the person is both inside and out. Chase, maybe that girl left you after you spent boatloads of time on her, but did you ever really think that maybe she's just not right for you? Sleeping with girls and toying with their emotions is wrong in my opinion, this site is way too complex regardless of intelligence, and people need to follow their heart as opposed to acting like robots to attract women. I'm sure you become natural as you change your behavior, but it's completely unnecessary, unnatural and unrealistic. You were born the way you are for a reason, why change yourself so that someone who wouldn't like you for who you are naturally would suddenly start liking you because of the changes you've made? It's complex, and yes I know this site works, I spent half a year and endless hours trying to change my behavior/appearance. It worked, but I wasn't finding the true bond that you can only find if you naturally just be yourself, follow what you want to do, and with time, wait for the girl of your dreams to come around when you least expect it, you just have to have faith and chill out :p. Balance is key here, and if you're doing nothing to take care of yourself, that should probably concern you. To each his own though, if guys are happy living like that it's fine, but you don't have to go to the other extreme and spend all you're time worrying about improvement. It's not all or nothing, look towards the middle of the spectrum, take care of yourself if you want, and eventually you'll run into your dream girl who likes you for who you naturally are :).

Garrett

Chan's picture

yes, accept and be yourself!


Amen to the responders who say "accept and be yourself". Any kind push for a change reflects an assumption that as you are "is not okay" and you should change. Actually this is a very deeply ingrained belief in the Western mind (we're all flawed in some way and we should all "improve" and "change" to something better).

But that's a lie. We're perfectly okay and deserve to be accepted and loved as we are -- with all our imperfections!

Now if you're drinking for the entire day, lying on the couch eating chips, watching television, this self destructive behavior reflects not your self-love and self-acceptance but more likely self-hate. You probably don't accept yourself, so you're self destructive.

So the solution paradoxically is in greater self love and self acceptance -- without the need for any kind of great self improvement projects. If we're able to achieve that, we'll be able to find and develop deep loving relationships too.

The book "Radical Acceptance" helped me in this area a lot in case you like this line of thought and find it helpful.

David Longhair's picture

I feel I have to comment on this


Chase, I think you being overtly critical of the saying "Just be yourself". Of course if this means - being a slob, eating whatever junk food you want, playing computer games 24/7, masturbating to porn when you aren't playing computer games, and dressing whatever crap you can find - then yes, of course that is detrimental.

But we are also individuals with different personalities. I like unique things, I like pretty things, I collect art and fine porcelain. I don't like to watch sport and I couldn't give a rats arse who won the World Series, the Grand Slam, or the World Cup. Recently my friend told me off and said I was being too eccentric and told me to hide the fact that I have a metrosexual side. But then what? I want to meet intelligent girls I want to fuck intelligent girls who like what I like.

I've recently removed several females from my facebook list - why? Because they really didn't give a damn about me. They were simply after a Mr. Perfect - someone who had a well paying job, drove a good car, went to the right Uni - did the right degree, and said the right things at gatherings - and basically be their bitch - fuck that.

Alex Adieu's picture

I REALLY needed to hear this...


Thank you for writing this. It is even worse when everyone around you tells you to "just be yourself" when you have a mental disability. Although I act normal enough that no one suspects it, I am missing social filters. This used to make me so angry when people would tell me to "just be myself" because I knew it was bullshit. Me just being myself results in failure because of missing social filters. At times it's like I can do no wrong, at other times it's like I can do no right-socially. Sometimes only the "right" things are coming out of my mouth and other times nothing "right" is coming out of my mouth(endless debates about religion with hot women, talking about my non existent sex life, complaining, etc etc and I won't realize I'm doing it till after the fact). I also think that this idea of "just be yourself" came from romantic delusions and religion(after all it is all about "destiny" or the "will" of whatever imaginary friend strokes people's ego and how dare the rest of us have the audacity to trample on these moronic irresponsible ideas that only sheep buy into). I have been feeling down lately and almost like giving up despite being so close to changing my behavior(only asking questions when around women without creeping them out for instance as opposed to talking about me) due to more or less having a diagnosis of Aspergers(even though I'm not clumsy and I look normal, most women would consider me to look like a male model but my issues have always made sex difficult although I have been engaged before). I realize if I don't change, I don't get the smoking hot woman. The type of woman I lust for I won't find at a Star Trek convention most likely aside from Jeri Ryan lol(despite my obsession with Star Trek). How many people have condemned me for wanting to change myself like I am killing someone or doing something that is a "mortal sin". All I can say to them is that if they want to be sheep, baaaaaahhhhh, baaaaahhhhh, living in their double standards(concerning sex, want to change personality issues you might as well be Hitler, but if it was the SAME personality issues hitting their wallet-preventing them from getting jobs due to "just being themselves" at a job interview-they would jump through burning hoops going to the ends of the earth to change the SAME things, hypocrisy at its finest), they want to be failures and not run their life, piss on them.

lucifer7's picture

"improve/work" VS "work to live/enjoy life"


Liked the gist of the article, but my Southern European roots tell me that it seems a bit like the classical American clichè "work hard to get what you want".

Yes, of course, improve, but should you be making that your ULTIMATE goal?

Do you know what's one of the most common regrets people have in their last day?
Having worked too much.

If your ultimate goal is always improving, when will you stop to catch your breath, like yourself the way you are -which IS important to be happy- and... Enjoy life?

So yes, improve, but also learn to like yourself even *before* you reach those goals of improvement and no matter whether or not you'll reach your goals.... Learn to enjoy life anyway, that's what really matters in the end.

lucio

Toni's picture

Totally Agree with this..


I think people who say "Just be yourself" meant that they just need to be themselves when they are actually on the date itself. Something like, relax or something. ... And don't be a fake... (I'm not good with trying to justify it because being a fake actually worked for the better for me)

Anyway I totally agree with the idea of don't just be yourself and make yourself (as long as the direction is for the better version though)

I don't know what else to put in this box since I already expressed my thoughts on my blog. (I don't usually expose my blog but heck, here's the link if you want to hear my thoughts about your article)

http://quarterlifecrisisneverends.blogspot.com/2013/09/be-yourself-turns...

If you don't read it, it's fine too. Lol just wanted to comment here that I agree with the whole perspective of becoming a better person because I also was the type of girl before who had a mentality of saying "I don't need them in my life" everytime a person ends up hating me. On the other hand, I think that line is actually just a defense mechanism to make myself feel better and to tell myself I don't need to change anything about me. But deep inside I knew that I need to change some parts of my personality and behavior. I was just probably in the "indenial" stage.

Don't know if my comment made any sense. Sorry. I hope it did.

Anonymous's picture

"Kinda" agree & disagree


I get your point of wanting to improve oneself. It's always great to work towards improving your education, health, friendships, confidence, etc. I think the whole "be yourself" is meant more to mean "do whatever makes YOU happy". If you are unhappy with your health, then you should eat healthier and exercise more often. If you are unhappy with your career, then you should try to find another that does make you happy. If you are unhappy with your anger issues, then you should try to control the emotions that make you unhappy. Self-improvement is something we should all strive for in one way or another.

But that doesn't mean that you should do things just so other people will like you better. If you are naturally a nice and compassionate person, you shouldn't treat people mean because you hear that some people prefer "naughtiness". Because it will come across as insincere and make you feel uncomfortable as well. Same thing the other way. If you enjoy being the life of the party and outgoing, you shouldn't hold back because people classify you as "loud and obnoxious".

Being yourself should be taken as "doing things that make you feel happier and proud of yourself" not just for the purpose of influencing other people's opinions. That will come naturally when they see you trying to become a better you. There will always be people that love and care for you no matter your highs and lows. But there will also always be people that don't like you no matter what you do. So being yourself is great advice in that sense because if you try to be someone you're not just to make people like you, then you will always feel inadequate. The only thing we can really control in this life is our happiness.

Hopefully this helps. :)

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