Be Yourself: I wish this phrase would go away

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Rocket123
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04 Feb 2014, 11:16 am

A week or so ago, I expressed a bit of bewilderment about being told throughout my life to "just be yourself". Another member posted the following, which I found quite helpful.

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
"Just be yourself" is a message by NTs for NTs. What it really means is that: "We all know it's natural and instinctive for us to conform and comply, but every now and then it's good to step back for a moment can be ourselves." It's a reminder that sometimes it’s okay to hold back from that which comes naturally and examine the self.

For those with AS, it would be the opposite. We usually don't have much of a problem being ourselves. The advice would be the opposite: "Conform more!"

Now, I'm not saying I agree with that. What I'm saying is that if the NT understood the AS mind, and wanted you to be more NT, that would be the more correct advice for them to give you. But since those people didn't understand your way of thinking, they tried to reinforce the NT line of "just be yourself," which doesn't apply in our case.



cubedemon6073
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04 Feb 2014, 12:41 pm

ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
cubedemon6073 wrote:
I wish people would just quit using this phrase and I wish it would just go away and disappear. It is utter poppycock because there are people who are true to themselves and who remain single and unemployed. What does everyone think?

Huh? I didn't know it had anything to do with having a significant other...


If "yourself" comes across as a jerk should one be "yourself"? Let's say one has a monotone voice and this causes a person not to be able to obtain a job. Should a person attempt to change this or do they stick to their guns and say this this is who I am and I can't be something I am not? Therefore Ana, it has a lot to do with it.



cubedemon6073
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04 Feb 2014, 12:42 pm

Rocket123 wrote:
A week or so ago, I expressed a bit of bewilderment about being told throughout my life to "just be yourself". Another member posted the following, which I found quite helpful.

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
"Just be yourself" is a message by NTs for NTs. What it really means is that: "We all know it's natural and instinctive for us to conform and comply, but every now and then it's good to step back for a moment can be ourselves." It's a reminder that sometimes it’s okay to hold back from that which comes naturally and examine the self.

For those with AS, it would be the opposite. We usually don't have much of a problem being ourselves. The advice would be the opposite: "Conform more!"

Now, I'm not saying I agree with that. What I'm saying is that if the NT understood the AS mind, and wanted you to be more NT, that would be the more correct advice for them to give you. But since those people didn't understand your way of thinking, they tried to reinforce the NT line of "just be yourself," which doesn't apply in our case.


I wish we had NTs who could confirm all of this. All we're doing is speculating amongst ourselves and speculating in the dark.



Janissy
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04 Feb 2014, 4:41 pm

This exact subject came up before on wrongplanet and I wrote a lengthy post addressing it. I searched the archives and found my lengthy post of yore and will quote it.

Quote:
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Just be yourself" is pretty useless advice.

Here's what it really means: "I can see you are anxious about navigating a particular social situation. I can navigate that social situation with ease but I can't put into words how that is done because I do it using subconscious behavioural subroutines I learned as a toddler. I assume you also learned those behavioural subroutines as a toddler and it is just a thin veneer of stress that is keeping you from accessing them. Let go of the stress and the subroutines will become accessable to your subconscious."

All of this assumes you have those behavioural subroutines buried in your brain and when you let go of the worry, they will float up to an accessable level since they are a part of "yourself" and have been for almost your entire life. As it turns out, this is not an accurate assumption.

When it comes to advice, I find the best advice comes from people who have faced something similar and have learned it/gotten through it with some effort. The effort forces them to be conscious of all the steps in the process which they can in turn teach to you. People who do something effortlessly (subconsciously), aren't aware of all the steps in the process and so can't teach them. IO discovered this when I was a kid who struggled with math. Teachers weren't much help. They were either too busy to help me or admonished me to "try harder" (and everybody knows that's another piece of useless advice). I went to the top students in math, the ones who got an A+ after turning the test in early. They couldn't help me either. They couldn't explain how they knew what they knew. They "just knew". After asking around, I found the greatest help from students who got "B"s on their math tests. They never "just knew" what the answer was. They had to really think about it (earning somewhat lower grades in that time consuming process). But since they really had to think about it, they could also show each step to me. I have found the same principle applies with many other things one might ask for advice about.

Upon becoming a parent, I started heaing the parenting equivalent of "just be yourself". It's "trust your instincts". "Trust your instincts" is no more helpful to me as a clueless parent than "just be yourself" is to you. And for the exact same reason


I stand by that ancient post. Here is the thread it came from, also full of good bits, some from posters no longer active here and some who are still current..

http://www.wrongplanet.net/postxf120700-0-15.html



ezbzbfcg2
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05 Feb 2014, 12:54 am

cubedemon6073 wrote:
I wish we had NTs who could confirm all of this. All we're doing is speculating amongst ourselves and speculating in the dark.


They wouldn't confirm it. They'd simply tell you just to be yourself.



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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05 Feb 2014, 1:04 am

cubedemon6073 wrote:
ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
cubedemon6073 wrote:
I wish people would just quit using this phrase and I wish it would just go away and disappear. It is utter poppycock because there are people who are true to themselves and who remain single and unemployed. What does everyone think?

Huh? I didn't know it had anything to do with having a significant other...


If "yourself" comes across as a jerk should one be "yourself"? Let's say one has a monotone voice and this causes a person not to be able to obtain a job. Should a person attempt to change this or do they stick to their guns and say this this is who I am and I can't be something I am not? Therefore Ana, it has a lot to do with it.

There are mixed opinions on that...Some would say change while others would say be who you are.



aghogday
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05 Feb 2014, 1:37 am

Well..after 47 years .. approximately .. since i first entered grammar school..

I AM FINALLY

being myself

AGAIN!

AND all that means is i no longer repress

any friggin part of my self..

AND While i do not agree with all of what so called
Autistic Self advocates propagate and promote...

A little book BY Julia Bascom called 'Quiet Hands'...
has a title that is great metaphor..
for what can happen when a person represses part of their
innate human being...

My repression..was in expressing both the masculine and feminine sides..
of my androgynous nature..

In both body language..and verbal expression...

My repression..was also in thinking to be accepted and survive..
i had to copy every successful thing..that the successful folks in social interaction looked
like they were doing..

And yes with natural hyperactivity..to sit still..
and be quiet..

Now that led to some serious issues with tension..
later on in life..

And put the repression of body language..
in with the fear of not being accepted..
and never thinking ya get to say no to no one.

And the recipe of that will surely get ya to level 2 or 3
Autistic Burnout..
and at worst..
Total Human Exhaustion...
with many related and documented medical disorders..

in my case at least 19..and some of which are not listed.. above and beyond these on my blogs..
but no problem..
compared to stuff like the worst pain known to mankind..atypical trigeminal
neuralgia..

So ..while it is necessary to adapt to survive in this world..
per most all the social interaction challenges...

And one cannot have a complete free for all..usuAlly!

Each person MUST FIND A BALANCE..
OF ALL OF THAT..ON THEIR OWN AND WITH WHATEVER HELP
THEY CAN SOMETIMES DESPERATELY NEED AND MUCH BETTER..
ACTUALLY GET...

BUT AGAIN..i am retired now..and our country IS FREE ENOUGH..
WHERE NOW..
i can be myself..
as just say f*8 ya..to folks
who don't like it..
and yah..

that stands for FUN YA..
WHY CUSS..
WHEN YA..
CAN MAKE FOLKS LAUGH..
IN REAL LIFE..
BUT NOT LIKELY HERE..I'M AFRAID...
'CAUSE IN PART .. FOR ALL
THAT REPRESSION..
AND STUFF LIKE
that.


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Declension
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05 Feb 2014, 3:47 am

"Be yourself" is silly advice. People are always wearing a mask and performing a role. If you're not wearing a mask and performing a role, then you're probably not doing much at all.

Remember, babies and young children are selfish and antisocial. It takes years in order to train young children to not "be themselves". That's the whole point of growing up.



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05 Feb 2014, 5:58 am

cubedemon6073 wrote:
I wish people would just quit using this phrase and I wish it would just go away and disappear. It is utter poppycock because there are people who are true to themselves and who remain single and unemployed. What does everyone think?


I dont understand, why you see a link between "being true to yourself" and "being in an relationship"?

The thing about being true to yourself, that without that an relationship does not make sense. If you fake to be another person, and find someone that likes that person you fake, you still got no partner that fits to you. So there is no sense at all at not being true to yourself.

But depending on the person that you are, it´s normal to be more or less complicated to find a matching partner.

I dont careabout clothes, I dont care about Make up, I dont care about being sexy, I dont care about faking "socially expected female behavior" as faking to be to stupid to work with tools, so that an potential partner might play the hero for me. Thats me. And being me means as well an majority of potential partner, will not be interested in having an relationship with me, because they would not be happy with me as partner, the way I am.

But faking to be another person, does not help it either, because then I will not be happy in that relationship, because of me not truly being in an relationship.

Being true to yourself is not about raising chances to find a partner, but simply to dicrease the number of useless relationship that will fail, if you fake to be another person.



Declension
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05 Feb 2014, 7:04 am

Schneekugel wrote:
But faking to be another person, does not help it either, because then I will not be happy in that relationship, because of me not truly being in an relationship.


I don't think this is true.

For example, you say that you don't care about make-up and being sexy. But what if you wanted a relationship with someone who wants you to be sexy for them sometimes? Would it be "faking" if you put in an extra effort to be sexy for them? I wouldn't call that "faking", I'd just call that "compromise". It's the basic building block of relationships.



Janissy
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05 Feb 2014, 7:48 am

Declension wrote:
Schneekugel wrote:
But faking to be another person, does not help it either, because then I will not be happy in that relationship, because of me not truly being in an relationship.


I don't think this is true.

For example, you say that you don't care about make-up and being sexy. But what if you wanted a relationship with someone who wants you to be sexy for them sometimes? Would it be "faking" if you put in an extra effort to be sexy for them? I wouldn't call that "faking", I'd just call that "compromise". It's the basic building block of relationships.


I agree with Schneekgul since I have been in the exact situation you hypothesize. Like Schneekgul, I don't wear makeup. I briefly dated a man who thought he was attracted to me even though I didn't wear makeup and all of his previous girlfriends did. But soon enough he asked me if I would consider wearing it. He asked politely, not a controlling type.

This request brought us to end the fledgling relationship because we weren't right for each other. It doesn't seem like makeup would be a dealbreaker for either of us but it revealed a deeper incompatibility. It revealed that we were both dabbling with having a relationship with the sort of person we didn't usually date. He usually dated conventional women and wanted to go outside his comfort zone by dating a hippie-ish nerd (how I presented in the 80's, I don't think "hippie" has cultural meaning anymore). I usually dated other hippie-ish nerds and wanted to experiment with a conventional man. It was a failed experiment for both of us and the makeup/no makeup revealed that. He was sick of nature hikes and incense and wanted to go to a nightclub with a hot chick. He wanted me to be that hot chick but I wanted nature hikes.

He could have gone on yet another nature hike he didn't really enjoy but he wasn't being himself. I could have put on makeup and gone dancing in a shiny dress rather than wearing my usual Levis. We could have taken turns making those sorts of compromises with each other and squeezed another few months out of the relationship but it was better to just admit we were incompatible since we only wanted to very briefly visit each other's worlds out of curiosity, not fully inhabit them.

Relationships are full of compromise. The trick is figuring out which compromises are part of a healthy relationship and which are symptoms of incompatibility. When I figured that out, I met my husband and we are still married. We compromise constantly but don't have to compromise on fundamental personality traits. Wearing makeup or not probably doesn't seem like a personality trait but what it really is is a marker of approach to life. I am not compatible with somebody whose definition of "sexy" is dependent on artifice.

I wore makeup to my wedding (had it done professionally) since that is a cultural expectation. I have worn it to parties sometimes when my intent was a particular effect (gothic or arty, usually, it was theatrical).



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05 Feb 2014, 7:53 am

Nobody has ever said to me "be yourself". I think most people in my life time have wished I would be someone else. I can't think why.

I do say it to myself quite a lot though.


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Schneekugel
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05 Feb 2014, 10:42 am

Declension wrote:
Schneekugel wrote:
But faking to be another person, does not help it either, because then I will not be happy in that relationship, because of me not truly being in an relationship.


I don't think this is true.

For example, you say that you don't care about make-up and being sexy. But what if you wanted a relationship with someone who wants you to be sexy for them sometimes? Would it be "faking" if you put in an extra effort to be sexy for them? I wouldn't call that "faking", I'd just call that "compromise". It's the basic building block of relationships.


Had that s**t already. You simply dont get how much time and effort that takes. Faking that "sometimes" still means to spent tons on money on an complete Make up collection. (Easily more then 50$.) that you will then throw away every two years, hardly used because of it getting bad as well. (As example the fat in the make up thickens...) As well that it needs an haircut - again 50$ wasted and additional the stress of going there. Additional if you only do make up three times a year, you end up looking like a clown, because you simply need to practice it so that it looks good. You are invited to try it yourself.... no applying make up is no godgiven gift that woman can do automatically from the day they are born. If you dont practice it, it will just look like the way it looks like, when you try doing it without practice. Additional for looking good, you need as well fashionable cloths....again wasting money for s**t, you use three times a year, additional being forced to go waste the rare free time you have, for going in horrible shops, finding some s**t, you are not interested in finding or wearing or buying. Specially if you simply are not interested, you simply dont have any knowledge about it. "Does that skirt fit with that blouse...." I dont know. I dont care for it. So guess how much I am annoyed by being additionally forced to care for reading fashion magazines, to know about actual fashion, before buying something. Removing hair, plugging eyebrows, nailcare ......

Its simply wasting enormous tons of money, for something thats totally useless and dont benefit me at all, but is in the opposite horrible burdening and additional wasting tons of my rare free time, that I instead really would need to calm down, from my daily work.

I am forced to do that s**t sometimes for my mother in law, and I hate her for it, and the stress it causes already days before (shopping cloth, hairdresser, ...) ,me for one f*****g family visit of maybe three hours, causes regularly meltdowns for me, which is the cause why I hate that oppinion for her.

The reason why I do these compromise is for a person that I love, HER SON. But I dont see sense in finding compromises for a person, that I would hate if the person itself forced that s**t on me, and that I´d not be interested in being in an relationship with me, if he thinks its ok to force stress on me and cause me meltdowns, only "so that I can look pretty *dumbgrin*" from now and then. My boyfriend does not force that on me, because of him caring for me, and because of him seeing how much it is burdening for me, and because of him as well being sad, when I breakdown, because of his sh***y mum.

Compromises is something you do for person that you care for, and that care in the opposite for you. Not for as*holes, that care more for stressing you playing barbie, and forcing you to waste your rare time running around for s**t, instead of being happy to spend the time together and doing something together.

And yes, naturally I did the s**t for my wedding too. 4 hours before my wedding I was a crying, stressed and were totally in the ass, only because of my partners f*****g mother expectations on the "perfect wedding" that we had to fulfill, which simply caused stress, stress, stress and other needless stress.

If it was my partner causing that stress, I´d be not interested in being in an relationship with him, because of him only burdening my life. Thats not what an relationship is for, for terrorizing your partner.



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05 Feb 2014, 2:29 pm

buffinator wrote:
I feel it is rather useless advice. There is no such thing as the self. Better advice would be to "choose A self," as there are a finite combination of socially acceptable attributes that will not interfere with your interactions more than they promote them.


I do not think a semantic duality can be drawn between having a true self and not having a self at all since I think there exists somewhere between the two a middle ground. I personally believe that you utilize a variety of different selves depending on what social situation you find yourself in and in this sense there is no self. Thus, if you are around a group that is funny, you will become more humorous and so forth. However, the extent to which you are influenced by this and spectrum of selves you have at your disposal I would say is derived from a meta-self, a true self that resides in the unconscious mind. Thus there are a finite combination of selves that are fragmented but the qualities of these selves, how they manifest and the extent to which they are employed I would say is governed by a meta-consciousness.



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05 Feb 2014, 10:18 pm

Schneekugel wrote:
Had that sh** already. You simply dont get how much time and effort that takes. Faking that "sometimes" still means to spent tons on money on an complete Make up collection. (Easily more then 50$.) that you will then throw away every two years, hardly used because of it getting bad as well. (As example the fat in the make up thickens...) As well that it needs an haircut - again 50$ wasted and additional the stress of going there. Additional if you only do make up three times a year, you end up looking like a clown, because you simply need to practice it so that it looks good. You are invited to try it yourself.... no applying make up is no godgiven gift that woman can do automatically from the day they are born.


You're right, I didn't think about how make-up might be a dealbreaker for some people. We all have dealbreakers. Obviously I brought up an unfortunate example. I'm sorry that you have had really stressful experiences to do with make-up "compromises".

But I think my point still stands. In your current relationship, which you seem to be happy with, surely your husband sometimes wants you to do things that you wouldn't do if you were left to your own devices? (Ignoring mother-in-law type issues.) If not, then I am very jealous! :?



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07 Feb 2014, 10:30 pm

be creative. 8) . my fave. say it all the time.