“I need to make a good impression.”

And with that thought, she froze.

Gone was her spontaneous laughter, gone were her witty jokes, gone was her attentive listening, gone were the interesting things she had to share.

She disconnected.  Completely.

How often have we not been in that same place?

Desperately wanting to make that mind-blowing perfect impression.

To say the right thing.

To laugh at the right moment.

To make the right joke.

To listen at the right time.

To say that mind-blowing thing to impress and make them really really like us.

Only to find ourselves numb, respond a tad too late, say the lamest thing first, being preoccupied with second-guessing what they would like us to say.

Being mad at ourselves for being so lame and uninteresting.

And disconnecting ourselves completely from any genuine interaction.

Because we are so disconnecting from ourselves.

Where all we really need to do is,

say our thing,

laugh at things we really think are funny,

listen when we are truly interested,

share our genuine views, our true story, our own experience.

Just be ourselves.

Because really, what’s the worst thing that can happen?

That they don’t like us?

Well, I used to answer this question with a resounding YES!  That. Would. Be. Horrible!

But is it?  Really?

I’ve come to learn that the worst thing that can happen is that they’d like me, for the wrong reasons.  For my faked smile, my feigned interest in what they’ve got to say, my forced savviness, my halfhearted views. And that I start to feel lost and trapped in that pretend me, that I feel fake, hollow, and stressed to keep up with that “perfect me” I am presenting to the outside world.

I’ve come to learn that the best thing that can happen is that they can decide for themselves to like “genuine me”.  Or not.

I’ve come to learn that the best thing that can happen is that they don’t like me, for the right reasons. Because we truly are not a fit.  Because we don’t laugh at the same things. Because we don’t share the same interests. Because we don’t appreciate the same sense of humor and savviness. Because we don’t get fascinated by each other‘s stories, interests, views, style and approach.

I’ve come to learn that the best thing that can happen is that they like me, for the right reasons. Because we are a genuine fit.  Because they like me for who I really am.

I’ve come to learn that allowing people not to like “genuine me”, is where true empowerment lies. Allowing them and me to keep our distance.  To let go.  To consciously and deliberately create space for different people in our lives that we really connect with.  That truly energise and inspire us.

I’ve come to learn that allowing people to like “genuine me”, is where true freedom is. Genuine connection. Real caring. Mind-blowing inspiration.  Amazing uplifting energy.

So I set myself the task of being me. Genuine me.

For their sake.  And mine.

 

 

 

Photo from here.

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