Please read the foreword to this before continuing reading. No, you will not pass this point without clicking that blue link, CLICK IT. Good.
I don’t like mangoes. I mean I really really really hate mangoes, they’re one of the many fruits that I can’t stand and will not, absolutely refuse to eat. However mangoes never did anything to me, these innocent yellow pulpy fruits don’t cause me to develop rashes or poison me in any way, they have never traumatized me as a kid and they’re most likely good for my health, but somehow I JUST DON’T LIKE THEM. And it’s not the mangoes fault.
What the hell do mangoes have to do with impressions? Nothing really, though I can always add that mangoes never made a bad impression on me either, I DON’T LIKE THEM, END OF STORY. That’s how people are actually, there will be people, many of them at that, who just don’t like certain people or things for no good reason. You can try to persuade them, convince them but when someone just doesn’t like something or someone THEY JUST DON’T. It’s like how magnets of similar polarities just repel, and magnets of opposite polarities will attract each other, IT JUST IS AND YOU CAN’T CHANGE IT.
Which is why there is this age old advice saying “just be yourself” when it comes you leaving a good first impression, because ultimately, if someone doesn’t like who you are, they won’t like you no matter what you do or how you act. This sort of innate dislike won’t change because you change how you dress, how you talk and how you look. THEY DON’T LIKE YOU DEAL WITH IT. That being said, being yourself isn’t exactly very easy, especially when most people aren’t quite sure what ‘yourself’ is exactly. Seriously, trying to define yourself is quite impossible. Oh sure, you can quantify a few traits, some characteristics, but none of it will truly be all of what you are. The thing about being human is, we change, we are not constantly the same and we don’t change predictably either. It’s not like saying, heat up the ice cube it’ll become a liquid, heat it up some more and it’ll be a gas. We don’t work like that.
Instead of attempting to define yourself, or anyone for that matter, as any other object or noun, try to think of us as an idea, a theme, that is loosely defined by a word, aka our name, which encompasses all that we were, are and all the possibilities of what we can and will or will not become. Basically, humans are more like a concept which can be interpreted many ways, we are the summation of all of our potential of the past present and future. Which means you basically can’t DEFINE a person; it’s like trying to quantify truth, or god, or god forbid, LIFE.
Honestly, there are so many sides to a person that I sometimes think ‘be yourself’ is a very shitty piece of advice. Which ‘myself’ should I be? Because we are all multi-faced bitches in a way, though actually it’s not that we WANT to be two-faced, it’s just called adapting to the situation. Think of it this way, you don’t call toothbrushes two-faced bitches just because when you brush your teeth it’s a tooth brush but when you scrub the fridge or shoes or floors, it’s a cleaning brush. In school we are students, at work we are employees, there’s some essential concept of you that never truly changes but a large part of you is constantly being redefined to adapt to a situation. We of course could act the same way around many different people but you wouldn’t because it is inefficient, illogical and accomplishes nothing. You COULD act the same way you do with your friends in front of an adult or a superior, of course you can, but it’s illogical because by doing so you’d be disrespectful and get into trouble. Doesn’t mean you’re being fake, you’re just being pragmatic, what’s wrong with that? If you have it in you to be polite that means some part of you must have manners. It’s still you. Just because you suddenly learnt to ride a bike doesn’t mean your name will suddenly change and you’ll grow a tail.
Deep down we all know who we are, in a loose, vague, instinctive sort of way. We will know, innately, when we are not being ourselves or defying that core idea that makes us, us. And so, since we are who we are and we can’t stop people from hating who we are no matter what we are, why care about what other people think about you? The problem with so many of us is that we care far too much about what people think about us, about what impressions we are making on people. We are scared to be judged, and it’s a fair fear, but a stupid one.
Because really, what truly matters isn’t what people think about you but what you WANT people to think about you. It’s called ‘making an impression’ for a good reason, you’re the one who is creating that impression, so it is your job to make someone think of you in a certain way. Making impressions isn’t about being judged, it’s giving someone a judgment for them to declare. You are in control, not the other way round. What part of ‘you’ do you want to impress upon the person is within your control, the only thing the person can do is to accept whatever impression you wish to throw upon them, they have no control if you want to impress yourself as a monkey or as a CEO, all they can do is take it as it is and if they don’t like it they can leave it because THERE IS NOTHING THEY CAN DO TO CHANGE IT. And there is nothing you can do to change if they like you or not.
Of course it takes courage to shake off the concept of how we are being judged, which is why being yourself takes courage, not because ignoring what other people think or say requires bravery but because accepting the concept that YOU are in control is something that is beyond our comfort zones and a stressful responsibility. There is no one to blame but yourself if you made someone think bad of you because you made the wrong impression, but at least you know, you can always stay true to yourself no matter what because if they don’t like you, they don’t like you, and it isn’t your fault.